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For Dems, Super Committee Debate Was About Taxing the Rich

Didn’t our Democratic friends always intend to derail the super committeeover the top Bush tax rates? You remember that $800 billion revenue number always floating around from the Democratic leaks?

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Well, that’s the static-revenue estimate of repealing the 35 percent and 33 percent Bush rates. And sometimes that Democratic revenue number moved up to $1.2 trillion. Well, that would include the static-revenue estimate of the 5.6 percent millionaire surtax. Get it?

In an important sense, the whole super committee debate from the Democratic side was about taxing the rich. They never went quite as far as Obama’s populist class-warfare rant, at least not publicly. But basically this logjam was about so-called tax fairness.

Ironically, when the automatic spending cuts trigger in, Speaker John Boehner will win out. His original vision — going back to the debt-ceiling debate last summer — was $1 in spending cuts for each $1 of debt increase. So the sequester will get $1.2 trillion in spending cuts on top of last summer’s $1 trillion.

No it’s not great. We should have done $4 trillion to $6 trillion by reforming entitlements and undergoing pro-growth tax reform for individuals and corporations. But at the end of the day, we dodged a super tax hike and got a couple trillion dollars of lower spending. Not the worst thing in the world.

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