Republicans Get Even Weirder

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We have a shiny new offer on the table from the supercommittee Republicans:

Under the proposal, Republicans would agree to limit certain itemized tax deductions in return for a permanent reduction in marginal tax rates. This would not just extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, but reduce the rates that apply to each additional dollar of a taxpayer’s income.

In other words, its net effect would be to lower tax rates on the rich and, almost certainly, reduce revenue and make the deficit worse. In return for this, Democrats would get — what? Bigger spending cuts to make up for handing over more money to the rich?

It’s easy to be snarky about this, but seriously: what’s the deal here? Republicans can’t possibly think this would be a more attractive deal than simply doing nothing, can they? So what is this? Evidence of a Michael Corleone-style of negotiation? Plain ignorance of what their own plan would mean? Open contempt for Democrats? A rational belief that Democrats are terrible negotiators and might buy their plan out of desperation?

What’s going on here?

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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