CONGRESSIONAL GOP TO UP THE ANTE ON TAX CUT DEBATE…. In recent weeks, Republican leaders have offered their ideas of “compromise” when it comes to lower tax rates for the wealthiest Americans. President Obama wants to cut middle-class taxes, but allow lower rates for the rich to expire on schedule, and in response the GOP has offered three alternatives:

(1) Give Republicans everything they want for one year; (2) give Republicans everything they want for two years; or (3) give Republicans everything they want for three years. In each “deal,” at the end of the temporary reprieve, the party would simply demand they get everything they want all over again.

But while these silly “concessions” continue to be bandied about, the party is also moving forward with a plan based on its ultimate goal.

Even as they hammer Democrats for running up record budget deficits, Senate Republicans are rolling out a plan to permanently extend an array of expiring tax breaks that would deprive the Treasury of more than $4 trillion over the next decade, nearly doubling projected deficits over that period unless dramatic spending cuts are made.

The measure, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) this week, would permanently extend the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts that benefit virtually every U.S. taxpayer, rein in the alternative minimum tax and limit the estate tax to estates worth more than $5 million for individuals or $10 million for couples.

Aides to McConnell said they have yet to receive a cost estimate for the measure. But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently forecast that a similar, slightly more expensive package that includes a full repeal of the estate tax would force the nation to borrow an additional $3.9 trillion over the next decade and increase interest payments on the national debt by $950 billion. That’s more than four times the projected deficit impact of President Obama’s health-care overhaul and stimulus package combined.

It’s hard to even know where to start with such nonsense, but let’s note from the outset that the underlying economic philosophy here is discredited garbage. Bush, McConnell, and their cohorts spent much of the last decade telling us if they could just slash taxes by trillions of dollars, primarily benefitting the rich, we’d see robust economic growth and the creation of millions of jobs. They got exactly the policy they wanted, and the results — a shattered economy, massive deficits, stagnant wages, and a jobs crisis — speak for themselves.

What’s more, it’s worth emphasizing a simple question: how would Republicans pay for $4 trillion in tax cuts? The answer: they wouldn’t. Every penny would just be added to the debt.

And let’s also not forget that Republicans have spent nearly two years insisting that nothing matters more than fiscal responsibility. Those rascally Democrats keep trying to strengthen the economy when what they should be doing is focusing on deficit reduction and a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

I guess that no longer applies. The Republican Party added $5 trillion to future generations’ tab in the last decade, and the Republican Party wants to add $4 trillion more. The insanity of GOP nevertheless running on a platform of fiscal responsibility doesn’t seem to bother anyone.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.