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John Kartch

White House Signals New Push for Value-Added Tax?


Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, August 30th, 2011, 11:49 AM PERMALINK


Although the imposition of a value-added tax (VAT) would violate President Barack Obama’s central campaign promise – a “firm pledge” that no family making less than $250,000 per year would see “any form of tax increase” – he continues to surround himself with those sympathetic to the tax.

President Obama, who in April 2010 deemed a VAT “something that would be novel for the United States”, announced on Monday his intention to nominate Princeton University’s Alan B. Krueger to head the Council of Economic Advisors.  In a 2009 blog post for the New York Times, Krueger wrote:

“Why not pass a 5 percent consumption tax to take effect two years from now?”

Even when pressed, the Obama White House has never ruled out a VAT.  As the timeline below illustrates, those in and around the White House have been flirting with a VAT from the earliest days:

December 18, 2008:  The Obama transition team announces VAT advocate Ezekiel Emanuel’s appointment as special advisor for healthcare at the Office of Management and Budget.  Emanuel had long pushed for a VAT as a way to pay for government-funded universal healthcare. (See here, here, and here.)

Sept. 25, 2009:  John Podesta, former head of Obama’s transition team, floats the VAT on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt”:

“There’s going to have to be revenue in this budget,” said Podesta,

A so-called consumption tax would “create a balance” with European and Japanese economies and “could potentially have a substantial effect on competitiveness,” said Podesta.

Podesta said such a tax may be regressive, but can be balanced by exempting some products and using “the money to support low-wage workers.”   

Sept. 29, 2009:  Obama advisor Paul Volcker suggests a carbon tax and a VAT as a way to raise large amounts of revenue.

"Those are the two big ones.  I'd love to see the expenditures held in check so we don't have to do that." 

Sept. 30, 2009:  The Center for American Progress—a group with close White House ties—releases a draft report encouraging the Obama Administration to consider a VAT.  The report concludes:

"In all seriousness, responsible people know that additional revenue has to be part of the mix even if they believe in lower taxes in general.” 

The White House did not respond to a Wall Street Journal reporter’s requests for comment about the proposal.

Feb. 19, 2010:  During a Bloomberg interview, Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of Obama’s debt commission, said:

“A value-added tax -- I’ve looked at lots of them -- ought to be something that’s on the table.”

April 6, 2010:  Speaking at a New York Historical Society event, Obama advisor Paul Volcker said a VAT is “not as toxic an idea” as it has been in the past and concluded:

"If at the end of the day we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes." 

April 19, 2010:  The New York Times reports that the White House economic team has been calculating government revenues from a possible VAT:

But since any Social Security plan would probably preserve benefits for those nearing retirement, it would not help the administration achieve its goal of reducing the deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product, from 10 percent, within a decade.

One way to reach that 3 percent goal, by the calculations of Mr. Obama’s economic team: a 5 percent value-added tax, which would generate enough revenue to simultaneously permit the reduction in corporate tax rates Republicans favor.

April 20, 2010:  On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, White House economic advisor Austan Goolsbee refuses six consecutive opportunities to permanently close the door on a VAT: 

MARK HALPERIN:  Will the President ever consider tax reform that will involve a VAT?  Would he ever consider it?

(Refusal #1)  GOOLSBEE:  Look, we are not, the report -- and I’m not sure where it came from cause it’s not anything I saw -- was that they were contemplating a VAT, that is not true.  We have stood up this bipartisan fiscal commission, which as I understand it is considering a whole bunch of things.

HALPERIN:  But would he ever consider.

(Refusal #2) GOOLSBEE:  He’s going to consider whatever comes out of that fiscal commission.

HALPERIN:  So if they recommend a VAT, he would consider it?

(Refusal #3) GOOLSBEE:  I’m not going to get into a linguistic game about it. 

HALPERIN:  Well it’s not a linguistic game. 

(Refusal #4) GOOLSBEE:  He’s looking to see what comes out of the fiscal commission.  He’s going to look at it.

HALPERIN: We had a President for eight years who said ‘no new taxes, we’re not going to raise taxes’.  This President said ‘no taxes on the middle class’.  Arguably there are taxes in the healthcare bill that will hit the middle class.  So again, a VAT would be a big change in America.  Would he consider it, if the commission recommends it, would he consider it?

(Refusal #5) GOOLSBEE:  As you know, the President cut taxes for 95 percent of the workers in the stimulus.  Many many billions of dollars.  The President is committed to this bipartisan fiscal commission process and he’s going to seriously consider all the things that they put forward and he’s going to look at them.  It doesn’t mean he’s supporting a VAT.  We haven’t even contemplated a VAT.

