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. Al

    Where was DeMint when it came time to vote to fund Iraq and Afghanistan? Both were/are being waged entirely on the national credit card, AKA the deficit.

    Our children can be under-educated, our parents unable to afford health care and our roads and bridges falling apart, but we don't need to pay more taxes to fund any of this AND keep our wars on. (And I've got a bridge to sell you....)

    December 4, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. Sorensen

    When do the very few brains left in the GOP wake up, fire Boehner, McConnell, Prairiebus and the next 10 worst old
    fools, who are making it totally impossible for the GOP ever to get any credibility anywhere.
    They are making a laughing stock out of government and the american people. Even the not too bright ones.

    December 4, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. dewey cheatem & howe

    I see dumb people!!!!
    and they all voted for obama

    December 4, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Ignore the phony Gurgyl.
    It is lying as usual.
    Bad press is better than no press right phony Gurgyl? Not even smart enough to come up with your own moniker.
    Pathetic excuse for attention.

    December 4, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Sorensen

    Success and failure are self-accelerating. The GOP is racing at 100 miles/hous towards the cement wall.

    December 4, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. Gurgyl

    I hate this sob. He talks no sense.

    December 4, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Wilson

    @Data Driven
    So some wingnut here thought it would be clever to appropriate the handle of the real "Gurgyl"? Duuuuude, get a life, seriously.
    Hmmm, you are probably right. I thought it odd that all of a sudden "gurgyl" was typing like she found two brain cells to rub together, not like usual.

    December 4, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. dewey cheatem & howe

    cut welfare, food stamps, govt housing, foreign aid, and pbs along with all elected officals salaries, housing benefits and other slush funds they receive. that's a good start

    December 4, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. JohnReedjr

    Jim Demint, hear this. The AMERICAN people voted in a Democratic President who ran on a platform that says Government can do somethings right and should provide for Health Education welfare and defense. You need to have taxes to do that. You can continue to be irrelevant, but you will not win.

    December 4, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  10. Andrew

    Some republicans still think crazy is going to work for them.

    December 4, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. nvmature

    I don't like saying this because I am from South Carolina, but Republican politicians in South Carolina don't see the world as it is or ever will be again.

    December 4, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. peakprofit

    DeMint's statements remind me of the incredibly absurd mantra of the Romney campaign about the number of naval ships in 1916. Yes, our revenues are higher than ever. However, that includes a 3% per year rate of inflation, a much larger workforce, a workforce that has forced families to be two income earners and a workforce that works as much as a decade longer than it used to. The average amount of money, as a percentage of income is the lowest it has been since federal taxation was put in place.

    On the other side of the coin, the larger population has expanded the costs – in raw dollars – of many programs. Even programs that DeMint and his family have enjoyed, like the mortgage interest deduction, low interest student loans etc.

    Last but certainly not least, why is it that the new GOP continually cries about the need to cut spending, yet never counts military spending and wars in those elements that need to be cut? We do not need to give people free food stamps without a work requirement. But we also do not need to have 13 carrier groups when the Chinese They have one carrier and are only now practicing how to land on it. Interestngly enough, Iran has zero and North Korea has zero as well. In fact, there are only 10 navies that have any carriers. Of those all but three have a single carrier. Spain has 2. Italy has 2. The United States has 11, one more coming, and another 9 ships that are outfitted to carry as many contemporary planes as all the other carriers in the world. So why do we need 20 plane carrying ships, when no other country has more than 2? Why do we need 2000 tanks sitting in a field in California? Why do we need 50,000 troops in Germany? Didn't we already beat them in a war?

    Yes, we need to cut spending. But we can cut a whole lot of spending before we have to eliminate college loan guarantees and medical care to the elderly.

    December 4, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. Deb in MT

    This is the same DeMint who voted to kill the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, right?

    The man is a complete loon and there's no need to take anything he says as representative of the reality based world.
    A complete–and utter–loon. Whatever he says is "a tale told by an idiot: full of sound & fury, and signifying nothing."

    An idiot; a loon. A modern Republican.

    December 4, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. nvmature

    The GOP is constantly reminding us of why they lost the election. They are in denial and in disarray.

    December 4, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. Larry in Houston

    I thought it was a fake Gurgyl – To the Real Gurgyl : The ones that Know your Posts – already Knows that You wouldn't post that kind of B.S. – – we know who the phony one is , by their posts .

    December 4, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. yankquest

    Yeah, we need to cut federal spending, BUT, not on defense. We can then go to war somewhere else, police another country that can't stand us, but, we can do it!!! Sorry folks, we can't help your with your SS or Medicare, it's costing us too much. You will have to take less for here on out. . If politicians want to cut federal spending, let's start in Congress!!! Way too much pay and time off, for so little in return for the American taxpayer!!!

