The unmovable mountain which the GOP has climbed in their campaign to not raise taxes as a way to mitigate the debt crisis seems to have taken a few tentative steps to the left.
Republicans in Congress seem to be at odds with the “no-new-taxes” rhetoric which has been part of the Romney campaign until now. Election year posturing will most likely need to make way for a realistic solution to the serious issue of what to do about the astronomic deficit which is crippling the United States economy.
More than a dozen conservative senators voiced a willingness to contemplate increased taxes in order to reach an agreement on a Medicare overhaul and other entitlements that Republicans would like to see slashed. Republicans have been sending subtle messages that they are going to be more flexible in order to come to a budget agreement which is realistic and productive.
“Nobody wants to raise taxes, but the question is can you lower tax rates, lower loopholes and deductions and apply that to debt reduction? I think the answer is yes,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “If our position is every time you eliminated deductions and exemptions, all of it has to go to bring down rates, how do you pay off the debt?”
Republicans are also contemplating what a post-election Washington might look like if Romney should win the presidency.
“He’s facing the prospect of being president of the United States in a country with an intolerable debt, and the first thing he’s going to have to do is to ask the Congress to raise the debt limit,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), someone who has said he would discuss tax increases that went along with entitlement cuts. “He’s going to have to sit down with a Congress that’s going to be fairly evenly split between Democrats and Republicans and come to a result. That’s his job as president.”