Republicans in Congress have drawn a "line in the sand." They will not vote for any increases in tax revenue of any kind, even if it means defaulting on our nation's debt.
They are not willing to compromise.
President Barack Obama has offered spending cuts that are three times as great as the revenue increases that he seeks, almost exclusively from ending some corporate tax breaks and deductions for the rich or the Bush tax cuts for millionaires. He and Republican House Speaker John Boenher thought they had a deal, but since it included "revenue enhancements," it was turned down by Republican House members.
David Brooks, a conservative columnist for the New York Times, wrote that a Gallup poll showed "only 20 percent of Americans believe the budget deal should consist of spending cuts only. ...Yet the GOP is now oriented around this 20 percent. It is willing to alienate 80 percent of voters and commit political suicide because of its faith in the power of tax policy."
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Brooks is also critical of liberals who resist any changes (cuts) in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and other "entitlements."
For now, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has proposed a deal that would grant Obama the authority to extend the debt ceiling through the 2012 election season while requiring him to propose -- but allowing him to ultimately veto -- tax cuts of $1.5 trillion. McConnell is, in effect, admitting that it is not possible to compromise.
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