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We have a shiny new offer on the table from the supercommittee Republicans:

Under the proposal, Republicans would agree to limit certain itemized tax deductions in return for a permanent reduction in marginal tax rates. This would not just extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, but reduce the rates that apply to each additional dollar of a taxpayer’s income.

In other words, its net effect would be to lower tax rates on the rich and, almost certainly, reduce revenue and make the deficit worse. In return for this, Democrats would get — what? Bigger spending cuts to make up for handing over more money to the rich?

It’s easy to be snarky about this, but seriously: what’s the deal here? Republicans can’t possibly think this would be a more attractive deal than simply doing nothing, can they? So what is this? Evidence of a Michael Corleone-style of negotiation? Plain ignorance of what their own plan would mean? Open contempt for Democrats? A rational belief that Democrats are terrible negotiators and might buy their plan out of desperation?

What’s going on here?

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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