The New York Times
Dec. 22, 2012
On a Saturday afternoon in October 1990, Senator Pete V. Domenici turned from a conversation on the Senate floor, caught the eye of a clerk by raising his right hand and voted in favor of a huge and contentious bill to reduce federal deficits. Then he put his hand back into his pocket and returned to the conversation.
It was the end of an era, although no one knew it then. It was the last time any Congressional Republican has voted for higher income taxes.
The conservative revolt against that 1990 legislation — and against President George Bush, who violated his own “Read my lips” vow not to increase taxes — was a seminal moment for Republicans. The party of balanced budgets became the party that opposed tax increases...
Mr. Domenici, the New Mexico Republican who played a significant role in negotiating the 1990 deal, which he regarded as necessary to reduce federal deficits, left the Senate in 2009. But he has continued to advocate a similar approach as a co-chairman of a commission organized by the Bipartisan Policy Center that called for a mix of revenue increases and spending cuts to stabilize the federal debt.
He said he was frustrated by the reflexive opposition of conservatives to any kind of tax increase, but he added that Democrats had also shown little willingness to negotiate necessary cuts in spending on federal entitlement programs.
“There has been a hardening in the Democratic line, too,” he said. “There isn’t any Democrat in here that is going to help with these cuts.”
Read the full article here
Economic Policy Project