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GOP Sponsors of Spending Task Force Didn’t Know It Allowed for Tax Hikes? Not Likely

The official line coming from the six GOP senators who sponsored, then voted against, the failed proposal to create a deficit commission was that they didn’t

Jul 31, 2020
The official line coming from the six GOP senatorswho sponsored, then voted against, the failed proposalto create a deficit commission was that they didn’t realize it would allow the panel to suggest tax hikes as a step toward balancing the federal budget.
A spokesman for Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), for example, toldPolitico that the senator withdrew his support “over concerns that the commission will be able to raise taxes.” The offices of Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) said exactly the same thing.
What’s fascinating about that argument is this: Sens. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) and Kent Conrad (RD-N.D), the heads of the Budget Committee, have been pushing their task force idea for years, and a central element of the proposal has always been that everything would be on the table — tax hikes, benefit cuts and everything in between. Here’s their statementfrom 2007, which indicates that the commission “will analyze all potential solutions.” And here’s a summaryof their more recent bill, which clearly states that “all options will be considered by the Task Force.” It’s a concept that practically defines the bill.
So either (1) the six Republican flip-floppers are lying and voted against the commission solely under pressure from GOP leaders to deny the Obama White House a legislative victory, or (2) they threw their support behind a proposal they knew nothing about. Neither explanation says great things about their leadership skills — and both are indications of why Americans thinkWashington is broken.
Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
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