One part of the ongoing budget farce in Washington has been a lot of dancing around the idea that maybe Republicans would agree to a plan that raises tax revenue without raising tax rates. Frustratingly, reporters have spent a lot of time querying Republican Party elected officials about this (they give cagey answers) rather than asking the person who really matters: Grover Norquist.
The text of the no-taxes pledge that he gets all Republicans to sign is terse and like all good elements of holy writ could be interpreted in different ways. But the Pope of the supply-side cult himself has weighed in and says this doesn't work for him:
“If you raise taxes, it’s a problem with the pledge,” Norquist says in an interview. “Romney’s plan was always revenue neutral – I’m in favor of getting rid of deductions and credits and reducing rates, as long as it’s revenue neutral. That’s always been the Republican position.”
No tax reform.Ergo the country will go over the fiscal cliff (temporarily) and then as Matt says here, everything from that point on becomes a tax cut. Republicans will then have no choice but to go along. Obama wins.
The details are important, but from this point forward, it's just a matter of time.