HALPERIN:  But if they recommend it, it’s not something he’d rule out?

(Refusal #6) GOOLSBEE: I’m not going to get into a hypothetical thing about it.  He’s committed to a bipartisan fiscal commission. 

April 21, 2010:  President Obama makes it official:  He is open to the imposition of a VAT on the American people.  Obama’s admission came during an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood.  Asked if he could see the potential for a VAT, the President said:

"I know that there's been a lot of talk around town lately about the value-added tax. That is something that has worked for some countries. It's something that would be novel for the United States.  And before, you know, I start saying 'this makes sense or that makes sense,' I want to get a better picture of what our options are.”

August 29, 2011:  Obama announces his intention to appoint Alan Krueger to head the Council of Economic Advisors.  In a 2009 New York Times blog post, Krueger wrote:

“Why not pass a 5 percent consumption tax to take effect two years from now?”

 

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Biden and Conrad Reach Agreement: Raising Taxes is "Patriotic"


Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 22nd, 2011, 6:59 PM PERMALINK


Today, during a live interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said the following:

“Shame on you, Grover Norquist. Let's have some patriotism!  Let’s have some people that come forward and say ‘We understand when you are borrowing 41 cents of every dollar, it’s time for everybody to contribute and that includes the wealthiest among us that he apparently is so beholden to for whatever reason, that he will accept no change.”

Conrad’s comments echo the Sept. 18, 2008 sentiments of then-candidate Joe Biden.  As reported by the Associated Press -- “Biden calls paying higher taxes a patriotic act” -- Biden, stumping for the campaign tax increase plan, said:

“It's time to be patriotic ... time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut.”

As noted by Samuel Johnson, appeals to false patriotism are “the last refuge of a scoundrel.” 

 

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Coburn's Top Five "Let's Hike Taxes" Quotations


Posted by John Kartch on Monday, July 18th, 2011, 11:34 AM PERMALINK


WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) is expected to release his fiscal plan detailing a $1 trillion net tax increase.  Below are the top five “Let’s Hike Taxes” quotations from Coburn:

“Why will I take on those that are against tax increases for Republicans?  Because it’s the right thing to do to save our country.”

-Tom Coburn, 29 May 2011, on C-SPAN’s Newsmaker program [Video Link]

“I’ve been just as vocal supporting revenue increases after I left the commission as I was before.

              -Tom Coburn, 29 May 2011, on C-SPAN’s Newsmaker program [Video Link]

              "Do I believe we have to raise taxes to be able to get a deal to cut spending?  Yeah."

-Tom Coburn, 9 June 2011, on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show [Video Link]

“You know, the reason I'll stand up as a conservative Republican, one of the biggest deficit hawks in Congress, and say ‘I'll negotiate on taxes’ -- because our country’s in trouble.”

 -Tom Coburn, 14 June 2011, on the Early Show, CBS News [Video Link]

“Everybody knows there is gonna have to be a compromise on some sort of revenue increase as we make the major cuts.  That’s just fact.”

 -Tom Coburn, 14 June 2011, on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell [Video Link]

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Obamacare Tanning Tax Reaches One Year Mark


Posted by John Kartch on Friday, July 1st, 2011, 12:40 PM PERMALINK


Today marks the one year anniversary of the implementation of the Obamacare indoor tanning tax.  The punitive 10 percent tax was among the first of twenty-one Obamacare tax hikes to take effect, and is just one of the seven Obamacare tax hikes that break President Obama’s “firm pledge” that no family making less than $250,000 per year would see “any form of tax increase.”

Taken together, the full slate of Obamacare tax hikes constitute one of the largest tax increases in American history – more than $500 billion over ten years.  On April 14, the first of these tax hikes was repealed:  The 1099 small business paperwork tax.  This Obamacare tax would have required every business in America to issue a “1099” tax form to every office supply store, gas station, restaurant, etc. from which they bought at least $600 in goods and services throughout the year.

Congressman Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) have introduced legislation to repeal the indoor tanning tax (H.R. 2092 and S. 1298, respectively).

