Sabato: Lawmakers Nix Tax Hikes to Dodge Defeat

Tuesday, 26 Apr 2011 04:58 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Political science professor and pundit Larry Sabato says most GOP congressional lawmakers oppose tax increases because if they do not, they are guaranteed not only a challenge from tea party Republicans but from other mainstream party candidates. Sabato also said Monday on MSNBC that U.S. House and Senate members are even becoming reluctant to eliminate subsidies.  
“Look, the reason Republicans almost universally — not just tea party Republicans, but mainstream Republicans — oppose any tax increase is because if they [don’t] they’re guaranteed not just a tea party challenge, they're probably going to be challenged in a primary by another mainstream Republican,” said Sabato, whose recent book, “Pendulum Swing,” chronicles the 2010 GOP election sweep.
“And it’s gotten to the point where tax increases are now defined, at least by some — like our friend [president of Americans for Tax Reform] Grover Norquist — as being the elimination of tax subsidies for things like the ethanol industry,” Sabato continued on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” “So, it’s — it’s getting tougher and tougher even to raise fees and close loopholes and eliminate subsidies.”
Sabato said there is some room for compromise with those who want to see tax reform and that centers on corporate welfare.
“I think Republicans would say as Senator [Tom] Coburn did, closing loopholes, tax reform — that may be a way to produce some kind of compromise,” Sabato said. “But if you`re talking about a general increase in tax rates, forget about it — not going to happen.”

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