RAISE TAXES: Report says Rick Crawford will break from GOP and back millionaires tax.

  • RAISE TAXES: Report says Rick Crawford will break from GOP and back millionaires’ tax.

The freshman Republican congressman from Jonesboro today unveils a plan calling for a tax increase on millionaires.

The social media is already buzzing with aggrieved howls from teabaggers and other Republicans.

Politico got the scoop on Crawford’s big rollout this morning of a plan to make him look more like a man of the Delta than a tool of the fat cats.

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Crawford will propose the additional tax— expected to be north of 2.5 percent — on individual income over $1 million as part of a broader fiscal responsibility package.

“He’s watched the Gangs of Six and 100 and deficit commissions, as well as leadership’s budget and tax plan, and he feels there will never be a deal that will pass the Senate without a revenue component,” a Crawford aide said, describing the legislation without attribution because it has not yet been officially announced.

The rollout will be on KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, the most influential media outlet in the sprawling 1st Congressional District, where Crawford will face the winner of a three-way Democratic primary in the fall. His poll numbers have consistently reflected vulnerability, enhanced by his votes with Republican agenda bills punitive to the poor and elderly in his district.

Crawford will catch hell from Grover Norquist and other party controllers undoubtedly. But, whatever the motivation here, let’s say it: He’s right as Robert Bartlett and other sane conservatives have been saying. Federal finances can’t be fixed solely by spending cuts. Taxes, at their lowest point in years, must be raised, too.

According to a source close to the Arkansan, the lawmaker “feels that if were going to make any progress in addressing the deficit and the debt eventually, then we need to find compromise.”

A fellow Republican, Sen. Johnny Key, Twittered this morning that Crawford would tie his tax to a constitutional balanced budget amendment. I don’t think that will be sufficient sop to the millionaires, particularly since it would be a long and uncertain road to a budget amendment, while a tax increase would presumably be now.

Here’s more on Crawford’s plan, which will go nowhere, most likely, though it could have some popular appeal. The millionaire tax — 5 percent on income above $1 million — would go away in 5 years if the balanced budget amendment didn’t pass.

PS: Potential Democratic opponent Clark Hall rolls out the embarrassing record Crawford compiled before becoming a born-again tax increaser: