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Atlantic's Sullivan: GOP 'Trying to Keep This Economy Bad,' Are 'Most Irresponsible Political Party'

Appearing as a panel member Sunday on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic charged that Republicans are "trying to keep this economy bad" to hurt President Obama as the group discussed extension of the Bush tax cuts. He then tagged the GOP as "the most irresponsible political party I've seen."

Sullivan began his rant against Republicans as he jumped into the conversation: "Can I just point out the fantastic irony that we've just gone through an election in which the Republicans campaigned day in and day out about the debt, and now we find after the election that they're the least willing to tackle it?"

When host Chris Matthews asked him to "explain," Sullivan continued: "Pure, utter cynicism. All they're doing is trying to keep this economy bad and keep nailing that in Obama - by the way, who's not responsible for most of it - and so that they can get back in power. They have no interest in solving this country's debt problems and fiscal problems. They're the most irresponsible political party I've seen in (INAUDIBLE)."

Moments earlier, John Heilemann of New York magazine had also argued against the extension of the Bush tax cuts. Heilemann:

In Washington, D.C., you have Democrats who are broadly not enthusiastic about deficit reduction, and you have Republicans and conservatives who are not serious about deficit reduction. This tax cut debate that we're having right now about the Bush increase, about extending the Bush tax cuts is a perfect example of that.

Back when these cuts were passed, in one of the rare examples of any kind of fiscal discipline on the part of the Bush administration, there was a sunset provision. They were supposed to end 10 years from now. Now we are here, 10 years are upon us, this is not about a tax increase, this was built into the legislation. Republicans would say, as they are saying now, that if we raises taxes, it will be bad for a down economy.

He concluded:

I guarantee you if the economy were booming today, these same Republicans would be saying we can't raise taxes now because it will choke off the boom. And there is no way to deal with the deficit problem without increasing revenue.

- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center