Below is the full list of Obamacare tax hikes, their implementation dates, and page numbers in the legislation where the tax hikes can be found:

(REPEALED) 1. Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (Tax hike of $17.1 bil/takes effect Jan. 2012): Requires businesses to send 1099-MISC information tax forms to corporations (currently limited to individuals), a huge compliance burden for small employers. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,960-1,961

2. Individual Mandate Excise Tax (takes effect in Jan 2014): Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income surtax according to the higher of the following

 

1 Adult

2 Adults

3+ Adults

2014

1% AGI/$95

1% AGI/$190

1% AGI/$285

2015

2% AGI/$325

2% AGI/$650

2% AGI/$975

2016 +

2.5% AGI/$695

2.5% AGI/$1390

2.5% AGI/$2085

 

Exemptions for religious objectors, undocumented immigrants, prisoners, those earning less than the poverty line, members of Indian tribes, and hardship cases (determined by HHS). Bill: PPACA; Page: 317-337

3. Employer Mandate Tax (takes effect Jan. 2014):  If an employer does not offer health coverage, and at least one employee qualifies for a health tax credit, the employer must pay an additional non-deductible tax of $2000 for all full-time employees.  Applies to all employers with 50 or more employees. If any employee actually receives coverage through the exchange, the penalty on the employer for that employee rises to $3000. If the employer requires a waiting period to enroll in coverage of 30-60 days, there is a $400 tax per employee ($600 if the period is 60 days or longer). Bill: PPACA; Page: 345-346

Combined score of individual and employer mandate tax penalty: $65 billion/10 years

4. Surtax on Investment Income (Tax hike of $123 billion/takes effect Jan. 2013):  Creation of a new, 3.8 percent surtax on investment income earned in households making at least $250,000 ($200,000 single).  This would result in the following top tax rates on investment income: Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 87-93

 

Capital Gains

Dividends

Other*

2011-2012

15%

15%

35%

2013+ (current law)

23.8%

43.4%

43.4%

2013+ (Obama budget)

23.8%

23.8%

43.4%

 

*Other unearned income includes (for surtax purposes) gross income from interest, annuities, royalties, net rents, and passive income in partnerships and Subchapter-S corporations.  It does not include municipal bond interest or life insurance proceeds, since those do not add to gross income.  It does not include active trade or business income, fair market value sales of ownership in pass-through entities, or distributions from retirement plans.  The 3.8% surtax does not apply to non-resident aliens.

5. Excise Tax on Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans (Tax hike of $32 bil/takes effect Jan. 2018): Starting in 2018, new 40 percent excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans ($10,200 single/$27,500 family).  Higher threshold ($11,500 single/$29,450 family) for early retirees and high-risk professions.  CPI +1 percentage point indexed. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,941-1,956

6. Hike in Medicare Payroll Tax (Tax hike of $86.8 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Current law and changes:

 

First $200,000
($250,000 Married)
Employer/Employee

All Remaining Wages
Employer/Employee

Current Law

1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed

1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed

Obamacare Tax Hike

1.45%/1.45%
2.9% self-employed

1.45%/2.35%
3.8% self-employed

 

Bill: PPACA, Reconciliation Act; Page: 2000-2003; 87-93

7. Medicine Cabinet Tax (Tax hike of $5 bil/took effect Jan. 2011): Americans no longer able to use health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter medicines (except insulin). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957-1,959

8. HSA Withdrawal Tax Hike (Tax hike of $1.4 bil/took effect Jan. 2011): Increases additional tax on non-medical early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10 percent. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,959

9. Flexible Spending Account Cap – aka “Special Needs Kids Tax” (Tax hike of $13 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Imposes cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited).  Indexed to inflation after 2013. There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children.  There are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education.  Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington, D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special needs educationBill: PPACA; Page: 2,388-2,389

10. Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers (Tax hike of $20 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Medical device manufacturers employ 360,000 people in 6000 plants across the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax.  Exempts items retailing for <$100. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,980-1,986

11. Raise "Haircut" for Medical Itemized Deduction from 7.5% to 10% of AGI (Tax hike of $15.2 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013): Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI).  The new provision imposes a threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994-1,995

12. Tax on Indoor Tanning Services (Tax hike of $2.7 billion/took effect July 2010): New 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,397-2,399

13. Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D (Tax hike of $4.5 bil/takes effect Jan. 2013) Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,994

14. Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike (Tax hike of $0.4 bil/took effect Jan. 1 2010): The special tax deduction in current law for Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies would only be allowed if 85 percent or more of premium revenues are spent on clinical services. Bill: PPACA; Page: 2,004

15. Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals (Min$/took effect immediately): $50,000 per hospital if they fail to meet new "community health assessment needs," "financial assistance," and "billing and collection" rules set by HHS. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,961-1,971