    December 4, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  17. Alphonse

    Perhaps the best thing to do is nothing. The booby trap the last congress set up will trigger, taxes will go up and spending will go down. Then the boys in the capital will have to grow up, decide what taxes to cut, what programs to save, and at what cost. The fiscal "cliff" will be a scary time, but it can be undone, quickly, if both will play nice.

    December 4, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  18. Pete/Ark

    DeMint ( or Dement) is a follower of Malthusian his cronies, he thinks that diaster will make us stronger...

    December 4, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. John

    Good Luck Jim!! The AMerican public says, by 57-23% that the GOP will be at fault if we go over the fiscal cliff, all tax rates will go up and of course, Congress will have to immediately pass a tax cut for the 98% in order to prevent a recession, so you will lose.......only you will lose worse than if you granted the tax extension to the 98% right now, and lived to fight another day after the next congress convenes......your recommendation is political suicide for the GOP....In 2014, the GOP will look back and wish that they would have stood up for the middle wipe out.......

    December 4, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |

    Here is a thought. Democrats always brag about how great the economy was under Clinton. How great the economy was even with the higher Clinton tax rates on the rich. They seem to want to go back there. But the higher tax rates on the rich would only get you part way back there. Clinton had higher tax rates on all Americans. And spending under Clinton was lower too. I just read today in Investors Business daily that under Clinton spending on average was 19.8% of GDP while under Obama the average government spending has been 24.4% of GDP. Let's go back to all of that. Besides I never heard any Democrat thank Bush for the middle class tax cuts or condem Clinton for oppressive taxes on the middle class. Seems hard to believe that if things were so great under Clinton that going back to the Clinton tax rates for the middle class would cause a recession. And really only 53% of Americans would get a tax increase. The 2% rich, and the 51% remaining Americans who pay income taxes. The remaining 47% do not pay income taxes. Some of the 47% do pay payroll taxes but the Bush tax cuts did not impact payroll taxes, just income taxes.

    December 4, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. Steve R

    The Republican Party should be investigated by the Anti-trust Commission. . They have created a clear monopoly on nuts.

    December 4, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Brandon M.

    On a different posting board, a woman described Sarah Palin as "wise" and "courageous" and lauded her knowledge of the issues. Remarkable and quite scary! I voted for Clinton in '96, Bush in 2000 and Obama in 2008, and I watch both Fox and CNN and read the WSJ, NYT and Time MAgazine, plus pretty much anything else that I can get my hands on. I've listened to Palin in various forums with an objective ear and without preconceived judgments and here is the real truth: The woman is actually quite uninformed and is basically wrong about the facts concerning most of the issues. She leads with talking points fed to her by handlers, but once the questions start to roll and the conversation bends in unexpected directions, her answers are either patently incorrect, ridiculous, or plain stupid. I have literally heard her address a wide range of topics, and she honestly doesn't understand many of them. Not to sound elitist, but I would love to know what her academic credentials are, because she really doesn't UNDERSTAND–that's the word–the issues very well. Aside from the reflex vitriol from the people who hate her, do objective people understand this? In other words, do people who don't actually hate her and those that can be objective realize that her knowledge is actually lacking? Her rise has been more surprising and bewildering to me than KEsha's rise to fame. Yes, she is attractive and her accent is somewhat interesting, but her knowledge is deficient and I confess that I sometimes laugh when she tries to address the 2nd-5th question on any given topic. No hate here–I honestly laugh at some of her answers and I do find her amusing...

    December 4, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    I can certainly understand why the wealthy want to keep the tax rates as they are. It is perfectly normal to protect your self-interest and the current rates have been very good to many of us. What is hard to follow is why so many working class folks are willing to fight so hard to allow us to keep that special treatment. Surely, they must realize that they have to make up whatever we don't pay... or do they?

    December 4, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  24. JohnW

    Problem: We don't have enough money and spend too much. Solution: Don't get any more money and spend less. Close, but no cigar.

    December 4, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  25. love miami

    lol..other G.O.P. who dont understand the working class american people ...question for those none sense why you guy dont want to rise tax on the rich.. well if you are a right wing G.O.P. you will tell me thats if you rise tax on rich they will not greate job. they never greate job but they site on tax break and make more money on the working class american like me .well we have the power to vote all of them out next election thats the power american people have and we will use it. by the way they wont have a job in 2014 .if you are a G.O.P you need to be in the working class american site if you dont you will not have or will be in office for long time we will vote you out. go on vacation with your rich friends..

    December 4, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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