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Post Partisan
Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 03/11/2011

Ryan opens the tax door?

On the Paul Ryan watch, an item worth noting from an AP report Thursday. Recall that Rep. Ryan's "Roadmap" incurs at least $62 trillion in debt because it keeps taxes at 19 percent of GDP even as the boomers age. But here's what the Associated Press reported Thursday:

Many Democrats and even a few Republicans in the Senate say the only way to tackle the nation's financial problems is to address both taxes and spending. But don't expect Ryan's budget plan to include any new taxes.
However, in a break with many Republicans, Ryan did open the door to higher taxes in the future, but only as part of a comprehensive overhaul of the tax code, and only after the big benefit programs have been reformed.
"If we just do a tax compromise without fundamentally fixing spending, then we're just fueling more spending," he said. "Do I believe you can get slightly higher revenues without harming jobs, and get better economic growth? Yes, I do believe that. But I don't think it's a worthwhile exercise if you don't deal with the problem and the problem is spending.'" [emphasis added]

Not a full embrace of reality, but every little step in reality's direction should be encouraged. And if this means the absence of taxes in Ryan's Roadmap reflects the Wisconsin lawmaker's negotiating stance and not his intellectual dishonesty, then that's a relevant thing to know. Ryan still can't be praised in this case as a "bold," "courageous" "thinker." But he does become a more interesting pol.

By  |  07:00 AM ET, 03/11/2011

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