Republicans should remain steadfast in their opposition to higher taxes, regardless of what concessions Democrats make on spending cuts and entitlement reform, say two of the House’s conservative leaders.
“It’s a joke to go down this road. You just can’t,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, outgoing chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), said Tuesday at an American Enterprise Institute event, according to The Hill
. “You can’t go there. You just cannot go there.”
Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, the incoming RSC chairman, agrees. “I wouldn’t be supporting a plan that raises taxes,” he said.
President Barack Obama has insisted on a tax increase for the wealthy. And in recent days some Republicans have said they can accept that in exchange for an agreement by Democrats to cut discretionary and entitlement spending.
So will the view of Jordan and Scalise prevail? “I don’t know,” said the former. “If it’s got a tax-rate increase in it, I’m not going to be for it. And I think there are a lot of members that won’t be for it. But we all know the RSC doesn’t always function as a unit.”
At least 180 economists agree with the two conservatives. “Increasing taxes would likely slow or reverse our nation's fragile economic recovery and undermine long-term growth,” they wrote in a letter from the National Taxpayers Union to Congress.
The economists recommend spending cuts instead to “help stabilize the government's fiscal imbalance and create a more conducive environment for robust expansion.”
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