McCain: Americans ‘don’t want compromise’
July 3rd, 2011
09:08 AM ET
7 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. Ken in NC

    Republicans want to crash our economy and cause us to lose our credit rating. If we do that, every half of a percentage point interest rates go up on our borrowing will add 50 Billion to our debt. Republicans expect to be able to claim that Democrats refused to negotiate. What they fail to realize is that the American people are now computer savy and can find records and documents for themselves and see what the Republican Party is doing to this country.

    July 3, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. GI Joe

    We voted for JOBS in 2010. We did NOT vote for more money for corporations and the super wealthy. We did NOT vote to have the middle class decimated by carrying more of the load!

    July 3, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Jason

    The once fairly moderate and competent McCain has officially gone senile. Oh how the mighty has fallen.

    July 3, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. GI Joe

    McFLAKE needs to retire - he's been on the gov't dole since the day he was born, and will be 'til he dies.

    July 3, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. An American

    How dare he... Americans want compromise. We need to stop finger pointing and fear mongering and do what's best – for all the people in our country. Why does anyone even listen to him anymore? Any credibility he had is gone after he foisted Sarah Palin on us.

    July 3, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. diridi

    under this man's idiocy American people mean Corporate thieves,, and Banking thugs, and Hospital lunatics...idiot...

    July 3, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. Dan from Tx

    Let's see... last time I wasn't American because I didn't want to invade Iraq. Then I wasn't American because I wanted to reform our healthcare delivery system. Today, I find that to be American I must refuse compromise. The definition of "American" gets narrower everyday.

    July 3, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. steven harnack

    Yes Anthony, they want all of those things so we are forced to do away with every social program and anyone will be glad to take a job for $2.00 an hour with no benefits!

    July 3, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. 100% ETH

    As American, we are being wealthiest than ever, either by good work or by CHEATING. We don't mind being taxed for America.

    Let US be honest.

    July 3, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. Donny

    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.

    Ah...actually polling shows that the overwhelming majority do favor compromise and increased/fair taxes. I guess news and facts just haven't hit the bubble the republicans are living in.

    July 3, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. I'm a GOP Hostage and so are you

    The Republican Party is literally evil incarnate. Anyone who is even remotely sane and not a puppet for the rich knows this. Their economic policies don't even make a lick of sense. "Give all the money to the rich and eliminate the Middle Class" is NOT an economic policy forwarding America's prosperity. It is greed. And it is literally evil and inhuman.

    July 3, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  12. B

    Retire McCain, you are completely out of touch and you always have been !

    Hasbeen Hack

    July 3, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. GI Joe

    Having survived the Keating Five scandal, McCain made attacking what he saw as the corrupting influence of big money on American politics his signature issue

    July 3, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. A weary Independent

    And McSame is a doddering old fool who is growing more senile each day. He is among the top 1% that wants to keep his undeserved tax break. He says to hell with middle class Americans; support the rich. No wonder he lost the last election!

    July 3, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. Jilli

    Is it so outrageous for me to expect that GE or Exxon-Mobile pay more in taxes than I do? I don't think so. McCain is speaking from some alternate reality

    July 3, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. 100% ETH

    Tax me once, Tax me Twice...who cares!
    I am the wealthy American, thank God. I know how to get away with it. No one can catching me.
    As the matter of facts, more than 65% of Americans are cheating IRS, technically. Most of them they have relatives and friends who works at IRS. So, who are the losers? The middle and the lower classes.

    July 3, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Ancient Texan

    jimm- America wants compromise, but when 48% of the citizens pay no taxes the odds are good that the polls would would say that more people wouldn't mind a tax increase on the rich. Soaking the peolpe that work hard and are sucessful, hire workers, pay taxes and are the backbones of their communities is not the thing that will put this country back on it's feet.

    July 3, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. 8 Years of "Trickle Down" economics has only left a dribbling wet spot on working Americans's shoes!

    “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.

    And this little nugget is from the same moron that shut down his campaign so he could parachute into D.C. and "save" the day with his "economic advice".

    And that worked out so well, yeah, President Obama should listen to this small, bitter, little old man, but only when discussing whether to buy the Super Absorbent Depends for Men.

    July 3, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Thankfully Independent

    This is typical Republican-speak.

    People like McCain should be LISTENING to what their constiuents want, not TELLING them what to believe they want.

    July 3, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. Liberal4Obama

    McLame gets worse with age.

    July 3, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. SJC2

    Closing loopholes and eliminating deductions is NOT raising taxes. Reagan eliminated interest deductions on car loans and credit cards, but no Republican that I recall said that was a tax increase.

    July 3, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  22. 100% ETH

    Have you heard the Country called, Canada? Believe it or not, the Canadian Governments and officials, are hiring and working with specific Government selected ethnic groups, by excluding some.

    Therefore, no matter how much you are educated, you don't get the job. And also, no matter how much the Canadian Governments raises taxes, it will never affected the conspirators. It is just the middle and the poor classes who are being forced to follow the RULES, are being targeted. The rest of them, they get away with it.

    Canada, ummmm...

    July 3, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. juliei4

    What do the overwhelming majority of economists say right now? They know a whole lot more about this than we do. My personal opinion is cuts plus revenue increases would be the way to go.

    July 3, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. makpackman

    Well, if the debt ceiling isn't raised, we'll know who to blame. The majority of Americans want compromise Senator McCain.

    July 3, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    CNN, and especially Crawley, seem to be more right-leaning than ever. Did FAUX buy them out?

    July 3, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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