In his New York Times column Tuesday, entitled The Mother of All No Brainers, David Brooks talks about the new breed of cat mentioned by Joe Biden, although he didn’t call them that. He spoke of the new Republican since the last election. Brooks contends that the Republicans have extracted trillions of dollars in concessions out of the Democrats:
In negotiations with Democrats on the debt ceiling, Brooks says that Republicans have already extracted large concessions: trillions of dollars in spending cuts, including cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, so long as Republicans agree to raise taxes for the wealthiest Americans and give fewer tax breaks to oil companies.
It’s the “the deal of the century,” Brooks writes, and “if the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment.”
There’s the catch. Is the Republican Party normal now? Brooks thinks not and continues to pontificate:
If the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment. It is being offered the deal of the century: trillions of dollars in spending cuts in exchange for a few hundred billion dollars of revenue increases.
A normal Republican Party would seize the opportunity to put a long-term limit on the growth of government. It would seize the opportunity to put the country on a sound fiscal footing. It would seize the opportunity to do these things without putting any real crimp in economic growth.
The party is not being asked to raise marginal tax rates in a way that might pervert incentives. On the contrary, Republicans are merely being asked to close loopholes and eliminate tax expenditures that are themselves distortionary.
This, as I say, is the mother of all no-brainers.