Add another tally to the “Yes” column on the “Is 2012 the year of the Apocalypse?” score sheet: a Republican in Congress has discovered the virtues of “revenue increases,” the polite society term for the more vulgar swear “tax hikes.” Who is the lucky apostate? Why, it’s the Senate’s favorite old Southern belle Miss Lindsey Graham, who is wilting like a sun-starved flower over the impending $600 billion in automatic budget cuts that the Pentagon will face starting next year if Congress does not act to reverse the sequestration agreement from last fall’s Budget Control Act (which also cuts an equal amount from domestic programs, as a punishment to the country for electing intransigent nuts to Congress). So, will Congress act? Will they get together and agree on places where budget cuts can be made to avoid sequestration without increasing the deficit? Lindsey Graham has your answer to these questions: NO. NOW RAISE TAXES.
First of all: Hahahaha, here is Lindsey Graham back in February:
“We’re not going to use a millionaire tax to fix every problem around here,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). “If the Democrats have a problem with the way we’re paying for this, surely to God in a budget this big we can find enough money to avoid decimating the Department of Defense.”
This assured self-confidence has now all but given way to abject desperation. From the New York Times:
Mr. Graham is openly talking about revenue increases to offset the costs. Even South Carolina’s ardently conservative House members, Mick Mulvaney, Joe Wilson and Jeff Duncan, said last week that they were ready to talk.
And if the news that some Republicans are publicly advocating tax hikes isn’t apocalyptic enough for you, Lindsey Graham wants his tax hikes so that he can start actual Apocalypse:
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“The debate on the debt is an opportunity to send the world a signal that we are going to remain the strongest military force in the world,” [Graham] said. “We’re saying, ‘We’re going to keep it, and we’re going to make it the No. 1 priority of a broke nation.’ ”
To that end, his arguments grow increasingly complex, involving a near-term confrontation with Syria and what he is sure will be a military strike on Iran late this summer, “an air and sea campaign from hell,” he tells an audience in Sumter. A large screen at the Third Army command center in nearby Shaw Air Force Base seemed to back him up on that. It broadcast a multicolored map of Iran with its air defenses demarcated in loud, red circles.
Raising taxes to start more wars! That should go over well. Job well done, Ham Biscuits. [NYT]