Hasn't the GOP Already Won Here?

Republicans can declare victory on fiscal cliff talks: Gerald Seib
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2012 1:53 PM CST
Hasn't the GOP Already Won Here?
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., listens to questions at a news conference following a GOP strategy session at the Capitol in Washington, Dec. 11, 2012.    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Republicans have been too busy fretting over their concessions on the fiscal cliff to stop and do one thing: declare victory, writes Gerald Seib at the Wall Street Journal. Headlines over top-tier tax rates have obscured the fact that at least 98% of Bush tax cuts will remain—a major accomplishment for conservatives, especially considering how Democrats railed against them in 2001. Now both parties agree that low taxes should remain for Americans making less than $250,000 a year. "In other words, Democrats aren’t just accepting, but embracing and extending, at least 98% of the 2001 Bush tax cuts," Seib writes.

So why aren't Republicans whooping it up? Well, if Democrats succeed in raising taxes on the wealthiest, "they will have achieved a significant Democratic goal of making the tax code more progressive," Seib admits. But there's more: The political class is intensely focused on tax rates for the 1%, and some on the right consider any compromise a form of defeat. So it's rare to see a conservative "who declares any victory, and common are those who say they have been bested," writes Seib. "Which is a bit odd." Click for Seib's full column. (More fiscal cliff stories.)

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