Bill Bradley calls for higher taxes on 'a lot of people'
July 8th, 2012
09:54 AM ET
11 years ago

Bill Bradley calls for higher taxes on 'a lot of people'

(CNN) - Former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley on Sunday said too few elected officials are willing to tell the truth about how to solve the country's financial problems.

According to the one-time Democratic presidential candidate, the ideal fix requires a number of steps, including raising taxes across a broad spectrum of people.

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"The deficit is one problem - and that requires taxes on a lot of people, not just the wealthy," Bradley said on CNN's "State of the Union."

While President Barack Obama proposes increasing taxes on the very wealthy as part of a deficit-reduction plan, Bradley said the magnitude of the country's debt requires a wider pool of revenue.

"No one's saying that right now, and someone has to say it," Bradley told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "If we're going to succeed, we have to face our problems squarely."

By the beginning of next year, Congress is tasked with reaching a deficit-reduction deal as it faces another vote on raising the debt ceiling. It's widely expected to result in a bitter showdown similar to the summer-long debt debacle of 2011.

At the same time, the former senator, who recently released the book "We Can All Do Better," also countered some conservative proposals for shrinking the debt, namely the notion of rolling back spending and the size of government.

"But we also know that government is central to our lives," he said, pointing to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, Social Security and Medicare as crucial services provided by taxpayer dollars.

"Government is the foundation of this country," he added.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: 2012 • Debt • Deficit • Taxes • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. cobra

    Bradley is a true liberal, he talks about raising taxes but neglects to mention it might help if the government quit spending money it does not have.

    July 8, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  2. vic , nashville ,tn

    Keep tax lower so we can hide money in Swiss bank, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands
    Keep tax lower so I can hire driver for My Jet ski

    July 8, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. chuck weidemann

    We will find our way through this financial turmoil only by examining and being open to all options....this was how the system worked until obstruction became the word of the day....let's find a new word like solution,or compromise!! Both...they go hand in hand....amazing!!!

    July 8, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. Eagle Eye

    I wonder if former Sen. Bradley knows if taxes are raised that his taxes are going to be raised also. Or maybe since he's no longer in the Senate and getting a tax payer pension and health care paid from the tax payers that his taxes are not going to be raised. Well it doesn't work that way. Since Sen. Bradley is a private citizen everything applies to him just like everyone else. I get a big kick out all these ex-senator's who have all the answers but don't do anything about it. That the reason why they are no longer in "Government". What former Sen. Bradley doesn't understand that when he was in the senate that he was part of the problem not the solution. Former Sen Bradley is entitled to his opinion but I don't see him calling the President and offering his help. So former Sen. Bradley is just another private citizen giving his opinion that isn't going to go any where.

    July 8, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  5. HenryMiller

    Yeah, raise taxes–a lot–on the deadbeats who pay no taxes but keep whining for ever more freebies paid for by people who actually do pay taxes.

    If this country keeps coddling the losers, we're going to become a country of losers. In fact, we're almost halfway there already–almost half the country these days are tax deadbeats.

    July 8, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. Myviewis

    Tax, tax, tax, tax, the favorite solution of the Democrats. Hey, have Democrats ever heard of actually creating jobs?? stop trying to convince people this is the quick, easily solution ( actually, it would be easy, quick for Democrats and then they can sit back and see how far their easy, quick solution takes them until people wake up and realize it solved nothing). Democrats, times have changed.

    July 8, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. You Heard it worst on CNN

    The people are the foundation of this country not the government. The government can't even balance its own check book and has its credit cards all maxed out. Democrats just don't get it.

    July 8, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. Gurgyl

    ......only on 250k or more earners. Do not be an idiot.

    July 8, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. rla

    Like illegal is illegal except for the democrats –spending what you don't have also seems to escape them...... Everyone needs to look around and see that all this spending has created nothing but a dependent class who are not getting better but sinking deeper into generational dispair. In some respects common sense escapes both parties and certainly Obama-- Time to move on and HOPE for the best from someone who actually has a record of fixing problems!

    July 8, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. T'sah From Virginia

    I'm not going to put my salary out there but it's between 35,000 and 75,000 a year and I pay taxes; more than what I can afford, but I pay. My son, because he is single, makes a mere 25,000 per year and he pays a lot of taxes – they eat him up. So is Bradley asking my son and I to pay MORE taxes when rich folks who are able to keep accounts all over the world to keep from paying more, do not??? I'm not even considered "middle class" anymore; more needs to be explained here. Get rid of the “loopholes” and tax heavily those with Cayman Island accounts and we’ll be just fine.

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    July 8, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Keeping it Real

    Since when has the Tax and Spend mantra been hidden from the liberal talking points? It's something they have preached for decades.

