Raised Revenues Does Not Necessarily Mean Raised Taxes

Republicans are willing to compromise on a plan that would reasonably address the deficit .

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The word in Washington today is that the so called supercommittee is "stalled" on the issue of revenues. Yet buried in all the coverage is that the Republicans would be willing to exchange revenues for entitlement reforms. Here's how Speaker Boehner put it, according to CBS

"I think there is room for revenues, but I think there clearly is a limit to the amount of revenues that are available." His comments follow a bipartisan letter penned by 100 House members saying revenues must be "on the table." Still, Boehner said Republicans will bend on revenues only if the Democrats are open to reforming programs like Medicare and Social Security, CBS News reports. "Without real reform on the entitlement side, I don't know how you put any revenue on the table," Boehner said.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the budget and deficit.]

There's a difference between raising taxes and raising revenues. We could see a lot more revenues coming in if lawmakers would agree to lower marginal tax rates —or even a lower flat tax—while getting rid of deductions and loopholes. Those who have taken the anti-tax pledge would be able to sleep at night, because that's not "raising taxes." Best of all, it would allow both sides to move forward on entitlement reform next. Republicans seem to be moving in the direction of only agreeing to revenue-enhancing ideas if Democrats will agree to entitlement reforms.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on the Democratic Party.]

That's what former Gov. Mitt Romney proposed Friday at a Tea Party eventin Washington. The Washington Post says the broad framework he's put forth for reforming Medicare and Social Security is "similar" to Rep. Paul Ryan's plan; he'd also cap federal spending at 20 percent of GDP by the end of his first term and reduce non-defense discretionary spending to 2008 levels. All good news for the longstanding majority of Americans who believe the country is on the wrong track.

  • Debate Club: Is a flat tax a good idea?
  • Read 10 Things You Didn't Know About the Bush Tax Cuts.
  • Check out a roundup of editorial cartoons on the economy.