16. Tax on Innovator Drug Companies (Tax hike of $22.2 bil/took effect Jan. 2010): $2.3 billion annual tax on the industry imposed relative to share of sales made that year. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,971-1,980

17. Tax on Health Insurers (Tax hike of $60.1 bil/takes effect Jan. 2014): Annual tax on the industry imposed relative to health insurance premiums collected that year.  Phases in gradually until 2018.  Fully-imposed on firms with $50 million in profits. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,986-1,993

18. $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives (Tax hike of $0.6 bil/takes effect Jan 2013). Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,995-2,000

19. Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 ($min/takes effect Jan. 2012): Preamble to taxing health benefits on individual tax returns. Bill: PPACA; Page: 1,957

20. “Black liquor” tax hike (Tax hike of $23.6 billion/took effect immediately).  This is a tax increase on a type of bio-fuel. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 105

21. Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (Tax hike of $4.5 billion/took effect immediately).  This provision allows the IRS to disallow completely-legal tax deductions and other legal tax-minimizing plans just because the IRS deems that the action lacks “substance” and is merely intended to reduce taxes owed. Bill: Reconciliation Act; Page: 108-113

[Full PDF version here]

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Coburn: The Odd Man Out on Tax Increases


Posted by John Kartch on Thursday, June 23rd, 2011, 4:15 PM PERMALINK


Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) continues to aggressively push for a massive net tax increase as part of a grand compromise with President Obama and congressional Democrats.  Coburn finds himself increasingly isolated from the Republican party and the conservative movement which has taken taxes off the table in any budget negotiations.  During a recent interview on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show, Coburn said the following:

COBURN: "Do I believe we have to raise taxes to be able to get a deal to cut spending? Yeah."

As Coburn prepares to sell out, a growing number of Republicans have issued definitive statements taking tax hikes off the table.  On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) was incredulous that tax increases were even being discussed:

McCONNELL: “I think I can safely say this Congress is not going to raise taxes. So why are we still talking about this?”

Speaker John Boehner echoed those remarks in a press conference today:

BOEHNER: “Tax hikes are off the table.”

On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) reaffirmed tax hikes are off the table:

CANTOR: “My position has been very solid, we are not raising taxes.”

On Tuesday, in an interview with Bret Baier on Fox News, Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) was asked about the possibility of raising government revenue through the elimination of tax credits.  Thune dismissed the idea outright:

THUNE:  "No, I don't think that any type of tax increase, however defined, is something that Republicans think needs to be on the table when you’ve got spending problem that the country has. We clearly don't have a revenue issue. We have a spending problem in Washington, DC as is evidenced by the way that spending as a percentage of our entire economy has gone up in the past few years.”

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said the following: 

We all have high hopes that Senator Coburn from Oklahoma will finally now stop lobbying for Obama’s tax increases to pay for Obama’s overspending.  Now he can rejoin Sens. McConnell, Kyl, Thune, Hatch, as well as Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor and the American tax payers in fighting to reduce Washington spending.  Spending is the problem. Reducing spending is the only solution.”

Here is the PDF.

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YouTube Announced As July Debate Partner


Posted by John Kartch on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011, 5:45 PM PERMALINK


The Daily Caller and Americans for Tax Reform Foundation (ATRF) today announced that they will partner to produce an innovative and web-based Republican Presidential Primary Debate on Sunday, July 10, supported by technology from YouTube.  The two-hour debate will be moderated by The Daily Caller’s Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson and ATRF president Grover Norquist and will be streamed live on YouTube. 

“For Republican candidates seeking to appeal to conservatives, this debate offers an opportunity to hear from engaged primary voters,” said Tucker Carlson.  “Social media allows voters to engage candidates directly.  Conventional debates keep viewers at bay as observers. This debate will make them participants.”

For the first time this cycle, ATRF and The Daily Caller will be using YouTube’s platforms to transform the debate from a passive experience to an active, participatory process where they're connecting and engaging voters across the country.  This live forum will feature citizens’ video questions submitted via YouTube, which will be answered by the candidates.  

“This debate will focus on economics and the ongoing destruction of American jobs by the current Administration,” said Norquist.  “Real Republicans will ask real questions without the filter of establishment media bias.”

In addition to the live airing on YouTube.com, the debate will be broadcast on CBS affiliate KLAS and streamed at the dailycaller.com  The debate will be held in the Milan Ballroom at the M Resort Spa and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada from 9- 11:00 p.m. (EDT).   

