McCain: Americans ‘don’t want compromise’
July 3rd, 2011
09:08 AM ET
3 years ago

McCain: Americans ‘don’t want compromise’

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.


Filed under: Congress • Debt • John McCain • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. grammy that is worried

    "They don't want compromise" is he referring to Americans? We need to raise some taxes, close loopholes and of course reduce spending, this is logical. Give and take is needed to get the job done from both parties. We try to teach our children this, even our President tells us his daughters finish their jobs. However our elected officials, including McCain are so blinded by party stance that they are not realizing they are bringing our country to it's knees. Yes, I don't want to compromise on the values but those values were based on compromise...........just get it done!!!

    July 3, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  2. Marie MD

    Why are we listening to this moron who brought of the idiot quitter? Talk about not having any self respect. Anything this guy says should be the opposite of what we do.
    BTW jack arse – pay attention to the polls. You rethugs won because you promised JOBS??? Remember? Where are they? Oh yes, there will be some when you and your cronies make sure the President (and the Nation) fails.
    MOST AMERICANS WANT THE RICH TO BE TAXED AND YOUR CRUMMY HANDS OFF OUR MEDICARE, MEDICAID, SOCIAL SECURITY AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT HELPS THE POOR AND THE VANISHING MIDDLE CLASS!
    Go back and change your depends.

    July 3, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  3. American

    Another "not intended to be a factual statement" from an AZ senator...

    Most Americans want compromise and both sides working together. Enough of the nonsense.

    July 3, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  4. nolapearl

    @ray e. If you go back to Jan 2001, we had a balanced budget and if you remember correctly, we then had a president who started spending money unnecessarily like a drunken sailor, and starting wars which he did NOT include in his budget. The American people do want compromise and we want EVERYONE to compromise. If you look at the numbers, they can cut out all discretionary spending and it isn't a drop in the bucket compared to the deficit. The Republicans are putting on a show and it is going to backfire on them.

    July 3, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. pacchardon

    This is the same guy who said Sarah Palin can beat Obama

    July 3, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. Bensky

    Spot on .... oh, wait .... it's an age spot.

    My wife told me this morning she will not live on a diminished allowance and she will continue to shop until she drops. I told her to marry John McCain.

    July 3, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. Bert in UT

    Overall tax rates are at the lowest level since way before WWII. By what possible thinking can high taxes be the problem with our economy? In the 1950's the top tax bracket was 90%!!!! We did pretty well then, and American businesses were booming. Regan cut taxes, GDP growth didn't change, all it did was increase the deficit.

    July 3, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. Tracy

    If CNN would report stuff honestly, Obama would not be having this rough of a time with his presidency. CNN has decided only to talk with people who will give half the truth (CNN is bringing half or one side of it's stories). Why allow Mccain to sit there and bold facely lie. The interviewer should have done their job and asked him what American people? He should have been challenged on that lie. Really starting to wonder if the owner of Fox bought CNN in the last year.

    July 3, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. Anthony

    When McCain, who had a reputation of working with Democrats, said that Americans don't want compromise, you know that the Republican Party has gone off the deep end. They don't want compromise? Do they want the stock market to crash? Do they want interest rates to soar? Do they want the dollar to depreciate, as investors sell off dollars, which are no longer backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government? How much would their tax cuts be worth with a depreciated dollar? Wall Street has warned that all of these things would happen with a default. Do Republicans have a death wish for the economy (not to mention for itself with the 2012 election coming)?

    July 3, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  10. elowery30

    And the raising taxes drum beat keeps beating. To believe someone voted for these people. Their so focused on lining their pockets that your concerns are in the rear of things. Their so focused on "raising taxes" they don't want the lower part of their base to hear the arguement in full. Raising taxes, closing loopholes, and subsidized companies. The dems even said yes we're over spending on some programs and we will compromise with you on those cuts, but the will only maintain a certain level of debt and not create revenue. Raising taxes will raise create a two-fold revenue plus bring down the taxes. At one fold people will have more money to spend at the stores and bills will get paid on time, thus, creating revenue for the millionaires and billionaires and the government. Ending the loopholes for those same ones that is going to profit off of the middle-class and ending the loopholes for the oil companies would create even more revenue to use plus work to bring gas dow to a descent level.

    July 3, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  11. GOP = Greed Over People

    As if we needed further proof, McCrypt is senile, the most recent polls show 75% of Americans think the top 2% SHOULD pay more in taxes than the rest of us.

    This is not Fox, here you get to state your opinion but you cannot pretend the majority wants it that way.

