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. chill

    MIllionaire DeMint wants his taxes lowered by charging it to the elderly and poor. The government doesn't need more money he says as the roads and bridges and schools and sewer plants continue to crumble. This man is the biggest disgrace in the US Senate.

    December 4, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. Saboth

    The US government has raised and lowered taxes many many times. In the past 100 years, the marginal rate has fluctuated from about 10 to 90%. Right now it's about 35%. In the 70s and 80s it was 70% and 50%. The wealthiest Americans have seen their wealth grow 300% in the past few years. You can't tell me then can't afford to pay a few percentage more in taxes.

    December 4, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Larry in Houston

    sounds like Dimwit is finally agreeing with the heritage foundation – Hopefully more GOP'ers will finally come to their senses. Here is a Quote from the Heritage Foundation :

    "Rarely in modern American politics have more counterproductive, more foolish words been set to paper," wrote researchers at the Heritage Foundation in response to part of the letter sent to the White House from seven House leaders that outlined the Republican plan. The Heritage analysis, co-written by Alison Acosta Fraser and J.D. Foster, went on to say: "The Republican counteroffer, to the extent it can be interpreted from the hazy details now available, is a dud. It is utterly unacceptable. It is bad policy, bad economics, and, if we may say so, highly questionable as a negotiating tactic."

    December 4, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. Data Driven

    Whatever, Demint. You'll discover that most of us are prepared to pay more as long as the bloated plutocrats pay more. Slashing the ridiculous military budget would be nice, too. (Assuming that actually happens. I'm sure they'll find a workaround, because the defense contractors fund the existence of so many of these corrupt congresscritters.)

    Bring on the Fiscal Cliff!

    December 4, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. screenthis

    In other news, Water is Wet. Demint Is and always has been part of the problem (not part of a solution). He's a great example of why we need to clean house in Washington. His only concern is to play to the base which wants their way only (no compromise, no negotiations). The problem is that their base makes up only 25% of the country (right wing). And, that base has had control of the Republican party for years. Until we get a Congress that works for the people and seeks common solutions, we'll continue our drift towards irrelevance. Time to clean out all these rigid dinosaurs.

    December 4, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. John

    DeMint is just another Tea Party Republican working for the Koch brothers, who refuse to pay their fair share of taxes.

    December 4, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. Jim Hahn

    If Jim DeMint wants smaller government, can we start with his job? If he is so dead set against increasing tax revenues, can't we just eliminate him? If is so bothered by government, why is he depending on it for his livelihood? Inquiring minds want to know.

    December 4, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Buckeye

    Jim Demented. Wars cost money.
    He needs a reminder that Bush started two wars, failed to do above board accounting on them, and to top it off, cut taxes that would be needed to pay for the wars. GOP, as shown in this case by Jim Demented, have no credibility when it comes to fiscal conservatism.

    December 4, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. JB

    Compromise? Just like there was compromise in the first 2 years when Obamacare was rammed through Congress when the majority of the US didn't want it. I'll take gridlock thank you. I haven't heard of a plan from the Prez in which there are cuts to anything, only raising revenue. But I guess that followed his "test of balance" he is blaming the GOP for in their plan. All of the Repubs in Congress should simply vote Present when the bills come up for a vote...then when the economy tanks, we will finally have something to blame Obama on. Or is the whole tax talk a bunch of pandering so Jan 2, the Prez can come in on his white horse, give the middle class a tax cut, and everyone call him a hero, "hook, line and sinker"?

    December 4, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. simp

    It's idiots like this that keeps this country from moving forward. You republicians LOST!! so move on because President Obama got the upper hand LOL!!!!!!

    December 4, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. JohnRJohnson

    This reactionary bigot shouldn't be in government. He should be presiding over a cross burning somewhere.

    December 4, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Ancient Texan

    Everything the Obama administration does is off-budget. They haven't written one in 3 1/2 years, and won't even consider the House budget. The House controls the purse strings.

    December 4, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. p tracy

    i say let's go over the cliff together. De'mint can be the bow man, get those wars paid off so we can go foward, Syria and N Korea are calling

    December 4, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. TK

    Is this debate really that complicated? We already have a progressive tax system. That means the more money you make, the more the government penalizes you! The poor already pay zero taxes. So close tax loopholes for the rich. But don't punish people who work hard and take risks by raising their rates. They are the ones who create most new jobs. After all, how exactly does someone make a lot of money? Usually by creating a product or service that other people want, and then employing people to deliver that product or service. Let's not penalize them even more.

    December 4, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  15. kayla

    amazing how the repugs hate goverment and yet they have goverment jobs, sounds like animal farm to me

    December 4, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. Deminted

    No more govt revenue? Fine, cut cut cut, starting with corporate welfare and defence spending.

    December 4, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. kim

    To be fair, we need to re-name the fiscal cliff the Bush Cliff. Republicans continue to refuse to own up to the damage they've done, what their last administration did, and what they want to do to us again.

    December 4, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. leonid7

    Does he need to be reminded yet again that the proposed tax increases are to pay for money already spent or budgeted? This is not an increase in size of federal government: it's addressing previous increases over the last decade.

    December 4, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Mr. DeMint has no degree nor education in economics. What does he know about balancing the federal budget without causing an economic disaster. Why dont we have people with brains working on this problem-not just a big mouth and money in their pockets from special interests

    December 4, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. wisewalt

    Good article by Republicn strategist Mike Murphy in this issue of Time. He calls DeMint one of the problems with the party. DeMint spent a lot of time this year selecing unelectable GOP candidates. As a Democrat, I hope the GOP keeps people like him around making decisions for a long time!

    December 4, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. RF

    I guess Demint was asleep during the election. OBAMA won!

    December 4, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. DAT

    The GOP has become toxic to the country.

    December 4, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. Patrick Lewis

    Hmm. It's been pretty much established by simple math that DeMint is wrong. There was this thing called the Global war on terror that cost us quite a bit and left us with a large military and broken former soldiers. We do need revenue. To think so is to live in a fantasy.

    December 4, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "sounds like Dimwit is finally agreeing with the heritage foundation – Hopefully more GOP'ers will finally come to their senses. Here is a Quote from the Heritage Foundation : "

    Yeah, the Heritage Foundation pooped on the GOP counteroffer BECAUSE IT WASN'T OUT IN RIGHT FIELD ENOUGH. Their whole premise for saying it was a "dud" was that it didn't demand the destruction of Medicare and SS.

    December 4, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. Luke Brown

    DeMint is supposed to represent my state, but we never see him here. He has no idea what kind of suffering goes on in SC, nor does he understand that infrastructure, dredging harbors, schools. etc. are the underpinnings of a strong economy.

    December 4, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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