Beginning Friday, July 1, people will be able to submit video questions by visiting www.youtube.com/gop2012debate and www.gop2012debate.com

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Coburn Tax Hike Talk Brings Big Wet Kiss from Robert Reich and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell


Posted by John Kartch on Friday, June 17th, 2011, 5:39 PM PERMALINK


Senator Tom Coburn continues to be showered with praise for his increasingly aggressive calls for tax increases as part of a grand compromise with President Obama and congressional Democrats.  On Thursday night’s edition of MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, the following exchange took place:

MSNBC’s LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: “This is the most dramatic development in Republican tax policy in the 21st century.  Listen to what Senator Coburn said Tuesday on this program about what this could mean for the sanity of tax policy going forward!”:

COBURN: “Between now and the next year, as we go to solve this problem, everybody knows there's gonna have to be a compromise on some sort of revenue increase as we make the major cuts. That's just fact. You can deny it. And Grover's old news. It doesn't matter what he says. It doesn't matter what he wants. He's old news. We're gonna fix the country, and some of that is gonna be revenue increases. That's the only way you're going to build a compromise and get it signed by this President. Now I understand that, and everybody else – the fact is, most people won't admit it.”

O’DONNELL: “Joining me now is former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, he is a professor of public policy at University of California at Berkeley and author of ‘Aftershock.’ Robert, I think Senator Coburn just said something that you and I have waited a long time to hear, so long that it's worth hearing some of that again.”

COBURN: “We're gonna fix the country, and some of that is going to be revenue increases. That's the only way you're gonna build a compromise and get it signed by this President. Now I understand that, and everybody else – the fact is, most people won't admit it.”

O’DONNELL:  “We actually just heard a conservative Republican say that we're going to fix the country, and some of that is gonna be through revenue increases, tax increases. Doesn't want to use the word ‘tax’ but that's what it is. We’ve got a Republican here talking about tax increases. Is this the first flicker of hope that the Republican tax cut fever might be fading?”

ROBERT REICH: “Lawrence, I think that it is a big deal…We’ve got to be practical, we’ve got to be reasonable, we’ve got to deal with this budget deficit’. And maybe we are seeing the beginning of a willingness to raise taxes on corporations and indeed, raise taxes on the very wealthy.  Wouldn’t that be something!”

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Coburn Repeats His Call for a Tax Hike Sellout with Obama, Democrats


Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011, 6:19 PM PERMALINK


As a guest on MSNBC Tuesday evening, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) repeated his desire for a grand tax increase compromise with President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats. 

Coburn said the following to left-wing host Lawrence O’Donnell:

“Everybody knows there is gonna have to be a compromise on some sort of revenue increase as we make the major cuts.  That’s just fact.”

Coburn has grown increasingly aggressive in his calls for a compromise tax-hike deal with Democrats.  For this, he has been showered with praise by Lawrence O’Donnell, CBS News anchor Bob Shieffer, the New York Times editorial board, the Washington Post editorial board, and Democratic former Governor Ed Rendell, among others.

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Coburn on Obama Debt Talks: "I'll negotiate on taxes."


Posted by John Kartch on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011, 3:00 PM PERMALINK


WASHINGTON, D.C. During a CBS News interview which aired Tuesday, Senator Tom Coburn said:

“You know, the reason I'll stand up as a conservative Republican, one of the biggest deficit hawks in Congress, and say ‘I'll negotiate on taxes’ -- because our country’s in trouble.”

As pointed out by Brent Baker at the Media Research Center, CBS host Bob Schieffer then praised Coburn for his “candor”.

With time, Coburn has grown more and more aggressive in his calls for tax increases as part of a grand compromise with Obama and congressional Democrats.  In a June 9  interview on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show, Coburn said the following:

"Do I believe we have to raise taxes to be able to get a deal to cut spending? Yeah."

Yet another recent example is Coburn’s May 29 interview on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers program.  The guest reporters for this edition of Newsmakers were Lori Montgomery of the Washington Post and Andrew Taylor of the Associated Press.  Below are key excerpts from the interview:

Coburn: “We’re never going to get 25% net taxes to the federal government. People, they’re just not going to do it, it has never happened and it won’t happen. But does not mean there is not a case for increasing the revenue of the federal government at a time when our whole future is based on the fact that we need to solve this problem. And to have people who say you can never do that, even if the lifeblood of our Republic depends on it, to get a compromise, we will never get the changes that need to be made in the mandatory programs without giving something.  And the thing we have to give is some revenue increases.

