WASHINGTON -- Conservative commentator and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said Sunday the Republican Party should accept new ideas, including the much-criticized suggestion by Democrats that taxes be allowed to go up on the wealthy.
"It won't kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires," he said on "Fox News Sunday." "It really won't, I don't think. I don't really understand why Republicans don't take Obama's offer."
"Really? The Republican Party is going to fall on its sword to defend a bunch of millionaires, half of whom voted Democratic and half of whom live in Hollywood and are hostile?" he asked.
One of the biggest fights as Congress returns will be over taxes, as cuts put in place by former President George W. Bush are set to expire at the end of the year. Republicans want to extend those tax cuts for all income brackets, while Democrats want to raise revenue by allowing them to expire for wealthy Americans.
Exit polls last week found that six in ten voters supported ending the tax cuts on the wealthy, but House Republicans have remained adamantly opposed to allowing any of the rates to expire, instead supporting other changes to the tax code. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated on Friday that was unlikely to change.
"By lowering rates and cleaning up the tax code, we know that we're going to get more economic growth," he said at a press conference. "It'll bring jobs back to America. It'll bring more revenue. We also know that if we clean up the code and make it simpler, the tax code will be more efficient. The current code only collects about 85 percent of what's due the government. And it's clear that if you have a simpler, cleaner, fairer tax code, that efficiency -- the effectiveness and efficiency of the tax code increases exponentially."
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