GOP must find new approach to tax debate

  • Article by: David Weigel , Slate
  • Updated: November 19, 2012 - 1:50 PM

Not since the 1970s have Republicans been so weak on the tax issue.

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FrankLNov. 19, 12 2:49 PM

A good example was Pawlenty and the gas tax increase. Instead of opposing it and losing, a compromise would have been to go along, but use his leverage to re-order the priorities at MNDOT to get capacity improvements out of the increase. Missouri passed a gas tax increase at the same time with this philosophy, and you see new lanes being added, overpasses replacing stop lights, etc. Yes you are paying more, but it feels like you're getting something back for your money.

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arielbenderNov. 19, 12 3:33 PM

Maybe the repubs should give equating going back to a 39 1/2% tax rate from 35% as some sort of piracy.

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clnorthNov. 19, 12 5:38 PM

A mandate would have been the House going Democrat. That didn't happen. We have an evenly divided country. No mandate here.

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probsolverNov. 19, 12 5:38 PM

As a conservative I have to say the only way to get our country out of this financial mess is a combo of increased taxes and decreased spending. Conservatives have to get away from the notion that all taxes are evil. Liberals need to stand up and declare that all government spending is not sacred. There seems to be a lack of common sense on both sides of the aisle.

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Wally_99Nov. 19, 12 5:52 PM

Hey Weigel - Here's a clue. There are too few people now pulling the cart and too many in it, relying and relishing in the government goodies. Can we say "Greece" in five years? Maybe less.....

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smdentNov. 19, 12 6:29 PM

Paying taxes is part of being a citizen of a country. Countries, such as ours, do not run on air. For one of our two political parties to continue to hold the stance that the most wealthy of its citizens, who often pay less than the middle, not pay a fair share is unpatriotic. It seems to me, Republicans wave flags, chant "god bless America" and worship our cherished "warriors" more than anyone else, but when it come to asking the richest of us to pay less than 5% more than they are currently "paying," feels highly unpatriotic.

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erikj3Nov. 19, 12 7:50 PM

If you're paying more in taxes, it's probably because you're making more money! Why would someone complain about making money?

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my4centsNov. 19, 12 9:55 PM

probsolver - Name one conservative who has ever claimed that all taxes are evil. There is a huge difference between arguing for lower taxes and saying there should be none. Most conservatives simply oppose many of the spending decisions that government makes - especially when our taxes are then handed over to someone else who has done nothing to earn OUR money. When government gets out of the income transfer business, as well as the business subsidy business, and uses the revenue for those things designated in the Constitution, then if higher taxes are needed more would support the idea.

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ciamanNov. 19, 1211:19 PM

Yes, I agree with the idea that the rich people should pay a little more than average people. No problem here with that. But if the rich people are going to lose vast amounts of their riches, then they will take their money with them and go to another country to avoid the thrashing that the Democrats want. I would do the same if I was rich. Remember that it is the rich people whom made the business that provided the jobs and paid most of the taxes. The problem is that there is no longer any reason to build more stores or hire more people when there is a vast lack of demand. That is what all of us are seeing. Use your common sense and see the forest for the trees. The GOP will make some compromise, but not too much. Neither would the Democrats if they were in the GOP's shoes.

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lostwolf95Nov. 19, 1211:46 PM

most developed countries have much higher taxes than the US. Sweden and Germany both have the highest brackets around 70%. The US in its boom years of the 50s had a high tax rate of 90%. 39.5 percent is still too low, but it would be one step in the right direction. If you look at the level of income inequality in the US, we are comparable to Iran and Turkey. Do we really want to be listed in a group like that? The country with the best level of inequality, Sweden, has had the highest growth rate in the world since 2000.

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