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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Strange Bedfellows

   What do liberal Democrat Carl Levin and a conservative leader of the Michigan Tea Party Gene Clem have in common?
   Yes, they are both men and deeply interested in politics but that's about it.
   Well…not quite.
   Are you sitting down? They both want to close tax loopholes to help erase the mushrooming federal deficit.
   You would expect Michigan's senior U.S. Senator to favor that as he complains "some Republicans have drawn a line in the sand saying no to new revenue and making it impossible for us to do signficant deficit reduction."
    Having bumped into Mr. Clem and sensing a good contrasting story, he was asked about loopholes and he offered this.  "We agree.  We agree."
    Come on.
    "We need to fix the tax code and take out all those things (tax breaks) and then lower the tax rates…we are simpatico on that."
     But our dear Mr. Clem, the Tea Party crowd is opposed to anything that even looks like a tax increase and some will argue wiping out tax expenditures is exactly that.
     "I don't agree it's a tax increase," he notes in one breath but concedes, "the result is your revenue will probably increase.  I support that, yes."
      Now recall that during the Congressional meltdown debate the president and the house speaker were "this" close to doing just that when reportedly the Tea Party house members went bonkers and  killed the "Grand Bargain" which turned out to neither grand nor a bargain.
     So here are a liberal D and a conservative T.P.-er walking arm and arm on the need for loophole closings.
     Who'da thunk it?


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