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Mon Nov 12, 2012, 10:52 AM

How Bill Kristol could split the GOP in two

The influential conservative's call for a tax hike on the rich risks re-launching the Republican civil war of 1990


The biggest news on Sunday was Bill Kristol’s declaration on “Fox News Sunday” that Republicans should give in on President Obama’s demand that tax rates go up on income over $250,000 as part of any fiscal “cliff” deal.

“It won’t kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires,” he said. “It really won’t, I don’t think. I don’t really understand why Republicans don’t take Obama’s offer.”

As Alex Seitz-Wald explained yesterday, this is a potentially huge development. For more than two decades now, the Republican Party has been absolutely, unanimously opposed to income tax hikes. This might just be Kristol speaking for Kristol and no one else, but if his words signal – or trigger – an actual shift within the party, the policy consequences will be serious. It could also set off an intraparty civil war.

To understand why, you need to understand the roots of the GOP’s intransigence on taxes. Believe it or not, it was fairly routine for Republicans to sign off on tax increases (or not to object to high rates already in place) until relatively recently. When Dwight Eisenhower was president, for instance, the top marginal rate was 90 percent, and at 70 percent through the Nixon and Ford years. It wasn’t until Ronald Reagan embraced the then-emerging supply-side school of thought that Republicans really declared war on taxes, with Reagan signing sweeping cuts into law in 1981. But even then, he and his party retained some flexibility, and over the rest of his tenure Reagan backed a number of tax increases.

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Reply How Bill Kristol could split the GOP in two (Original post)
DonViejo Nov 2012 OP
Thinkingabout Nov 2012 #1
Myrina Nov 2012 #2

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:18 AM

1. Perhaps Kristol has looked over the results of the election and knows the best chance for Republican

Accepting the right track for America is a good thing, ignoring the likes of Rush and other hater show talkers and perhaps saving the republican party. There is not going to be a war as far as Democrats are concerned, we are about governing. The republican path of obstruction in the past few years has not helped their party only adding to their demise.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 11:21 AM

2. Of COURSE it won't ...

Most of them won't even notice the decrease in their bank accounts, for Chrissakes!

At it's core, America has to ask itself "How much money is enough?" for some of these people?
Some of these families have money they will never, ever spend - even over the course of several GENERATIONS. Do they really need that much? Really??

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