The Republicans’ “Serious” Offer, in One Chart.

Confused about what exactly the GOP’s latest fiscal offer includes? Wondering whether it might not be some sort of conservative-Democratic proposal from Erskine Bowles, in spite of not being Simpson-Bowles, nor proposed by Bowles, nor endorsed by Bowles? Steve Benen has come to our aid:

Steve Benen-Chart of Republicans' fiscal offer

That pretty much does it. The one thing I disagree with Steve on is his assertion that the hard Right is only pretending to dislike the offer. I think its feeling of betrayal at Boehner’s vague promise to close unspecified loopholes and use the revenue to reduce the deficit is sincere—absurd, but sincere. Conservative activists really believe that raising taxes is evil, full stop, and that any Republican proposal to do so, however nebulous or presumptively regressive, counts as a sellout. Or rather: while some top conservative strategists may be saying this strategically to gain leverage, if the rank-and-file takes the propaganda to be the real conservative position, it starts to become such.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

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Andrew Sabl

Andrew Sabl is a Visiting Professor in the Program on Ethics, Politics, and Economics and in Political Science at Yale University.