DeMint: Government doesn't need additional revenues
December 4th, 2012
01:23 PM ET
6 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. Jack

    The problem with idiots like this is that they dont even want a compromise in their own favor to get things done. He should resign. Running a government is all about compromise.

    December 4, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  2. Ethan Fairweather

    Surprisingly, I am finding this amusing. It seems that the republican party is falling apart from the inside out. Only this has become even more evident then it was during the election. I am surprised though, that internal party turmoil, has accelerated the rate it has (seriously, I evening checked fox news and I am not seeing the democrats with this issue).

    December 4, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Yeahona

    I thought the word "negotiate" meant that you found a common solution that both sides of an issue could agree on. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe negotiate means to demand your way and if you don't get it, you'll kick and scream just like a tiny little spoiled baby.

    December 4, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. MadGOPer

    My party continues to be clueless... As much I don't want to see taxes rise we have to pay our bills. The government (regardless of which party is in charge) has more and more folks to provide even the most basic of services to. We cannot draw a line in the sand and say we won't spend more than X dollars a year because that line has already fallen behind what is needed to pay out just to keep the "lights on". There's 535 elected politicians who better start getting over themselves and their special interests and really fix the problems.

    December 4, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. Eric

    "return to the spending levels of the Clinton era, $1.7 trillion a year versus the current $3.5 trillon a year" - When Bill Clinton left office, the US economy was $6.2 trillion. It is over $15 trillion today, which is more than double.

    This is why we measure spending as a percent of GDP. The higher the GDP, the more spending is required to support and maintain that level of GDP.

    Our spending as a percent of GDP is bit higher than during the Clinton administration, but not as low as our taxation is relative to the GDP, which is very low.

    From 2000 to 2008, the size of the Pentagon doubled. By getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan, military spending will be lowered. Obamacare will help control health care costs, but if we had passed universal single payer with other reforms such as letting Medicare bargain for lower drug prices, that would have reduced spending even further.

    The real problem is that our federal taxes are way too low (14% of GDP). During the Clinton administration, they were at 20% of GDP (and so was spending). There is no way we can reduce our spending down to 14% of GDP and still have the world biggest and most expensive military, maintain our infrastructure, etc.

    December 4, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. Bob Ramos

    The Palmetto State Republican defended his stance, saying, "This federal government doesn't need more money."
    DeMint would be correct if folks would stop demanding so much from the federal government. They have not and won't thus he is wrong.

    Case in point – Sandy has devastaged the NJ and NY areas and the people there need help. Why could not the banking community and the investment community furnish whatever funds are needed and then recoup these funds, plus interest, as time goes by? After all, they have a huge stake there also.

    December 4, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. Thomas

    This is the same guy who supported two ten year wars , And who said the military was sufficiently equeped for Bagdad .
    He also said the war would be over in a mater of months .

    Jim " neocon Tea " DeMint .

    December 4, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. w l jones

    That a new one government dont need money ....Government is money without it who need one.

    December 4, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. sonny chapman

    Just Secede & let people w/smaller egos try to get on w/our lives.

    December 4, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. ricardo1968

    We've been hearing this BS for far too long. We DON'T want less government. Anyone who wants less government should move to Somalia where government is smallest. People like DeMint are destroying the fabric of our civil society.

    December 4, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. Facts don't Lie

    I think Sen DeMint wighht still be having hangovers after "Obama's Waterloo" as he called it referring to the president's chances at getting his healthcare bill passed. Sorry senator we just had an election and unlike in 2010 this time your side LOST so deal with it.

    December 4, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. Alex in Wisconsin

    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.

    I like the way you think. Force the global economy to lower prices for goods to Clinton Era levels and you have a deal. Of course losing all that military spending and getting rid of the funds for the Department of Homeland security might be opposed by your peers. But if you can't lower the prices for goods, there's no way to lower spending to Clinton Era levels. price of gas is 3 dollars higher (which means the price of moving goods is higher, raising the price of the goods themselves) and health care costs are through the roof.

