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Senate Democrats’ top political and policy-making strategist is imploring members of his party to abandon a tax reform principle members of both parties increasingly share: that Congress should reform the tax code by closing myriad, costly loopholes, and then use the new revenue to lower tax rates across the board, particularly for the wealthiest.

It’s a break with an increasingly bipartisan orthodoxy, first forged in 1986 when it served as the basis of Ronald Reagan’s tax reform, and more recently with a tax reform model promoted by the chairmen of President Obama’s commission on fiscal responsibility, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.

It’s also an admission that the approach requires adopting a losing negotiating posture.

“Tax reform 25 years ago was revenue-neutral. It did not strive to cut the debt. Today, we can’t afford for it not to,” Schumer will say at the National Press Club Tuesday. “It would be a huge mistake to take the dollars we gain from closing loopholes and put them into reducing rates for the highest income brackets, rather than into reducing the deficit.”

This is the best news I've read this week. As TPM titles the story, Schumer tells Democrats to grow a spine.

The problem: Bowles and Simpson--flush with millions of dollars from who knows where--are campaigning to bring us more Catfood; meeting scheduled with Gang of Eight soon.

And the new Catfood they are hacking looks like a poorer quality product than their first failed attempt.


Now, Simpson and Bowles are looking to retool their deficit reduction package to decrease the amount of revenue it raises — to address those concerns from the right regarding tax increases. And they’re zoning in on increased tweaks to health care programs and want to bolster social safety net protections for low-income Americans — to address concerns from the left.

Just the other day Bowles and Simpson endorsed a Tea Party Republican over a progressive Democrat candidate for Congress. Their involvement in attempting to influence a campaign for Congress destroys all appearances of bipartisanship especially for Bowles. He is what he is, a Wall Street insider.

One of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee-endorsed candidates for Congress, Annie Kuster in New Hampshire, just got attacked in full-page ads by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles of the Simpson-Bowles Commission -- which famously proposed gutting Social Security and the social safety net.

   Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Conrad and Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) made up the original Gang of Six. Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) have bumped the Gang’s numbers up to eight. Hat tip pistolSO

Let the above know what you think of their Mount Vernon meeting.

 It is akin to legislating without representation and I, for one, am not interested in a "Grand Bargain"

No catfood, please. I hope the President steps up as well and firms up his positions on SS, Medicare, Medicaid and tax cuts for the rich and very strongly distances himself from Bowles and Simpson, too.

These programs are the legacy, the very heart of what it means to be a democrat. Let's not allow the two Catfood leaders who represent no one but themselves and Wall Street use their wealth to cram down our throats a lame Duck Fuck.

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