    July 3, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. d

    I love this. I love when McCain says we don't want compromise. I love when McConnell says that it's Washington's problem, and Washington should have to fix it, not the taxpayers. Here's what they mean...they don't want their rich buddies and campaign financers to have to pay one more dime to fix the mess McCain and McConnell have helped to create, after being in Washington for decades. "Washington needs to fix its problems" really means "the middle and lower classes are going to have to take a big hit, because our friends don't want any taxes raised on their yachts or corporate jets." "Americans don't want compromise" means "we're taking our marching orders from a right-wing activist who recently admitted he would let his grandmother be eaten by fire ants before raising taxes (yes, it was a joke, but still...)."

    It's just odd. The argument that there is NEVER a reason to raise taxes is ludicrous. Then they can only go down, and the necessary result is that the government doesn't have any tax revenue to use for programs that people need. When the government has added expenses (like say, two wars from 2001-2011, and a third added this year), the government needs to raise taxes to pay for them. W. Bush did more harm in that regard than most people think.

    July 3, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  13. thomas

    John ,
    you have to rase tax's , how are we going to pay for all those freedom fry's you and Bush ordered ?

    July 3, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. Jane

    I don't know how Repubs can live with themselves.....

    July 3, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. John in Brooklyn

    Senator McCain still doesn't get it....this is the exact same theme he ran on in his losing bid for president. Americans want out leaders to find reasonable compromise solutions to serious problems. By digging in thier ideological feet, they may please their electoral base...but it does nothing to resolve the financial crisis that we're facing today. The economists have been consistent – a combination of budget tightening and an increase in reveenues (yes, taxes) will be necessary to get the financial house in order.

    July 3, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  16. Mike Dallas

    Actually, the majority DOES want compromise to prevent a global depression, the Dems have sacrificed some sacred cows, now it is time for the GOP to stop PRETENDING they care amount the middle class and listen to "we the people" that do want taxes raised and if not for all at least the most affulent among us. Stop trying to correct the GOP damage(unpaid tax cuts and 2 wars) on the backs of the poor and elderly!

    The GOP has stated they want the President and therefore the country "to fail" and if that means global economic chaos then so be it. But no black man is going to tell the GOP what is good for this country 'cuz rich white folks know best!

    Instead, we get GOP leadership such as Cantor, a supposed GOP "leader" storming out of the debt crisis consultations like an angry 3 year old leaving his Pre-K class because they did not have chocolate milk to put in his sippy cup!

    The voters will remember the childish and arrogant attitude of the GOP come November of 2012.

    July 3, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. TOM

    I find it interesting that when I hear Republicans speak on television, they all ways use 'The American People want". Each time I wonder what Americans they is talking about. All the poles show that we are willing to accept some tax increases yet 'The American People" don.t want this according to them! 'The American People' dont want compromise????? Where the hell did he get this information from? Seems its just another ploy to stir up the American People into voting for them. Utterly insane thinking as usual!

    July 3, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  18. PaulC

    When is it compromising when your position is "my way or the highway"?

    July 3, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Senator McCain...Americans want jobs...where are the jobs you promised? The people of Arizona reelected you based on your promise to finish the fence around Arizona to keep out the illegal Mexicans and Canadians! How long till the fence is completed?

    July 3, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. berry

    I,m an American,I,m would be "crazy" to be Republican! Retire McCain,your washed-up. Take care will dementia progresses,you can afford any doctor on the "Face of the earth" to prescribe you "Medication" to slow it down??? Good Luck!!!

    July 3, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    "The American REPUBLICAN) 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.

    This over simplistic (mis)representation of what Americans want will Cost Republicans BIG TIME in the next election cycle. I hope they stay the course on this.

    July 3, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. Coloradan

    Um, I want compromise.

    July 3, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  23. wallybob

    the gop has been highjacked by the banksters. mcconnel and mccain, ryan, scott, walker, cristie and perry are all working for the dark side to cripple america permanently with their selfish greed and corruption. they are trying to drive a stake through the heart of democracy...the middle class. monopoly circles and plutocrats like the koch brothers are not patriots, and tea baggers are fools for defending them. they robbed us of our jobs and sell the same cheap goods back to us and rigged the system with housing bubbles to fleece us of our savings, and wage imperialist wars on the public dime to further their exploitation of the world's resources. the people from all races and ages and walks of life need to unite a broad coalition against these anarchist capitalists who seek to destroy the nation in the quest for ever greater wealth and power.

    July 3, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  24. Rational

    Spoken like a member of America's Wealthiest 1% Club.

    July 3, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  25. Corey T.

    Senator McCain: I pride myself on making common-sense decisions. These decisions allow me to see the best ideas of politicians, no matter what party they are from. And Mr. McCain, here is one common-sense American that WANTS compromise. And I am sure many others do.

    July 3, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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