Veteran Republican senator denounces Boehner's tax offer

WASHINGTON Tue Dec 4, 2012 10:00am EST

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) speaks during the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana June 17, 2011. REUTERS/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) speaks during the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana June 17, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Republican senator underscored division within his party ranks on Tuesday by opposing a plan by the top Republican to increase tax revenues as part of a possible deal to avert the "fiscal cliff."

Senator Jim DeMint, a favorite of the anti-tax Tea Party movement, said the proposal by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner for $800 billion in increased tax revenues would "destroy jobs and allow Washington politicians" to swell, not reduce, the deficit.

Boehner and fellow House Republican leaders on Monday made the offer, which would raise revenue by eliminating some tax breaks and without increasing any tax rates.

The House Republican proposal was made as a counter offer to one by President Barack Obama, which would increase tax rates on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, while renewing a tax cut for 98 percent of Americans.

Boehner made the offer after some Republicans voiced support to raising taxes on the wealthy in order to obtain a deal by the end of the month to avoid a crush of automatic spending cuts and tax increases that could plunge the nation into a recession.

DeMint's action showed Boehner faces pressure to stand firm against raising taxes while some in his ranks believes he needs to do so to obtain elusive common ground with Obama's Democrats.

In a statement, DeMint said, "This isn't rocket science. Everyone knows that when you take money out of the economy (with tax hikes), it destroys jobs, and everyone knows that when you give politicians more money, they spend it," DeMint said.

"This is why Republicans must oppose tax increases and insist on real spending reductions that shrink the size of government and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money," the South Carolina Republican said.

(Reporting By Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Bill Trott)

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Comments (12)
xit007 wrote:
we all understand this and I am a fiscal conservative however skimming a little cream while reforming the spending would not jeopardize the economy. The current Washington crowd is responsible for this mess. There are no sacred cows at this point. How do you unwind the lobbyists who have filled the pockets of Washington elite – and the contrived tax code that enables extortion. YOu see if you make it simple – then there is no power in Washington for extracting a little juice for special favors in the law. But this cuts across both parties. Can Washington stop being so stupid and do the right thing…..a small increase with spending reform is not a death blow to out democracy and economy. But get government reigned back in… I don’t care about the tax rates – I care about our country.

Dec 04, 2012 10:33am EST  --  Report as abuse
pavoter1946 wrote:
Assume some one came to you with a sure shot for making money. Right now, one keeps at least 65 cents of every dollar one makes. If the rate went up to the Clinton years, the person will still pocket 61 cents of every dollar they make. So does anyone think the person will say no to 61 cents, because they couldn’t make 65 cents before?

Even when the Federal maximum was 91%, people still made money. And under the Start of the Reagan years, taxation was in the 70% range.

The wealthy have done very well in this economy. Time to quit the crocodile tears, and recognize one lives in a great nation, and many have not done very well. And not done very well since the system has been rigged to benefit the few.

Dec 04, 2012 10:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
Randy549 wrote:
@pavoter — The problem is that no one ever gets a sure shot for making money, so you always are dealing with a combo of the odds of making money combined with how much you’re going to get to keep. If the odds of making money are only 40% (which is probably optimistic given that over half of businesses fail within their first year), then whether you get to keep 65 cents vs. 61 cents is much more of a factor.

And you can forget the myth about 91% and 70% tax rates. NOBODY actually paid those rates at the time because there were so many deductions and tax shelters available. Many paid lower actual rates than they pay now.

If the system has been rigged to benefit the few and the wealthy have done very well, it sounds like you better get out there and start a business so you can be wealthy and rig the system like the people you seem to envy so much!

Dec 04, 2012 11:15am EST  --  Report as abuse
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