The Hill's Michael O'Brien reports that Tom Coburn, one of the Republican members of the Senate "gang of six" working on a possible compromise deficit plan, suggested on Laura Ingraham's radio show that "[t]here's no plan to have a significant tax hike on anyone."
Coburn appears to have confused the issue later in the interview, though:
The Oklahoma conservative suggested that the Gang of Six is examining a kind of tax reform similar to the type suggested by President Obama's fiscal commission, in which marginal rates are lowered but many tax credits are eliminated from the code.
"Will some people pay increased taxes? I'm sure they will," Coburn said of the resulting tax burden from such a plan.
This gets to the heart of the issue: Coburn doesn't seem to think that reforming the tax code in such a way that revenues increase while rates decrease counts as a tax hike. Yet, according to Grover Norquist's no-tax pledge (which Coburn has taken), that does constitute a tax hike.
Without further clarification, it looks like Coburn and the other two Republicans in the Gang of Six are still headed for a reckoning with the right.
UPDATE: And Grover Norquist "declares political war" on Coburn.
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