During the 2012 debates, Republicans were asked a simple question: would they accept a dollar in tax increases for ten dollars in spending cuts?
A friend asked them that question. It was not meant as a bullcrap question, but it is. The reason is because it generates a sound bite that advances a narrative that leaves out a whole lot of history.
As could easily be predicted, most every Republican said no and most every journalist used the occasion and answer to point out how unreasonable the Republicans were.
They all ignored Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) who explained why it is actually a bullcrap question.
Republicans going back to Reagan and his tax reforms were always willing to raise taxes a bit in exchange for cuts. The problem was that repeatedly the tax increases stayed and the cuts were abandoned. So asking Republicans if they were willing to raise a dollar in taxes for ten dollars in cuts is essentially asking if the GOP is willing to raise taxes.
The cuts, if they every actually happen, are never permanent. The tax increases almost always are permanent. And the cuts, when they do happen, are most often cuts in the rate of growth and not actual, meaningful cuts.
The question oversimplified things and reflected a reality that is not.
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