    July 8, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. Four and The Door

    While President Barack Obama proposes increasing taxes on the very wealthy as part of a deficit-reduction plan, Bradley said the magnitude of the country's debt requires a wider pool of revenue.
    Do not be fooled by Obama's suggestion that he is only interested in raising taxes on billionaires. He is intent on raising taxes for every working American and every American business. Listen to Sen. Bradley here. The spending is much more out-of-control than people realize. So in a second Obama term, the whole tone would be, "Everyone doing their fair share." rather than getting government spending in control and helping the private sector get the economy back up and running strong.

    The fact is, this is all Obama is capable of. He has no idea how to run an efficient government or how to get the economy back up to speed. Taxes are his only salvation. Fortunately, Mitt Romney does know how to get the economy up and inning and he does know how to run an efficient government. He did exactly this in Massachusetts. Our only opportunity for avoiding an additional 4 years of stagnant unemployment, a poor economy and higher taxes for everyone to pay for a bloated federal government is to elect Mitt Romney in November.

    July 8, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. marine1978

    We need to enact the Fairtax and cut the size of government in half. Most federal programs should just be handled by the states. Example is if you want to build a house and there are wetlands nearby and these wetlands happen to have an endangered species from the federal list you have to deal with the feds, state, county, and city just to get clearances to use your own land as you want. Then are so many regulations to follow the cost of the house becomes unbearable. We don't need to raise taxes we need to get down to reality and cut the federal government down to size. All the states where Republicans took over from dems who ran huge defecits those states now have surplus. Why because the republicans cut spending and did the hard things to save their states.

    July 8, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. Franky

    You missed the point , people expect basic services from government but that comes at a cost. You can't have it both ways.

    July 8, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. Name

    Cobra, can you read? He did infact say we need to roll back spending and the size of government. To summarize, we need to do what both parties are calling for. Less taxes but also more revenue. To anyone who thinks we're gonna cut our way to riches is just foolish and shows you don't have a clue. I don't like paying my taxes either, but the fact is every functioning society NEEDS taxes. If some, especially the uberrich, are unwilling to pay a measly 3% increase, who do you expect would build the roads, bridges, schools etc that this country needs? Or this huge military that the repubs don't want to ease up on. Taxes are a burden on everyone, but a fundamental and key part to any economy. And actually, statistically, taxes are now and have been for the last 10 years, lower than ever. And while spending has blown up, we simply don't bring in enough revenue which is why our deficit has shot up to 15tril in 11 years. If we want to be serious about tackling this deficit, it's going to take both sides of the argument. Anyone who says otherwise is a complete fool

    July 8, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. Bren

    This is hilarious....This is the answer by all liberals--"just raise taxes". We can then keep spending-–and then we can raise taxes again. Spend-tax--spend--tax--spend--tax......The liberal motto. But, what this liberal seems to forget--with Obamacare alone there will be at "least" 20 new taxes. The Supreme Court confirmed that Obamacare is a tax. And, Obama's lawyers said that Obamacare is a tax--when they were trying to defend Obamacare in front of the Supremes. Obama and the liberal Dems--the Party of spend and tax.

    July 8, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. bill

    A better idea would be to cut the salaries of all public workers and eliminating all public unions. Why does the private sector have to pay a public employees union dues?

    Anyone but uhbama, 2012.

    July 8, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. trex

    .............We DO need to increase taxes on a GRADUATED SCALE. But before that, first, CUT Defense spending to what the NEXT 15 COUNTRIES SPEND (we currently spend what the NEXT19 countries spend)..........MEANS test for SSI and Medicare with a sliding scale...........Have a MINUMUM Corporate tax rate , that will broaden the base and DECREASE THE TOP CORPORATE TAX RATE,............and ELIMINATE JUST THE BUSH TAX CUTS (that primarily welfare the rich). People will scream that the Defense cuts will cause job cuts, BUT, ALSWAYS REMEMBER, that when you drop a bomb on some one, THAT BOMB IS GONE FOREVER (as well as the person.............BUT.................when you spend that BOMB MAKING FUNDING ON INFRASTRUCTURE..............that portion will BENEFIT US FOR DECADES TO COME. So, spend the money for workers to build a dam, and NOT build an aircraft carrier. THAT DAM WILL GENERATE POWER FOR 100+ YEARS, but that carrier will only sop up MORE TAX MONEY, YEAR AFTER YEAR.

    July 8, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  19. WireweirdinSF

    Would this include the dope addicts, welfare frauds and corrupt union bosses that make up the majority of the support for the most corrupt, inept, incompetent, union toady president we have ever had?

    July 8, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  20. usagoblue

    Just let all the Bush tax cuts expire and close the loopholes for big oil and too big to fail compainies and we will again have prosperity for all. For those who say Dems dont know how to create jobs, stop watching faux news. We've created 4.4 million in 27 staight months while repubs were loosing 800,000 a month!

    July 8, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. chuck weidemann

    Bradley's views ate balanced by Ryan' s views.....both extreme....the answer is in the middle!!! Times have changed the wealthy are going to start paying taxes at the same rate as the middle class.....change you can belive in!!!!

    July 8, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |