DeMint: Government doesn't need additional revenues
December 4th, 2012
01:23 PM ET
2 years ago

DeMint: Government doesn't need additional revenues

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Jim DeMint, an influential conservative Republican from South Carolina, urged his party to take a firm stance against bringing in additional federal revenues in the current "fiscal cliff" negotiations.

"Republicans should not be conceding that the federal government needs more money, negotiating with ourselves, and treating the president's proposal like it's serious," he said.

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Republicans and Democrats appear to be back in gridlock after each side sent the other a proposal in recent days which was nearly immediately dismissed by the other. House Speaker John Boehner said over the weekend he was "flabbergasted" by President Barack Obama's proposal, while the president said Tuesday that the math behind the GOP plan "does not work."

Should Congressional Republicans and the White House not reach a deal before the new year, a series of tax increases and steep spending cuts would automatically go into effect.

DeMint added his voice to the fray Tuesday morning with a tweet critical of the House Republican proposal, which included an extension of the Bush-era tax breaks as well as accomplishing $2.2 trillion in savings, among them $600 billion in non-entitlement spending cuts and $800 billion in "health savings."

He tweeted: "Speaker Boehner's offer of an $800 billion tax hike will destroy jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more."

The Palmetto State Republican defended his stance, saying, "This federal government doesn't need more money."

"This country needs less federal government. We're gonna be near historic highs of tax revenues in Washington this year. More money than we've ever had. So it's not a revenue problem, it's a spending problem," he said.

He chided Republicans, saying "this is not a time to negotiate with ourselves" and describing Obama's proposal as "outlandish."

The primary Republican objection to Obama's plan is his support for extending the Bush-era tax cuts only on income under $250,000 for families, while letting those lowered rates expire and increase on income above that threshold. The two parties are also split on spending cuts and entitlement program reforms, as well as the amount of additional revenues.

"This is a time to work together where we can, but it's clear that what Obama wants is not a solution to our deficit problem, because his proposal doesn't even come close, and it's not a plan at all," DeMint said.

Asked if Boehner had reacted to his position, DeMint laughed.

"I don't know," he said, "but I haven't checked my emails."

– CNN's Gregory Wallace and Paul Courson contributed to this report


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • Jim DeMint
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. California Gary

    I wonder if he would be saying the same thing if it was South Carolina that got hit by Sandy instead of New Jersey and New York? If he wants to starve the federal government of revenue......then he shouldn't seek any federal funding for his state. I'm guessing his state depends quite heavily on various forms of federal funding........making his stance hypocritical in the extreme.

    December 4, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Santa Claus Government

    Here's a deal for the Democrats... Republicans will return to the tax rates of the Clinton era if the Democrats will return to the spending levels of the Clinton era, $1.7 trillion a year versus the current $3.5 trillon a year. The size of the federal government has DOUBLED in a few years. Where will it all end? I suspect somewhere close to Greece.

    December 4, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. Ex-GOP Con

    THIS is why the GOP TEA Party RINOs are becoming the party of fiscal IRresponsibility. They cut taxes AND THEN spend TRILLIONS on an unnecessary war and they proclaim they don't need revenue to pay for it. ITS. JUST. MATH.

    My teenagers handles their credit card bills better than the GOP handles their debt.

    December 4, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. Norm

    The senator from the state that gave us Strom Thurmond and a governor who likes to hike the Appalachian (or was that the Argentinian?) Trail.

    December 4, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. wgf

    Boehner & Demint = Thelma & Louise. Too bad we're in the car with them.

    December 4, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. steve

    Hi ho hi ho its off the cliff we go.....

    Have to agree with Ex-GOP Con assessment of the GOP

    December 4, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. RandyKC

    I'd put deMint in the 'part of the problem' category.

    December 4, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Rosslaw

    DeMint is apparently the product of S.C's less than stellar public school system since he never took math. Right wing ideologues like DeMint sound like Hitler in the last days of the war in the bunker, ordering German divisions which did not exist to counter-attack. It's an unfortunate miracle that his head did not explode when President Obama won his second term.

