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We have a shiny new offer on the table from the supercommittee Republicans:

Under the proposal, Republicans would agree to limit certain itemized tax deductions in return for a permanent reduction in marginal tax rates. This would not just extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, but reduce the rates that apply to each additional dollar of a taxpayer’s income.

In other words, its net effect would be to lower tax rates on the rich and, almost certainly, reduce revenue and make the deficit worse. In return for this, Democrats would get — what? Bigger spending cuts to make up for handing over more money to the rich?

It’s easy to be snarky about this, but seriously: what’s the deal here? Republicans can’t possibly think this would be a more attractive deal than simply doing nothing, can they? So what is this? Evidence of a Michael Corleone-style of negotiation? Plain ignorance of what their own plan would mean? Open contempt for Democrats? A rational belief that Democrats are terrible negotiators and might buy their plan out of desperation?

What’s going on here?

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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