Coburn Tax Hike Talk Brings Big Wet Kiss from Robert Reich and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell


Posted by John Kartch on Friday, June 17th, 2011, 5:39 PM PERMALINK


Senator Tom Coburn continues to be showered with praise for his increasingly aggressive calls for tax increases as part of a grand compromise with President Obama and congressional Democrats.  On Thursday night’s edition of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, the following exchange took place:

MSNBC’s LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: “This is the most dramatic development in Republican tax policy in the 21st century.  Listen to what Senator Coburn said Tuesday on this program about what this could mean for the sanity of tax policy going forward!”:

COBURN: “Between now and the next year, as we go to solve this problem, everybody knows there's gonna have to be a compromise on some sort of revenue increase as we make the major cuts. That's just fact. You can deny it. And Grover's old news. It doesn't matter what he says. It doesn't matter what he wants. He's old news. We're gonna fix the country, and some of that is gonna be revenue increases. That's the only way you're going to build a compromise and get it signed by this President. Now I understand that, and everybody else – the fact is, most people won't admit it.”

O’DONNELL: “Joining me now is former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, he is a professor of public policy at University of California at Berkeley and author of ‘Aftershock.’ Robert, I think Senator Coburn just said something that you and I have waited a long time to hear, so long that it's worth hearing some of that again.”

COBURN: “We're gonna fix the country, and some of that is going to be revenue increases. That's the only way you're gonna build a compromise and get it signed by this President. Now I understand that, and everybody else – the fact is, most people won't admit it.”

O’DONNELL:  “We actually just heard a conservative Republican say that we're going to fix the country, and some of that is gonna be through revenue increases, tax increases. Doesn't want to use the word ‘tax’ but that's what it is. We’ve got a Republican here talking about tax increases. Is this the first flicker of hope that the Republican tax cut fever might be fading?”

ROBERT REICH: “Lawrence, I think that it is a big deal…We’ve got to be practical, we’ve got to be reasonable, we’ve got to deal with this budget deficit’. And maybe we are seeing the beginning of a willingness to raise taxes on corporations and indeed, raise taxes on the very wealthy.  Wouldn’t that be something!”

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