The Spectacle Blog

Blame Game Gets Old Quick

By on 11.22.11 | 9:39AM

Sen. Pat Toomey tells the Weekly Standard's John McCormack that supercommittee Democrats rejected his offer to raise taxes on the two highest brackets by $250 billion out of sheer partisanship. 

For the supercommitttee's recommendations to move to the full Congress for an up-or-down vote, the six members of one side needed to peel off only one member of the other six to get a simple majority. By indicating a willingness to cede billions in taxes on high income earners, Toomey, a freshman Tea Party stalwart, accomplished two things. First, he demonstrated to Tea Partiers that maybe he wasn't as hard core as they had thought when they helped elect him. Second, he highlighted the Democrats' obstinance to the broader public, which is more interested in seeing the problem solved than partisan games. 

In a way, though, the whole exercise is pointless because there isn't a big constituency of reasonable observers that will vote based on which party is least reasonable. The reality is that almost everyone who's politically active understands that Democrats want to raise taxes, and Republicans don't, and vote accordingly. If the Democrats had taken up Toomey's framework and actually raised taxes on high income-earners, that would have been a noteworthy development. But since they didn't, the situation is basically unchanged, and there's not too much that postgame recriminations can do. 

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