I Don't Normally Put Any Stock In The Words Of Dan Burton, But This Time I'll Make An Exception...
Dan Burton On Tax Cuts: GOP Would Swallow Democratic Tax Plan After December Ryan Grim - HuffPo
Posted: 12/20/2012 4:36 pm EST | Updated: 12/20/2012 5:43 pm EST
WASHINGTON -- If a fiscal cliff deal isn't struck by the end of the year, President Barack Obama will be in such a strong bargaining position that Republicans will be forced to accept the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for income above $250,000, Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), an arch conservative, predicted Thursday.
In fact, the prospect of broader tax hikes motivated Rep. Jeff Flake, soon to be the junior Republican senator from Arizona, to say that he'd accept the $250,000 limit today.
"That's an easy one for me, because you're lowering taxes that would otherwise be going up," Flake told reporters of the hypothetical $250,000 limit preferred by Democrats.
Burton told reporters that he'd be voting for House Speaker John Boehner's "Plan B," which would end the tax cuts only for income over a million dollars, because the alternative would be much worse for Republicans.
"Let's say that we don't do anything," said Burton, gaming it out in conversation with reporters off the House floor. "He lets us go over the fiscal cliff. They're going to blame Republicans. And then the president's going to be the savior."
Obama, reasoned Burton, will be able to use the bully pulpit, including his State of the Union address, to force Republicans into accepting a deal that's worse than they could get now.
"If we go over the fiscal cliff, the president just comes back and says, 'OK, we're going to give tax cuts to everybody under $250,000.' Who's going to vote against that? Everybody'll vote for that. Everybody. Because it will be just a fait accompli. You won't be voting on whether you're going to do away with a tax cut, you're going to be reimposing tax cuts for everybody under $250,000. So the Republicans are in an untenable situation."