McConnell appears to shift GOP’s tax stance
May 22nd, 2011
10:23 AM ET
12 years ago

McConnell appears to shift GOP’s tax stance

Washington (CNN) - One word can say a lot, as Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell showed Sunday.

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," McConnell reiterated previous Republican opposition to higher taxes but changed one word by specifying that he and the GOP are against higher tax "rates."

"You cannot get anywhere if you start raising tax rates," the Kentucky senator said in discussing negotiations with President Barack Obama and Democrats on a deficit reduction plan.

Previously, McConnell and other conservative Republicans have railed against higher taxes in any form, and McConnell's use of the term "tax rates" indicated a shift in the mainstream GOP position.

Chris Wallace of Fox caught the distinction and asked McConnell if his language indicated he was open to collecting more tax revenue by ending some subsidies and loopholes. McConnell deflected the question, saying he wouldn't negotiate a deal on the program.

Another conservative Republican, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, has previously stated a willingness to accept more tax revenue in an overall reform of the tax code that would lower tax rates while eliminating many loopholes and subsidies.

Hard-line conservatives who seek smaller government immediately criticized Coburn for what they called an enabling attitude that would hinder efforts to slash spending.

On Sunday, McConnell repeated the conservative mantra that the government spends too much rather than taxing too little. He also repeated his insistence for significant spending cuts and deficit reduction measures before Republicans will vote to increase the federal debt ceiling in coming months.

The White House and Democrats want to separate the debt ceiling issue from overall deficit reduction, saying it is too risky to link the nation's creditworthiness with political maneuvering.

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Mitch McConnell • Senate • Taxes
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. aatami

    Q: How do you know when Mitch McConnell is lying? A: If his lips are moving.

    May 22, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. GI Joe

    The man makes me puke. What a DUD.

    May 22, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    Balancing a budget equal to solve the equation

    Equation has two sides to solve the equation we have to work both sides

    Simple make cut in some area increase some income (tax increase)

    Republicans working on one side to balance the budget it will hurt the economy

    May 22, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. cindy

    another day another lie....rethugs...teabags and those politicians bought by corporations...see ya at the polls!!! unless you manage to take away our right to vote completely. not that you arent working on that right now.I guess we ought to be happy-at least you are doing something....just not moving for a democracy

    May 22, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  5. ED FL

    The headline of this subject is self explanatory when dealing with Mcconnell, remember he is from the lowest educated state in the union. The spelling of one word in the title of this by Mcconnell Statement. The public is smart enough to see which word would explain his ideas better by changing ONE LETTER.

    May 22, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Aaron

    It's another ploy. They make like the rich and corporations are going to be paying more taxes, then insert so many loopholes that they actually pay less. Reagan and W mastered the art of lying and deceit. The average American gobbles it up and thinks it's great. These are the same bought off politicians who refused to eliminate $20 billion in tax subsidies for outrageously profitable oil companies. That's a harbinger that they aren't serious about generating more revenue except on the backs of the middle class.

    May 22, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. BIll

    Republicans do not know which way is up and will argue about whether or not the sky is blue. A pathetic group lacking direction and a coherent message on anything. And also, lagging in the all-important funraising arena.

    May 22, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Shane Botwin

    Has Mitch and his buddies figured out yet how to pay for the Bush tax cuts?

    May 22, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. 4merRepubCT

    Exactly which subsidies is McConnell willing to cut? The oil/gas companies are getting millions every year – adding to the deficit that McConnell says is the enemy – while making the highest profits in corporate history. Why won't he support ending those? The argument that cutting those subsidies would kill jobs is bull. The companies will not cut jobs as it will cut production, and ultimately lower profit.

    May 22, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  10. Four and The Door

    The White House and Democrats want to separate the debt ceiling issue from overall deficit reduction, saying it is too risky to link the nation's creditworthiness with political maneuvering.
    There is nothing riskier than continuing out of control spending. This is what got us in trouble in the first place.

    May 22, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |