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. John

    I don't know what American people you been talking to but you Republican are crazy. The American people do want the Republican to Compromise and very soon,are they are going to be a lot of republican looking for a new JOB In 2012. You Republican need ton listen to the Working class of American one In the same. people and QUIT listen to the RICH AND THE TEA PARTY that I would start listening to the other 500 Millions people. And start Compromise and as soon as you can and get a deal done now.

    July 3, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Billy

    GOP: the party of no compromise

    July 3, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. keeth

    YES WE DO!

    July 3, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Lynn

    Whenever he speaks, I'm just grateful he's not our president. I'm tired of Republicans using the collective "the American people want" do not speak for a large share of the population......especially when it comes to compromise and raising taxes.

    July 3, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. John

    Virtually every poll taken says that "the people" want higher taxes for higher income earners, but Sen. McCain knows better.

    July 3, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. FastEddie

    Cut Medicare and defense, broaden the tax base, and raise tax rates. This is not rocket science. Raising tax rates to what they were in the Clinton era will not impede growth any more now than it did then.

    July 3, 2011 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Sebastian

    What the American people dont want from a Do-Nothing Congress is GRIDLOCK or OBSTINENCE.

    The arrogance of the Republican party is clear. Americans do not accept or believe the "if this then that" claims by the GOP. These claims are not INTELLIGENT. They don't make book sense or common sense. If I were going to give carte blanche to one party it damn sure would not be the Republicans.

    July 3, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. ted

    Stupid Republicans. While I don't want a tax increase, I know it will happen. It has to. But close loopholes for the wealthy and corporations, root out the fraud at the IRS, SSI, medicare, medicaid. Do a constitutionally based audit of the Pentagon to root out procurement fraud, waste, and continuous cost overruns. Cut salaries of senators and congressmen. lay off some bureaucrats. stop the pork. stop the subsidies to the cashrich oil companies. A combinations of cost cutting and tax increases is the only effective way to actually deal with this. Obama is right. Boner and McClownell are wrong.

    July 3, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Sebastian

    Those republicans with any honor would be smart to state their fear and then come up with a constructive way to address it.

    They say they want to prevent additional revenue because alll the "Democrats" would do is spend it. First of all Congress develops the budget, Republicans hold the House, therefore, they shouldn't be impotent in their ability to keep the additional revenue from being spent.

    Secondly, the US runs deficits which means it SPENDS more than it TAKES IN. The level of revenues hasn't stopped spending beyond our means before – what makes them think it will now? Man up and refuse to bring forth a budget that isn't balanced instead all the BS gimmicks like these "pledges" and "Balanced Budget ammendments". They mean nothing and insult my intelligence.

    More revenue makes smaller deficits possible. Less revenue does not. It's pretty simple. Close the damn loopholes NOW.

    July 3, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. C. Howe Yulikit

    I am so glad you aren't President. And for the record John, most Americans DO want compromise. Gov't. revenues are at their lowest point since Eisenhower, and tax cuts for the wealthy DO NOT CREATE JOBS, no matter how much you repeat the lie. The GOP is willing to destroy America and send the world into a global depression to prevent Obama from succeeding. They should be thrown out on their collectives rears in 2012.

    July 3, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. Pete from St Paul

    How about an Emergency Crisis Tax Amendment? To let Nordquest & Company know, we are not taking your money; just that all income earning American workers and employers profits will see a supplemental tax code designed specifically to the payment of wars and natural disasters. This tax will vary depending on whatever normal over budget has cost. Also, pension and Social Security payments should be exempt from this tax.

    July 3, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. AK_steve

    He's right. We don't want compromise. We prefer stonewalling partisan politics that has nothing to do with what is best for the country. Thanks republicans. You are everything you say you are... uncompromising politicians that stand in the way of real recovery in order to blame on Obama.

    July 3, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. Patrick from Minnesota

    Thank God he's not our President.

    July 3, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. alan

    McCain is the last person to talk about what Americans want. I can guarantee the the majority of Americans (especially the half that currently don't pay taxes) don't mind if the rich get a tax hike, just along as they can continue to pay no taxes. I think it's about time everyone starts paying their fair share. I say bring on the flat-tax rate and close all the loop-holes and quit giving child-tax-credits to all the irreponsible parents out there. I know someone who just recieved a tax return of $19,000 more than what she paid in. It was her first filing and she has 8 kids.

    July 3, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. Hank

    And this, America, is what we voted for in 2010. You get what you wish for. We are truly a stupid people to continue to vote for Republicans. They really are evil!

    July 3, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  16. ibamaliar

    Stay with the Republicans even if it means OBAMA will take Social Security and Medicare away. LET HIM LIVE OUT THAT STROKE.

    July 3, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. Random

    If what we are doing was creating a new economy, then the no new taxes mantra would make sense, but we are still in a crisis and require a finessed economic policy to stimulate the economy while simultaneously reducing the deficit. And of course, wind down to war fronts, and stiil be a responsible leader nation. Comprmise is key. Everyone was has to act responsibly (mature) and take the longer view and realize this is several year project, stay focused.

    July 3, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. once upon a horse

    Sen McCain owns what 7 houses? These Republicans really get me when they claim what Americans want. If he and his GOP co-hearts would look at the polls every one I have seen say Americans WANT to end the Bush tax cuts, loopholes, and above all want Republicans and Democrats to work together. I have always said that the GOP wants to do the "will of the American people" as they like to say just as long as that will is something that they the GOP also agree with.

    July 3, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. they call me "tater salad"

    And I suppose your little claim can no doubt, be backed up with verifiable documentation and facts right Mr. McSenile?.............Yeah!..........Didn't think so!

    July 3, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. Tubby the Tuba TEXAS

    The middle-class want the filthy rich to pay their fair share of the taxes and quit leaving the middle-class to pay for the workings of our government! The poor pay nothing and the rich....nothing....we the middle-class need for the rich to be true blue Americans instead of, me, me people! McCain and his buds need to retire as they do not speak for the middle-class. Politicians make a ton of money and are basically very the Repuglicans want to protect their supporters, and their paychecks. Obama is very rich too, however he along with Pres. Clinton and some of the richest men in the world agree with the Democats, but the Repugs are not listening.

    July 3, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  21. Whatever

    Nobody is proposing to raise taxes on the average american...the only tax increase on the table is on the very rich (who shockingly agree they should be, for the most part) and doing away with tax cuts on corporate jets.

    July 3, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  22. Whatever

    Oh and John...why dont Republicans start working on what they were really put in office for...JOBS!!! You havent even spoke of JOBS since you went in office.

    July 3, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. vic , nashville ,tn

    “Americans want us stop mortgaging children and grand children’s future” John Mc Cain True

    Keep more forces and building Afghan infrastructure won’t reduce our deficit

    Giving tax break to rich and cutting student scholarships won’t give good future to our children and grand children

    Giving tax break to Oil companies and corporate jets and cutting fund to FDA won’t give healthy food to our children and grand children

    Mc Cain and his party say onething do the opposite

    July 3, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. Jake

    Some people may be against it on principle, but I think many would also be willing to shell out an extra $50/year if it helps get us through our current mess (provided that such tax increases are matched with spending cuts). That's 11 coffees at Starbucks or complete meals at McDonalds. Really not that much (although a bigger problem for folks on fixed incomes). I'd do it and I make ~24,000/year.

    July 3, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. Scooter

    I want a smaller government, some others want a larger government, where is there room to compromise that?

    In my thesaurus compromised is next to corrupted, and there is a picture of McCain.

    July 3, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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