Toomey’s Tax Hikes

When a prominent Republican senator is praised as a “compromiser” in mainstream publications, conservatives start grinding their teeth. The Right has no shortage of sarcastic terms for conservative candidates who shift leftward once elected — “going Washington,” “growing in office,” “Strange New Respect.” Once a half-dozen Republicans were named to the supercommittee, conservatives looked for the weakest link, the lawmaker most likely to acquiesce to a Democratic plan that included tax hikes. The one they probably suspected the least was Sen. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania, a tea-party favorite and former president of the anti-tax activist group Club for Growth.

So when Toomey offered a proposal that included billions in new “revenue,” he raised eyebrows among fiscal conservatives, as his idea represented a significant concession. The Toomey plan included $250 billion in revenues from eliminating or reducing tax deductions for the top two income brackets (which start at $174,400 for those filing singly and $212,300 for those filing jointly in this tax year). The plan also included $100 billion in “non-tax revenues,” described as user fees and asset sales.

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