--

Lori Montgomery, the Washington Post:  “Sticking with taxes for just a minute.  I think this is a critical question because Democrats want to see something – forget about economic growth – they want to see a tax structure that actually raises additional revenue, recognizing that we have an aging population and the retirement programs are going to cost more. Can you and your Republican colleagues go for a tax reform proposal that does in fact increase revenue?”

Coburn: “Yeah, we’ve already said that.”

--

Coburn:  “I would much rather have a smaller government.  Not everybody would. But I would much rather have a smaller government. But I know we have to pay more for what we have if we are ever going to get reform and some of the other things. It’s called a compromise. So we’re gonna have to give some on revenues to be able to do that.”

--

Coburn: “Why will I take on those that are against tax increases for Republicans?  Because it’s the right thing to do to save our country.”

--

Coburn: “I’ve been just as vocal supporting revenue increases after I left the commission as I was before.  I’m not opposed to that cause I think that’s the only way we solve our problems.  That’s the only way we build a consensus in the Senate to get some of the changes.  But I’m not gonna go for revenue increases if we’re not gonna fix the problem.”

--

Lori Montgomery, the Washington Post:  “I think one of the most significant things we’ve learned is that Tom Coburn is willing to go for a tax reform scenario that actually raises revenues.  His Republican colleagues have been very careful to say ‘well, we want to reform the tax system, but we only want to raise more money through economic growth.’ What Dr. Coburn told us today is ‘you know, that’s not going to be enough, that’s not going to solve our problems.  I’m willing to actually increase the portion of the economy that goes to government.’  That’s a big change.”

(To watch the interview in its entirety, click here).

 

Americans for Tax Reform is a non-partisan coalition of taxpayers and taxpayer groups who oppose all tax increases.  For more information or to arrange an interview please contact John Kartch at (202) 785-0266 or by email at jkartch@atr.org.

###

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Coburn: "Do I believe we have to raise taxes to be able to get a deal to cut spending? Yeah."


Posted by John Kartch on Friday, June 10th, 2011, 11:40 AM PERMALINK


During an interview Thursday on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said the following:

"Do I believe we have to raise taxes to be able to get a deal to cut spending? Yeah."

Coburn’s tax hike statement echoes his recent comments as a guest on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers program.  The guest reporters for this edition of Newsmakers were Lori Montgomery of the Washington Post and Andrew Taylor of the Associated Press.  Below are key excerpts from the interview:

Coburn: “We’re never going to get 25% net taxes to the federal government. People, they’re just not going to do it, it has never happened and it won’t happen. But does not mean there is not a case for increasing the revenue of the federal government at a time when our whole future is based on the fact that we need to solve this problem. And to have people who say you can never do that, even if the lifeblood of our Republic depends on it, to get a compromise, we will never get the changes that need to be made in the mandatory programs without giving something.  And the thing we have to give is some revenue increases.

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Lori Montgomery, the Washington Post:  “Sticking with taxes for just a minute.  I think this is a critical question because Democrats want to see something – forget about economic growth – they want to see a tax structure that actually raises additional revenue, recognizing that we have an aging population and the retirement programs are going to cost more. Can you and your Republican colleagues go for a tax reform proposal that does in fact increase revenue?”

  Coburn: “Yeah, we’ve already said that.”

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Coburn:  “I would much rather have a smaller government.  Not everybody would. But I would much rather have a smaller government. But I know we have to pay more for what we have if we are ever going to get reform and some of the other things. It’s called a compromise. So we’re gonna have to give some on revenues to be able to do that.”

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Coburn: “Why will I take on those that are against tax increases for Republicans?  Because it’s the right thing to do to save our country.”

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Coburn: “I’ve been just as vocal supporting revenue increases after I left the commission as I was before.  I’m not opposed to that cause I think that’s the only way we solve our problems.  That’s the only way we build a consensus in the Senate to get some of the changes.  But I’m not gonna go for revenue increases if we’re not gonna fix the problem.”

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Lori Montgomery, the Washington Post:  “I think one of the most significant things we’ve learned is that Tom Coburn is willing to go for a tax reform scenario that actually raises revenues.  His Republican colleagues have been very careful to say ‘well, we want to reform the tax system, but we only want to raise more money through economic growth.’ What Dr. Coburn told us today is ‘you know, that’s not going to be enough, that’s not going to solve our problems.  I’m willing to actually increase the portion of the economy that goes to government.’  That’s a big change.”

(To watch the interview in its entirety, click here).

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