GOP Debt Panel Members Tell 'Untold Story'

Saturday, 26 Nov 2011 05:06 PM

By Gary Cohen

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The six Republican members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction are telling their side of the super committee's failure to reach agreement on over $1 trillion in cuts.

In a Washington Post opinion piece, Arizona Senator John Kyl; Ohio Senator Rob Portman; Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling and Michigan Reps Fred Upton and Dave Camp start off their opinion piece saying, "We do not choose to add more to the blame game."

But they quickly add that "one Democratic talking point needs debunking: that the talks failed because of Republicans' attachment to the Bush tax cuts.

The six Republicans want Americans to know, "The untold story of the negotiations is the significance of the Republican offer of fundamental tax reform."

The 2001 and 2003 tax code changes for technical reasons are due to expire the end of this year. The GOP panel members emphasize that if Congress does not act, "Americans will face the largest tax increase in our history."

In their opinion piece, the Republican group points out that to meet Democrats part way, they offered a plan that would have reformed the tax code and come up with signficant new tax revenue.

They explain the GOP proposal added up to over $500 billion in deficit reduction revenue and $900 billion in spending reductions.

"We believe this lowering of the rates and broadening of the tax base would have spurred ecomomic growth, created jobs and, in the process, generated billions more in revenue from growth in the economy," they wrote.

They add however that none of that can happen if the current law's automatic tax increases take effect on New Year's Day.

The six also explain, "Democrats made a point of saying that they would accept the new tax code revenue in the plan but that they still also wanted the 2013 tax increase."

The GOP group points out that would negate the benefits of their proposal.

Given all that, the Republican panel members conclude it was not their being attached to the Bush tax cuts but, "the refusal of the committee's Democrats to acknowledge the inconsistency in claiming to accept the amount and way the Republican plan would raise tax revenue while insisting that the 2013 tax increase (at least those affecting investment decisions) must also occur."

They further conclude that in the end, " a strong economy producing more wealth (and, therefore, more tax revenue) is how we will both reduce the deficit and regain the prosperity that all Americans deserve."

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