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. Emerson

    Republicans should not be conceding that the Federal government needs more revenue? It's way past time for Jimbo to head on back home and leave the Senate to serious minded adults who are at least minimally grounded in reality.

    December 4, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. John Stockton

    Okay, then let's cut 80% of our military budget. We'll still have the world's largest military budget AND we will be able to solve ALL of our fiscal woes. Oh, but that makes too much sense. Never mind.

    December 4, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Bushy Walrus

    DeMint is just another arrogant republican.

    December 4, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. CRG

    I hope this guy's head rolls in the next election. Hopefully, we can vote these reactionaries out of office before they cause long-term damage to this country which is likely to include another great depression and the end of democracy as we know it.

    December 4, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. M-W-T

    If OUR PRESIDENT'S plan is sooo bad, why won't the republicans let him hang himself with it????
    Republicans would be guaranteed the WH, Senate and House, wouldn't they????
    What are the Republicans afraid of????

    December 4, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Pharmc318

    Hello! kafecfk interesting kafecfk site! I'm really like it! Very, very kafecfk good!

    December 4, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. keeth

    DeMint is increasingly irrelevant. Good.

    December 4, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. jnpa

    Yeah right DeMint...the first thing the GOP will want to do is cut social security and medicare because we don't have the monies to pay for them. The next thing they will do is raise the defense budget for their cronies in the DOD. How are all those civilian companies contracted by the DOD going to make their millions without a high defense budget, right? You must be kidding me!

    December 4, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Larry L

    Think back to the clown car of candidates the Republicans put together for the 2012 Presidential bid. Based on that fiasco, why would anybody assume they could help America solve our problems? The GOP is finished if they don't ditch the Tea Party and Fox News mentality.

    December 4, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    I really can't get how Americans can stomach nutjobs like this huy. He sounds like someone with loose screws in his head, and he's an office holder? Is there anything in the statute that allows recall of nut cases?

    December 4, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. CBR

    Dear Senator DeMint,

    Your remarks added nothing to the debate. It is very clear to anyone who listens to you that you have very little regard for those who are less fortunate than you. Many of your statements can rile those of us who believe that all of our friends and neighbors are worthy of our assistance when they need it..

    Your party lost the election and those of you who do not feel that the government runs best when both parties work together and make compromises so the the very best legislation is enacted. Neither party has all the answers and truthfully speaking, you do not seem to have any that would help the situation.

    December 4, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |

    De Mint is demented,.. how about not issuing any paycheques to the Senators and Members of the House,..and cancelling their health benefits. If you don't have any revenue,..then you can't meet your payroll.

    December 4, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Donnie the Lion

    SC taxpayers are still paying this man a salary????

    December 4, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. dewey cheatem & howe

    To Rick52 – the house has already passed a plan that has actual cuts. but in the senate, reid refuses to bring it up for a vote because the dems do not actually want to cut any programs. especially for their welfare dependent voters

    December 4, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Ferret out the BS

    Granted, there is a deficit problem but the source of the problem was the combination of cutting revenue while increasing expenditures by funding two wars. Since the war expenditures have gone on for over ten years with virtually no new revenue along with the greed of Wall Street and exploitation of the freedoms of deregulation, we find ourselves in a serious deficit. This deficit is exacerbated by the lack of revenue due to a recession which threw an enormouse amount of people out of work however it was also exacerbated by the wealthy looking for places to hide their income in order to avoid taxation.The deficit will not be fixed by only increasing the tax on the wealthy but it is a start and they can afford an increase to help. Congressman Demint is incorrect in his assessment, we do need more revenue at this time and coupled with essential cuts in some programs it is a formula to set us on the right path to fiscal health. We do need the higher income earners to step up and provide more, the middle class has been supporting the brunt of economic slowdown and can't take much more. This isn't class warfare its a demand for help as part of being an American and helping other Americans weather this storm. This country has given a lot and maybe its time for the wealthy to give some back as the middle class has been doing.

    December 4, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Glen

    for those who propose cuts in the federal budget, are you ready for the cooresponding increase in the unemployment rate? Oh and since the are now un-employeed, they now get un-employment insurance. Additionally they are now competing with those already un-employed for the few jobs available. That also reduces the taxes the government gets in taxes, so it does not really help spending much. (unless you propose eliminating the safety net all together) As the economy recovers, we will spend less for the safety net, and we will bring in more tax revenue. We had growth in the 50-60's even with higher tax rates, and the rich taking a smaller piece of the pie. Everyone still wanted to be richer back then, even if it meant paying more in taxes. Raise taxes on the rich, and put triggers in place to cut spending, as the economy gets better. Relax the rest of the Bush era tax cuts on a similar schedule, and phase in the elimination of our favorite tax breaks. Things like the mortgage deduction over a longer time frame.

    December 4, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. Data Driven

    So some wingnut here thought it would be clever to appropriate the handle of the real "Gurgyl"? Duuuuude, get a life, seriously.

    December 4, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. Marie MD

    Oh goodie, just when you thought it was safe to go in the water with these dummies and show them how to swim here comes dimwit!!
    What a party of fools 🙂

    December 4, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Billy in NYC

    The Bush Tax Cut is temporary. It should roll back to the Clinton level on January 1, 2013. Obama has already extended it for two years in 2010. Do GOPs understand what "Temporary" mean? Or they just want the top 2% to support them in their re-election in 2014. With more people live longer and the population increased in the US, we need more resources to not only support the infra-structure, bu talso to pay down the debts from the two wars. Remember the two wars?? What are shame!

    December 4, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. fastboat

    I think we would be better off with a Centrist and Democratic party. It seems Republican's can't pull their head out from between their but cheeks.

    December 4, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Rick52

    @Shyla ... you contradict yourself: "When you take money out of the economy, it destroys jobs …Insist on real spending reductions …" If we have "real spending reductions," then we're taking "real money" out of the economy … which will destroy jobs all the same.

    December 4, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine


    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.
    And your admission demonstrates what about you? That you cannot put aside your politics for one minute and help another human being? Its sad. I spent a day at a Boy Scout Merit Badge event, talking with a group of parents from another troop who happened to be LDS and had Romney stickers on their vans. I did not needle them or attack them, but enjoyed their company and wished them and their sons well. Its too bad you blame a man you have never met for your own lack of compassion. You made the choice to be a jerk, not the people who had broken down by the side of the road. Pathetic.

    December 4, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. TheVoice2

    Demint is Demented.

    The super rich have bought themselves a party called the Republicans/GOP, and Grover Norquist is their "hit man".

    December 4, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. Greater Good

    Right, we don't need to take in money to pay down debt/ We'll just cut vital programs for the poor, elderly, slash funding for education and the environment. By all means, don't inconvenience the wealthiest 1%.
    Does that pretty much some up the GOP playbook, Sen. Demint?

    December 4, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. dewey cheatem & howe

    Way to go DeMint, don't cave to the welfare peddlers.

    December 4, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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