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Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Rep. Eric Cantor and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
United in their austerity fetish.
It seems to be dawning on at least some Republicans that forcing the economy into crisis again might not be the greatest PR for them, so now they're leaning toward caving on middle class tax cuts in order to gain some leverage for their primary goal: screwing old and poor people.
Many GOP centrists and some conservatives are calling on House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to concede on rates now, while he still has some leverage to demand something in return. Republicans are eager to win changes to fast-growing safety-net programs, such as raising the eligibility age for Medicare and applying a less-generous measure of inflation to Social Security benefits.
Prompting this supposed change of heart on taxes?
Republicans are growing alarmed that they could be blamed if Washington is unable to resolve the fiscal stalemate and $500 billion in year-end spending cuts and tax increases kick in. Nearly 90 percent of U.S. households would face higher taxes, and economists warn that the economy could be jolted back into recession.
They're just now growing alarmed, after all the polls taken in the last month have shown healthy majorities of voters saying "yes, we're going to blame the Republicans." Slow learners, those Republicans. Not so slow, though, that they will forego opportunities to begin gutting Social Security and Medicare.

To do that, there seems to be a dawning realization among Republicans that Americans aren't enthralled with obstruction, and they're probably going to have to give on something. That could be strengthening Boehner's hand as leader, with Republicans seemingly starting to circle the wagons and support Boehner, even though they might be holding their noses while they do it.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:48 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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