Debt talks stall as Democrats insist on raising taxes

Predictably, Reuters has a slightly more Democrat-friendly take on the situation, as evidenced by their headline: Debt talks collapse, Republicans walk out over taxes.

I like mine better.

U.S. budget talks collapsed on Thursday after Republican negotiators walked out, throwing doubt on Washington’s ability to reach a deal that would allow the government to keep borrowing and avoid a debt default.

Representative Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, said participants had identified trillions of dollars in potential spending cuts but were deadlocked over tax increases sought by Democrats. Republican Senator Jon Kyl also pulled out, according to an aide.

“Regardless of the progress that has been made, the tax issue must be resolved before discussions can continue,” Cantor said in a statement.

House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Washington, said Democrats must take tax hikes off the table.

“These conversations could continue if they take the tax hikes out of the conversation,” Boehner said.

The Democrats obviously haven’t learned much from last November’s elections, have they? They are still clinging bitterly to their precious tax hikes on Big Oil and all the other usual corporate bogeymen they love to flog so much. The good news is this means their party is in for even more pain in 2012. The bad news is that in the meantime we all have to suffer as they hold the economy hostage to their failed ideology.

Pelosi and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the ranking member of the Budget Committee, said at a press conference that they were told of Cantor’s exit only after they left a morning meeting at the White House on the debt ceiling vote.

“We left the meeting to find that Leader Cantor had walked out of the meetings….because Democrats want to raise taxes,” Pelosi said. “Yes, we do want to remove tax subsidies from big oil, we want to remove tax breaks from corporations that send jobs overseas. That list goes on.”

Tiresome demagoguery doesn’t strike me as a signal of good faith bargaining. I’m thinking the Republicans are smart to walk away here.

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