Republicans Are Not Offering $300 Billion in New Taxes

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I know that constantly complaining about newspaper headlines can get old, but seriously, what’s up with this?

This is just flatly wrong. If you read down to the fifth paragraph, you’ll find this:

However, the tax increases would be offset by permanently extending the George W. Bush-era tax cuts past their 2012 expiration date, a move that would increase deficits by about $4 trillion over the next decade.

In other words, the net effect of the Republican deal would lower tax revenue by $3.7 trillion over the next decade. Even if you assume that only the top-end tax cuts are really on the table, extending them would cost $700 billion, which means the Republican deal nets out to negative $400 billion.

The headline itself is bad enough, suggesting that Republicans have made some kind of serious deficit reduction offer. But the subhead — which is taken directly from the story’s lead — is wildly misleading. The Republican deal doesn’t increase tax revenue by $300 billion. It just doesn’t.

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