John Boehner suggested last week that Republicans would be open to compromise on taxes — so long as tax rates don't go up. Now Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol has suggested that they give way on that, too. On Fox News this Sunday, Kristol said:
You know what? It won’t kill the country if Republicans raise taxes a little bit on millionaires. It really won’t, I don’t think.
I don’t really understand why Republicans don’t take Obama’s offer to freeze taxes for everyone below $250,000. Make it $500,000, make it a million.
Really? The Republican party is gonna fall on its sword to defend a bunch of millionaires, half of whom voted Democratic, and half of whom live in Hollywood and are hostile to Republicans?
Kristol's comments immediately caught fire, but it's hardly the first time that he's pushed back against the Republican opposition to tax increases. Last year on Fox News, Kristol disagreed with the GOP's insistence on lower corporate and business tax rates:
Republicans are making a mistake if they focus on big businesses and corporate tax rates...Corporations have a ton of cash. The corporate tax rate is not killing big business in America.
And during this year's campaign, in August, Kristol said that Republicans hadn't sold voters on the party's position on taxes:
It’s the tax cuts for the wealthy, where Republicans have not done a particularly good job of defending it and I think you’ll see Democratic attacks focus on that side of the equation.
In the past, Kristol's criticism has prompted a backlash from the tea party right flank of the party: Freedomworks' Max Pappas, for instance, branded him as a "Big Government Conservative" for his views on taxes and the bailout. So it's uncertain how much party elites like Kristol will be able to move the needle within the GOP ranks this time around.