Republicans Are Still the Same Old Republicans

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John Boehner’s “Plan B” is obviously just political theater. Hell, it’s not even good political theater. Sure, it allows the the top marginal rate for millionaires to increase to its fiscal cliff level (i.e., the level it will be at if we do nothing), but capital gains rates would go down, dividend rates would go down, and estate tax rates would go down. “Pease” limits on itemized deductions are eliminated, and the planned phaseout of the personal exemption goes away too. On net, millionaires do pretty well for themselves. At the same time, tax rates on the poor and middle class would go up.

This is just a bad joke. But the negotiations of the past few weeks have made clear that nothing has changed in Republican-land. Boehner just flatly doesn’t have the support of his caucus for a real deal. So he makes up weird stuff about interest expenditures “not counting” as a pretense to reject Obama’s latest offer, and then tosses out a plainly unserious plan as a way (he hopes) of creating a land mine for Democrats.

This is grade school stuff. Apparently, there’s simply no way to make a deal with House Republicans. Boehner is doing his best to mask that uncomfortable fact, but that’s where we’re at. The lunatics are still running the asylum.

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