    December 4, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  13. dxcamp2

    Gov't spending stands at approximately 24% of GDP. It should be much lower based on historical averages so we have a spending problem. Once you admit that, you will be well on your way to recovering from Leftism.

    December 4, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. v_mag

    The "demented" senator needs to think like a Reaganite. It's supply side, Senator. We need to increase the supply of revenue. Isn't "supply side economics" what Reagan used to preach? That and "trickle down"?

    What Reagan did, however, was much different. He cut taxes and drastically increased spending on the military, leading to a whopping increase in the deficit and national debt. The Bushes did more of the same. We've tried that voodoo for far too long. We need to make the rich pay their share and cut the military drastically.

    December 4, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. scarf

    DeMint is half-right. The government doesn't need any new revenue UNLESS we want to continue to spend anything on defense. You can cut the entire discretionary non-defense part of the budget and still have a deficit of hundreds of billions of dollars. Even Rand Paul has admitted we can't get out of this hole by cutting alone.

    December 4, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Dan5404

    No, Mr. DeMint, government doesn't need quacks like you pretending you have the knowledge to represent the American people. Your kind is slowly on the way out. That ridiculous statement is like telling a family barely making it to quit buying so much food and clothing, while turning down a raise from your boss.

    December 4, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. RB

    Please, please, please learn how to NEGOTIATE and COMPROMISE! We need real solutions that both parties can get behind . . . no more of this one-sided nonsense!

    December 4, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Senator, attend the next RGA, Republian Governer's Association, annual meeting. At that meeting, make a presentation to your fellow Republicans that their states need to *stop* consuming more federal dollars than what they contribute. If they do not wish to contribute more, then you will cut their allocations of federal dollars.

    December 4, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  19. Eric

    Correction: I mean to say that when Clinton ENTERED office, the economy was $6.6 trillion. When he left office it was $10 trillion. So spending has gone up more than the economy has expanded, which is why spending relative to GDP is higher (24%) than it was under Clinton (20%). But cutting spending down to the same $1.7 trillion level is unrealistic as the economy has grown by 50% since then.

    December 4, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. Wes

    DeMint is diminutive in both intelligence and compassion let alone an ability to negotiate. He probably has numerous interests that are imperiled from any consideration of revenue increases. He should be homeless and join the masses, or maybe pick fruit for a living.

    December 4, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. sassysticks53

    Hey Dementia, hows that Obama "waterloo" thingy going these days, eh? Did ya break him yet? Hee-hee.

    December 4, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. cnnmembuh

    We have been running deficits in this country since 1969. Could you manage that with your household budget? This is not just a republican or democrat problem; it is a toxic, universally American poison which has sickened, and will eventually kill us. Our indebtedness has doubled in the last few years. No amount of "revenue" (read "confiscating private property") will adequately address the problem. I would grudgingly give a little more to be flushed down the toilet if we agreed to make serious, draconian cuts across the board. We have to care for the neediest among us, and we have to provide for the common defense (though both of those areas need a severe whacking), but beyond that, nothing is sacred.

    December 4, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. time to let them see destruction and creation

    the 2% elitists could go down like they have in other countries in the past, 98% is a hard number to beat especially if they are motivated to throw you out, just ask Saddam, Kaddafi and many others when you see them, oh wait don't see them do you. Conservative Elitists of all colors and religions are going down in this new paradigm.

    December 4, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  24. James PDX

    Actually, we do need increased revenue. Not for our government to waste, but rather to directly pay down the current debt.

    December 4, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Thomas

    Good on you Mr Speaker. This so call President does not deserve any respect, OBama needs to learn his place. The House calls the shots not the President, the people gave the House 2 more years to control our out of control President.

    Thats right do nothing , your good at it Mr . Speaker. Make Obama a one term President , the Cleveland Browns might play the in the SD Chargers in this years supper Bowl .

    December 4, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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