The Toomey plan from Republican negotiators on the deficit-reduction “supercommittee” would produce only a modest increase in revenues — about $300 billion over ten years, relative to a baseline that assumes Congress extends all of the Bush tax cuts. But it would accomplish this through what appears to be a substantial shift in tax burdens from households at the top of the income scale to low- and middle-income households.
To try to secure an agreement, Democrats on the Joint Committee offered a plan that moved significantly toward the Republicans and a considerable way beyond the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson and Gang of Six plans, which conservative senators like Tom Coburn and Mike Crapo had embraced. Yet Republicans have summarily rejected the latest, rather conservative Democratic offer. Why?