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August 01, 2011

Carney: Hey, We Can Absolutely Get New Tax Revenue From This Joint Committee

Don't have a link yet but I'm watching the White House briefing and he says idea the joint committee can't come back with a package that includes revenues is "false".

Last night Boehner said there's almost no way that could happen given the requirement that current law be the baseline that is used for CBO scoring.

Basically since the current baseline assumes that the Bush era tax cuts expire in 2013 anything that raises taxes less than the $3.5 trillion would be counted as an increase in the deficit and out of bounds.

Here's the problem...there's no way to force the joint committee or Congress to live up to that when push comes to shove. If the only way to get a deal that avoids the draconian across the board defense and entitlement cuts no one wants is to fudge which baseline is used in scoring instructions to CBO, guess what...they are going to fudge the baseline in the instructions.

If Congress wants to change or ignore the law, there's nothing but political pressure to prevent that. The real political pressure will be a desire to do anything to avoid the automatic cuts built into the deal. Of course, writing a new law that waives or mitigates those cuts would be an option. The simple fact is, when it comes to Congress and laws, there's no way to bind them to anything. That's just the nature of the beast...they write the laws and they can re-write them.

Now, maybe Carney is just trying to buck up the liberals who are pissed at this deal, and there are plenty of them, or maybe all we've done is agreed to a debt ceiling hike and kicked the can down the road on half the cuts until November.

FWIW: Mitt, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham(!) are opposed. DeMint is a no but says he won't filibuster it.

Looks like the House is going to vote first, sometime early this evening (though that's always subject to change).

The theory yesterday was the Senate would go first since it's likely the deal will enjoy more support there and that would give cover to the House not to cause a panic. The new theory seems to be to get the House to vote before grassroots opposition can take hold.


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posted by DrewM. at 12:37 PM

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