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

    "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"

    Such a reasoned response... shows great flexibility and willingness to compromise. NOT!

    December 4, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. Tired of the Red States

    I am tired of these hypocrites in the Red States all speaking about federal spending and yet taking more from the government than they get. Red States, come up with a program to bring your federal spending in state below the tax revenue you generate. Then, we can start a dialog.

    December 4, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. eww

    Delusional would be too kind a word in referencing Jim DeMint. Although I would be inclined to agree the federal government doesn't need more money as long as the congress takes $1 a year for pay, reforms their retirement plan inasmuch as freezing their pension plan with the purpose of eliminating it altogether and have them collect social security and bump up the government matching in the thrift plan (401k) only 1%. I think we could have a deal.

    But seriously, their retirement plan needs reform. In these days and times when most companies have done away with a pension plan for employees except the senior execs. Here's what is currently in place for those congress who earn $153k a year and who after 2 terms have increased their net assets usually in excess of $500k. they earn about $85k a year subject to cost-of-living increases, paid health insurance, are able to collect social security or opt out, and they have a thrift plan or 401k. Who today working in companies have that kind of retirement plan? Mostly union personnel have something comparable, but isn't it the republicans who have vilified the unions for having this kind of retirement package? What's good for the goose is good for the gander....REFORM YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 4, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. emmitt

    Isn't Mr. DeMint the Senator from S.C. were most of our tax dollars go anyway to help the folks there. Why would he want to take from his own state. Fools like him scare the hell out of me. Only when the democrats in the white House do folks like Mr. Demint run his mouth. Shame on him and his Allies. The peolpe vote for President Obama and Democrat's. GOP will set us back again. Remember 2014 S. C. folks. Vote him out.

    December 4, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. lesgovplease

    johnny5 has the rite spirit, if we want to get out of this mess we all have to stand up and take the hit. If you believe that you can fix 100% of the problem with a tax on 2% of the tax payers your part of the problem.

    December 4, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    Add DeMint to the pathetic list of potential candidates for president in 2016. Why change? The GOP/Tea Party has the perfect formula for losing presidential elections: run extreme social and fiscal conservative candidates.

    December 4, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Arun

    This is coming from an idiot who's state takes more money from the government than what they give to the government. Hey Jim, take a look at your state when you are talking about handouts!! MORON!!

    December 4, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. Howard

    The GOP are just 4 short weeks away from becoming extinct. One can only hope that their complete indifference to 98% of Americans continues and that in a very short time they will go from being the of "No" to the party of "Nothing".

    December 4, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  9. Nietodarwin

    GOP got us in this economy. GOP House response to Obama jobs bill; "Abortion abortion abortion" Number of times GOP House voted to repeal Obama care, (yes, those same religious nuts that screamed "Abortion abortion abortion" spent their time on OUR tax money to try ) 33 times. THIRTY THREE TIMES.!!!!!! Einstein's definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and yet expecting a different result each time. This GOP House LITERALLY meets the definition of insanity.!!!!

    December 4, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. Lamanzo

    I'm apalled at you. You are the embarassment. We can argue all day long about politics, but when you let your political beliefs vs. someone else's be your grounds for getting in your car and taking off, that makes YOU the bad person. Why would anyone want to be like you with that example.

    December 4, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. Mary1972

    Isn't the same guy who funded for the campaigns of the likes of Atkin and Murdock? Enough said.

    December 4, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. cam519

    @Gurgyl First of all, the Obama phone is really the Bush phone. He signed the legislation in 2008. Reagan laid the groundwork for it 25 years prior to that with the free landlines. Those are republican policies which are not even taxpayer funded. Check your mirror for your vitriol. Its leaking out of every hole you have. As is your total ignorance.

    December 4, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. yogi

    @ Gurgyl
    You are the example of the one ingredient that is missing from republicans: compassion. You admit it in you last sentence, it truly is sad.
    The other element that seems so difficult for republicans is reasoning, they always seem to go through that process with echoes in their minds, never with real clarity or objectivity.
    It really is difficult to read through most of the right leaning posts, may be their poor brains are totally brainwashed by watching too much Fox "news".

    December 4, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. i'malib

    How am I supposed to live with no free stuff? I say stick it to the people who have jobs. They need to redistribute more so people like me can make it in this country.

    December 4, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. truecon

    Way to go, DeMint

    We need to get back to the original framer's const-itution of limited fede-ral government and expansive rights to all the states. General welfare clause and commerce clause are not blank checks. They are to be applied within the framework of enumer-ated powers.

    December 4, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. Malory Archer


    I was driving down the interstate, saw a car broke down on the side of the road and stopped to help. As I was walking up to the car I saw several "vote Obama" stickers on the back of the car. I told them to call Obama on their "obama gave me my phone," and walked back to my car and drove away. I didn't use to be that way. The lies, vitriol and plain blindness of the socialist left has made me that way. This country is so divided it isn't even funny. And I voted for Bill Clinton even though I thought he was an embarassment to this country. The saddest part is I did not feel a bit bad about driving away.


    It must suck to be as miserable as you. What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall when Karma pays you a visit.

    December 4, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. KC Yankee

    Ah, Gurgle, you don't think maybe you are the very embodiment of the worst in this country perhaps? The fact that you could pretend to help someone and then turn around and leave them in the lurch because you disagree with their politics and feel no pang of conscience, and even want to brag about it on this forum should give you pause. Yet the vitriol of the Left is what is bothering you? To quote the big guy: "What a piece of work is man."

    Also, while you're trying to make a very shaky case here, it would help if you learned to write an English sentence.

    December 4, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. zapper

    Why do the republicans think they can enjoy everything that is great about America without paying for it?

    December 4, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. Independent

    @tony....keep drinking the Kool-Aid!!! LOL LOOK at the past four years!!! The economy has been stagnant cause of Obama and all his redistribution policies!!!! And I can't blame companies for not hiring!!! Why would you hire someone if you have to pay more in redistribution taxes???? This America WORK for a living!!!! Get a clue!

    December 4, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota


    Isn't Mr. DeMint the Senator from S.C. were most of our tax dollars go anyway to help the folks there. Why would he want to take from his own state.

    Because the fools who continue to vote for him aren't the brightest bulbs on the tree. Nearly all of the red states take in more federal funds than they give back. Bit hyprocritical of DeMint to suggest otherwise, but he does ... time and again. I doubt he'd be so electable if indeed Boehner does take us over the cliff. It's folks such as those who support the DeMints of this country who will feel the economic impact where it hurts the most.

    December 4, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. Surprise Surprise

    Great to know that he doesn't care about the will of the people. Vote him out already!

    December 4, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. Candace Clough

    No one should believe for one second that the national debt nor the deficits were ever a true concern for Tea party Republicans – they were never wanting to balance the budget, they simply want to scare everyone into cutting medicare and SS. This is starve the beast mentality and has nothing whatsoever to do the bringing back a vibrant national economy or jobs. Wall street wants that money for investment in unsercured financial products and the GOP aims to deliver it and kill our safety net in the process

    December 4, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. Rick52

    If this guy is serious about balancing the budget without raising taxes, why doesn't he suggest some actual cuts?

    December 4, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. Shyla Jackson

    When you take money out of the economy, it destroys jobs, and everyone knows that when you give politicians more money, they spend it. Insist on real spending reductions that shrink the size of government and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money

    December 4, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  25. ja

    we need to stast a battery of test to make sure these guys are mentally fit

    December 4, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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