Can the Supercommittee Screw Republicans Over Taxes?

Prodded by Mickey Kaus, Keith Hennessey reads into the rules of the Supercommittee:

I think the Committee can only get scored with deficit reduction for raising tax rates if:

- it starts its process by “cutting” those rates and makes its deficit reduction job harder, then later undoes that all or part of that decision;

- or it proposes to raise rates before 2013 or above the current law rates for 2013 and later.

The second bullet means Committee would get scored with deficit reduction if they “repeal tax cuts for the rich” effective in 2012, or if they raised the top rate to 45% in 2013, above the current law 2013 and Clinton-era 39.6% rate.

Interesting. Not many people paid attention to Harry Reid’s closing remarks in the debt debate today, but he did cheekily say that revenues would “have to” be part of a final agreement. I’ve just been taking for granted that when Democrats limit the revenue debate to tax breaks, they’re not full of it, and taking for granted that a committee with six Republicans will have six “no” votes on any tax rate increase.