A long-running war between Democrats and Republicans over Bush-era tax cuts doomed the debt supercommittee’s chances of reaching a deal. Efforts to overhaul the tax code may await the same fate as both parties gear up to make taxes a central issue in the 2012 elections.
Republicans insisted during the supercommittee negotiations that curbing tax breaks to raise revenues be coupled with guarantees that all the Bush tax cuts would continue beyond 2012. The tax cuts, which affect families at every income level, were enacted under President George W. Bush and were extended through 2012 under President Barack Obama.
Republicans for years have bashed Democrats as eager to raise taxes — a theme they will employ often in next year’s elections — so they weren’t about to agree to a tax hike unless they also could take credit for preventing a huge tax increase scheduled to take effect in 2013.