    December 4, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. SC Resident

    As a South Carolinian, I cannot wait for this guy to step down at the end of his term. Thank god he ran on a platform with term limits. The truth is it takes great men to make great comprimises, and this pack of Plutocrats only takes interest in the rest of us on election day.

    December 4, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Publius Novus

    Sen. DeMint, please list each program and line item you believe should be cut. Starting with the Defense Department please. You may stop when the budget is balanced. The list will then be submitted to the people of South Carolina. If they ratify it, you stay in the Senate. If they don't, you agree to resign. Deal?

    December 4, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. Monicafaye12

    Republicans-listen to the people-not your wealthy campaign contributers. It is becoming painfully obvious that the Republican party has only one interest-protect the interests of the wealthy 2% of this nation. The people have spoken and its time for the Republican party to start listening to the people instead of their doners-they are losing touch.

    I see a Hilary Clinton victory in 4 years if they continue on this route!

    December 4, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    I'm suprised the MSM can get so many soundbites out of him when he's busy under some CEOs desk and has a full mouth.

    December 4, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. rs

    Santa Claus Government-
    Given that Mr. Obama has shrunk the government created under Bush, I think you are barking up the wrong tree. The GOP does runaway government and "cut taxes and spend" economics.

    December 4, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Apparently Demint doesn't know we just had an election in this country. If this obstructionism keeps carrying on, Congress is going to force the American People's hand to march on Washington.

    December 4, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. KLARGAR

    The sad reality is that the most intransigent representatives against more revenue by raising taxes come from the most backward states that receive more government handouts both for social services and usually for pork barrel military expenditures.
    They would lose in both ways if spending is cut or tax revenues do not go up.

    December 4, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. etouchsolutions

    Finally someone with a sound mind speaks for the GOP !!! Read my lips " No more money for the government to waste"

    December 4, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Tom

    Add a history problem to the list of things wrong with the Republican party. Before the Bush tax cuts the economy was doing pretty well and the country had a budget surplus under Bill Clinton. The Republicans' apocalyptic predictions of guaranteed doom if taxes are raised on the wealthy simply don't jive with history. I suspect DeMint's comments are more bluster than anything else, but holding the country hostage for tax breaks for millionaires is going to hurt the Republican party even more.

    December 4, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. CarolinaGirl

    Demint is an embarassment to my state along with Joe Wilson, our previous govenor and our present govenor.

    December 4, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. Babyboomer

    This isn't about the Federal Gov. not needing more revenue. This is still about blocking anything President Obama wants to do for the American people. I'm so sick of this I could just scream...

    December 4, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  20. EDDIE

    Wow,"the government doesn't need additional revenue".Spoken like a true republican.He must have forgotten about the 2 war's and the tax cut's for the rich during those 2 war's.Along with those 3 issue's we have added up quit a deficit.And now we need to pay for them,everyone does even the rich.So how do you pay your bill's with no additinal income?Republicans need to go back to school and learn how to do math.But then again they probably think math is a science and it must be bunk.

    December 4, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. What Santa Claus Government said

    Well said, Santa Claus Government. You are right on the money.

    December 4, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Marry

    Perhaps we should check the birth – certificates of GOP members. There roots must be going back to the Afghan Taliban – destroying the US from within. What an arrogant and stubborn bunch they have become!

    December 4, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. jim

    We still dont have a revenue problem. THe problem is a spending problem... you fools dont get it !

    December 4, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. rino

    Demint I was wondering when this guy was going to show up. Government spending is up because we are in crisis, less people work and more on welfare. The thing that gets me sick about these guys is they always distort facts to win. The rich have bough them out, made a lot of money. Left the American people with the bill ( special the middle class). At least these fannyhole can be grateful to us the 99% for our help in stabilising the economy. But seems once they have our help, we are left in the curbe. Thye is what discuss me about guys like Demint.

    December 4, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    If the country doesn't need additional revenues, then why is it the annual deficit didn't occur until Republicans cut taxes promising "economic growth", which is not the same as job creation?

    If the country doesn't need additional revenues for the reasons and rationale that he cites, then how can we afford additional tax cuts in the revenue stream, which his party supports?

    Does Demint realize that his state is one of the "taker" states?

    December 4, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
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