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Tax Rates and the GOP Ideology

Speaker John Boehner (Alex Wong/Getty Images News)
Speaker John Boehner (Alex Wong/Getty Images News)

(The Root) — You have to just love how Republicans negotiate. In a few weeks, America will be going over the proverbial fiscal cliff, meaning that taxes will go up while severe spending cuts will be implemented across government in ways neither Democrats nor Republicans want. And yet in another standoff, conservatives are refusing to truly work with the White House and Democrats to help balance the budget while not sacrificing the middle class and poor on the Grover Norquist altar. 


Check out the following video (at around the 5:40 mark), in which Fox News host Chris Wallace interviews House Speaker John Boehner.

Wallace: You talked about the fact that the president won and you came out with a concession the day after the election. They point out that the president campaigned on raising tax rates, you know, and it was the big issue between him and Romney. And they say, just as he had to cave, after your victory in the 2010 midterms, now it's your turn to cave on tax rates.

Boehner: Listen, what's the difference where the money comes from? [Bold added.] We put $800 billion worth of revenue, which is what he's asking for, out of eliminating the top two tax rates. But here's the problem, Chris: When you go and increase tax rates, you make it more difficult for our economy to grow. Half of that income is small-business income. It's going to get taxed at a higher rate, and as a result we're gonna see slower economic growth. We're not going to be able to cut our way out of this problem; nor can we just grow our way out of the problem. We have to have a balanced approach, but what the president wants to do will slow our economy at a time when he says he wants the economy to grow and create jobs.


Yeah! What does it matter where the money comes from? Sure, it could come from the top-earning 2 percent, or it could come from the other 98 percent of American society that makes less than $250,000. I mean, revenue is revenue, right? Why should it matter if you make $10 million or $50,000 or $10,000? What's the difference?!

Besides the fact that it should totally matter …

I can't even continue to type this sarcasm. This is how Boehner and the Republicans think. The crux of this whole fight is that Obama doesn't want to raise revenue from the middle class and the poor. Boehner doesn't care where it comes from long, as long as he doesn't have to mess with the wealthy.

Remember, Boehner is the face of the conservative negotiations. As the media cover this fiasco, keep this particular comment from Boehner in mind. Remember that this is what's in the Republicans' heads as the country's economy hangs in the balance. If there's no difference where the money comes from, Speaker Boehner …

Why not allow new revenue from the wealthy?

Elon James White is a writer and satirist and host of the award-winning video and radio series This Week in Blackness. Listen Monday to Thursday at 1:30 p.m. EST at TWIB.FM and watch at TV.TWIB.ME/LIVE. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr.

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