While lawmakers are still far from a deal for a new plan aimed at curbing the deficit, there does seem to be growing consensus in Washington for tax reform. The latest evidence is the defection of several prominent Republicans from Grover Norquist's tax pledge, as well as the immediate pressure stemming from the fiscal cliff.
But why is it that Republicans and Democrats use different math when working toward a solution? As the Washington Post explains, "Democrats want to start by letting the top two tax rates return to 36 percent and 39.6 percent when the Bush tax cuts expire." Republicans, meanwhile, "insist on maintaining the Bush rates, at 33 percent and 35 percent, through 2013. Instead, they want to raise cash by rewriting the tax code to eliminate individual loopholes and deductions."
Those differences are guided by ideology. But the Post notes that Speaker John Boehner believes his party's approach to the tax issue would be less harmful to business and the overall economy. That's just one of the claims that could draw negotiations to a halt. So we ask again - why is it that questions on the economic impact of the various tax plans out there can't find common answers? We'll talk to economics professor Justin Wolfers about all the different solutions to the tax question when we see you at noon ET on NOW.
David Corn, Washington Bureau Chief, Mother Jones (@davidcorndc)
Benjamin Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine (@benwllacewells)
Joy Reid, Managing Editor, theGrio.com/msnbc Contributor (@thereidreport)
Richard Wolffe, Executive Editor, msnbc.com/msnbc Political Analyst (@richardwolffedc)
Justin Wolfers, Professor of Economics, University of Michigan (@justinwolfers)
Jose Diaz-Balart, Telemundo (@jdbalart)