What about your constituents?
Some Republican governors are softening on the party’s hard-line toward tax increases for the wealthy, suggesting that GOP congressmen at least be open to rate hikes in exchange for a comprehensive fiscal agreement on taxes and entitlements.
“The people have spoken, I think we’re going to have to be [flexible] now,” said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, when asked if his party would now have to be open to taxes on the highest earners. “Elections do have consequences. The president campaigned on that.”
Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, one of the most influential Republicans in the country, echoed McDonnell’s assessment that Republicans should be open to upping the rates of the top filers in exchange for significant Democratic concessions on Social Security, Medicare and deficit reduction.
“If there’s enough savings, if there’s enough entitlement reform, if there’s enough certainty about tax reform in the next few years, I would,” Barbour said when asked whether his party should consider softening its opposition to letting the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest expire.
Like McDonnell, the Mississippian indicated he’d rather not raise the top rate, calling it “bad economics” that could “hurt the recovery.”
But Barbour also bowed to pragmatism.
“You can’t be purist,” Barbour said, adding: “If we don’t do something now about entitlement reform it gets harder next year.”