No-New Taxes Stance Challenges Republicans

Sunday, 23 Dec 2012 02:01 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Congressional Republicans haven’t voted for higher income taxes since 1990, and when conservatives didn’t back House Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” last week, many people said it was a continuation of the party’s stance against income tax hikes.

The GOP stand against taxes, though, is becoming a challenge to the party, as public opinion is strongly supporting tax increases on people with higher incomes, reports The New York Times. In addition, while Republicans continue to embrace no-new-taxes as a major part of party identity, some Republicans think the commitment to prevent tax increases is hindering fiscal responsibility.

Today’s economy echoes that of 1990, when President George H.W. Bush agreed to break his no-new-taxes pledge because he was convinced the government needed to balance its books, and Democrats didn’t want to cut spending.

“When I entered politics, the frame of reference was a balanced budget as the principal conservative precept,” said former Rep. James Leach. The Iowa Republican, who served from 1977 to 2007, said today, it’s taxes.

To maintain that commitment, though, Republicans will need to decide how to reduce federal spending, which is projected to grow quickly as the country’s population ages.









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