I've been tracking the Republicans' strategic decoupling of the deficit and taxes recently and here's the latest tactic:
NEW REIGN, NEW RULES: CUT/GO: No surprise here, but the new House Republican rules package for the 112th Congress will include a feature called Cut/Go, modeled on PAY/GO, which requires that new spending be offset with cuts elsewhere in the budget or tax increases, according to CQ's Sam Goldfarb. "It is similar to the pay-as-you-go rule ... except that it does not allow spending increases to be offset with new taxes or fees. Also, tax cuts would not have to be offset with spending reductions," Goldfarb writes. "Republicans already adopted the same provision in their conference rules, but incorporating it into House rules would extend its reach."This is very smart. They have realized that all this deficit hysteria inevitably leads to niggling thoughts that a wealthy person might have to kick in a little bit more to close the gap and they can't have that. So they are very systematically indoctrinating people with the idea that "the government doesn't have a revenue problem it has a spending problem." And once they seize upon a project like this, they don't just repeat the mantra like a flock of mindless parrots (which they do) they also institutionalize their ideas with rules and procedures to make it seem as if there's just no other way to think about it.
At this point, my money's on them successfully taking tax hikes permanently off the table. The owners know that deficits don't matter --- and they think feudalism is their due.
By the way, the Democrats could do things like this too --- like requiring that there be a "cost/benefit" analysis on the effect on the average American every time they want to cut spending. But they don't.