Add GOP Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Mike Johanns of Nebraska to the list of Republicans who finally are joining the bandwagon of public opinion of those who want to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans as part of a deal to solve the coming so-called fiscal cliff.
President Obama and most Democrats want to restore higher Clinton-era tax rates on the richest taxpayers as part of an overall tax-and-deficit deal which the president and Republican House Speaker John Boehner are trying to hammer out in the coming weeks.
Corker appeared on that bastion of conservative media, Fox News, Sunday to state: “So, and a lot of people are putting forth a theory and I actually think it has merit where you go ahead and give the president the 2 percent increase that he is talking about, the rate increase on the top 2 percent.”
Meanwhile, Johanns was cited in a Friday news story in the Lincoln Journal Star which says, “Sen. Mike Johanns edged Friday toward willingness to consider an increase in the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans as part of a fiscal cliff agreement if it also includes ‘a good-faith down payment’ on reducing entitlement spending. ‘You know, I think there is an opportunity there,’ Johanns told Bloomberg TV anchor Al Hunt when he asked whether Republicans could go along with a Democratic plan that would restore the top tax rate to 39.6 percent with a promise that it could be revisited next year.”
Corker and Johanns join a growing list of congressional Republicans who are deciding to drop a strict no-new-taxes stance, including Reps. Steve LaTourette of Ohio, Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, and Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.