Over the weekend, Paul Ryan reiterated his party’s refusal to agree to any new revenues to avert the sequester. It looks all but certain that the sequester is going to hit.
What keeps getting lost here is that if Republicans did agree to new revenues, they’d likely get more in new spending cuts than they’d have to concede in new loophole closings. Jonathan Chait gets this basic dynamic right:
What’s remarkable about the ability of anti-tax zealots like Ryan to sustain their position is that it places them in direct opposition to conservative goals on both defense and spending. After all, Obama is offering to cut spending on retirement programs and to cancel out cuts to defense — two things large chunks of the GOP would like — in return for more revenue. He’s not even demanding higher rates. He’s merely asking to reduce tax deductions.
Chait notes that this is an obstacle to any hopes for any GOP makeover: