Washington (CNN) - The American people do not want Republicans to compromise on their opposition to any form of tax increase as part of a deficit reduction deal being negotiated with Democrats, veteran Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said Sunday.
“The principle of not raising taxes is something that we campaigned on last November and the results of the election was the American people don’t want their taxes raised and they wanted us to cut spending,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “They don’t want compromise.”
Read what other lawmakers said Sunday.
Republicans have tied a deficit reduction agreement to the federal debt ceiling, which the Obama administration says must be raised by August 2 to avoid harm to the nation’s sluggish economic recovery.
Bipartisan negotiations led by Vice President Joe Biden recently hit an impasse over the tax issue, with Democrats calling for eliminating some tax breaks and loopholes to increase revenue while Republicans rejected such steps.
President Barack Obama highlighted the stand-off at a news conference last week in which he chided congressional Republicans for refusing to make “tough decisions” that might anger their conservative base.
At the heart of the GOP resistance is a bedrock principle pushed by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist against any kind of tax increase at all. A pledge pushed by Norquist's group, Americans for Tax Reform, has been signed by more than 230 House members and 40 senators, almost all Republicans.
Norquist and his supporters want to shrink the federal government and believe any new revenue would enable continued government growth.
However, some Republicans, including conservative Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have expressed support for increased tax revenue as part of a deficit reduction deal, and the Senate recently supported ending ethanol subsidies - which would increase revenue.
Tax loopholes targeted by Democrats include oil and gas subsidies, as well as some write-offs for people earning more than $500,000 a year.
To McCain, the danger from continuing to let the federal deficit expand without taking substantive cost-cutting steps is much greater than the threat from failing to increase the federal debt ceiling by August 2.
“I think that this catastrophe or short-term meltdown that we’re facing isn’t nearly as bad as the meltdown that we’re facing unless we get our deficit under control,” McCain said.
Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.
According to just about every reputable poll that has been conducted in the last two months, John McCain is incorrect. Some polls show that more than 80% of voters want the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes and that taxes on them should be increased. Everytime McCain opens his mouth, he reminds us that he is the man who accepted Sarah Palin as his running-mate.
It is past time American do not wont there tax raise ,it a must now for the general population and not for a few. in oughter get our economy in order. Bless
Senator McCain lost any claim he had to be taken seriously the day he chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. Only he seems completely unaware of how irrelevant he has become.
Republicans are desparately overreaching based on their so called mandate last Nov because they will stop at nothing to make Obama look bad. McCain is an example of how far out of touch with the American people they are becoming.
Obama's recent news conference has been so derided by the right for the resaon that it made clear that he has become exasperated with trying to play nice with these idiots and is willing to speak the truth about their real intentions.
Sen. McCain...are you trying to imply that the majority of people in this country who believe that taxes SHOULD be raised on people who make more than $250,000 a year aren't "real Americans"? It seems you're begininning to sound a lot like your former running-mate.
I respect Senator McCain and value his experience and wisdom...usually. On this subject Ihowever I suggest he simply read the hundreds of comments coming in on this and the Republican Party position and realize they are far off the mark. I strongly believe that were he in the current race his position would be completely different and he would strongly support raising taxes for those in the upper balcony. Becasue that is exactly what the majority of Americans are saying. We are paying attention Senator, are you?
If Al Gore would have been President from 2001 to 2009 (instead of GWB), the Bush tax cuts never would have happened, the Iraq war never would have happened, and we wouldn't be in the horrible mess that we are in right now. Remember this when you go to the voting both in 2012. Please don't make this same mistake again...
Guess we know why he lost