According to a Democratic analysis of the Toomey proposal, which was circulated around Capitol Hill today, the Republican plan "would result in massive tax cuts relative to current law because it makes the Bush tax cuts permanent."
"Ultimately, it would also bring us even farther away from balancing the budget," the Democratic memo read. "The data demonstrate that our tax system would become dramatically less progressive under the tax system envisioned by Senator Toomey than it would be even if all the Bush tax cuts were made permanent. It would be a windfall for millionaires, and a large tax increase for struggling working families."
But today, the Senate's number two Democrat, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., called the Republican plan a "breakthrough" and added that he is "encouraged" that Republicans have opened the door to tax increases.
"The fact that some Republicans have stepped forward to talk about revenue, I think, is an invitation for Democrats to step forward and talk about entitlement reform as well as spending cuts," Durbin said at an off-camera briefing today. "Therein lies the core of an agreement."
"There's no excuse for not getting a result," Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., told reporters today. "You know, they're right at the edge of the cliff. They either will ascend the mountain or fall off the cliff."