Skip to comments.DeMint comes out against tax deal, says GOP must do ‘better than this' (w/ Interview Transcript)
Posted on 12/08/2010 12:07:29 AM PST by FTJM
Sen. Jim DeMint, the South Carolina Republican who bucked his party leadership during the midterm elections, was back at it again Tuesday night, saying he would not vote for the tax cut deal brokered between the GOP and President Obama because it increases the deficit.
Most of us who ran this election said we were not going to vote for anything that increased the deficit. This does, DeMint said, explaining his opposition to conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt.
It could be the beginning of the deals unraveling, if DeMints public break with the deal and with his partys handling of negotiations with the White House prompts others in his party to turn against it as well, especially over the roughly $900 billion the deal adds to the deficit and national debt.
During the midterm elections, DeMints endorsements of Tea Party candidates in primaries against candidates favored by the Washington establishment angered many in his party. His words to Hewitt Tuesday are sure to set off a new round of recriminations within GOP circles.
DeMint appeared wary of being too tough on his party leaders, but was unapologetic in opposing the deal.
I dont want to second-guess my leadership, but frankly, I think we need to come away with a lot better than this, he said. We cannot increase the deficit, or keep increasing deficit spending.
So again, Im trying not to be too hard on the people whove done this, but weve worked too hard, and Americans worked too hard to elect us.
DeMint said the negotiating process should have been more open and inclusive of new lawmakers just elected, and even expressed a willingness to keep working on a deal into next year and allow taxes to go up on all Americans on Jan. 1.
So it wouldnt hurt my feelings at all if we pushed this whole things into next year, he said. There are a lot of people advocating for it, saying this is the best that we can get. But Ive talked to a number of the conservatives today who have grave concerns. I know a lot of them wont vote for it unless its paid for. I dont think the Democrats are going to cut spending enough to pay for this.
Here is a full transcript of Hewitts interview with DeMint, with an audio clip at the bottom:
HH: Pleased to welcome now to the Hugh Hewitt Show Senator Jim DeMint from South Carolina. Senator, always a pleasure, welcome back.
JD: Thank you, Hugh. Its great to be with you.
HH: Ive got some quick questions for you. The first is if the deal reached between the President and the Republican leadership yesterday makes it to the floor of the Senate in substantially the same form, will you vote for cloture to allow a final vote on it? And would you vote for it on that final vote if it cleared cloture?
HH: On both counts?
JD: On both counts. Im glad the President recognizes that tax increases hurt the economy. I mean, I guess thats progress. But frankly, Hugh, most of us who ran this election said we were not going to vote for anything that increased the deficit. This does. It raises taxes, it raises the death tax. I dont think we needed to negotiate that aspect of this thing away. I dont think we need to extend unemployment any further without paying for it, and without making some modifications such as turning it into a loan at some point. It then encourages people to go back to work. So theres a lot of problems with it. I mean, and frankly, the biggest problem I have, Hugh, is we dont need a temporary economy, which means we dont need a temporary tax rate. A permanent extension of our current tax rates would allow businesses to plan five and ten years in advance, and thats how you build an economy.
HH: Do you think a left-right coalition exists in either the Senate or the House to defeat the deal?
JD: Well, I was kind of holding my fire to let the liberals blast this thing first. I have a feeling that, I dont know if its pretense or whatever, but a lot of the liberals are upset that the President is not raising taxes on upper income and small businesses. So I was going to try to see if the liberals might go after it first. But it does appear to me that there are going to be problems on the left and the right with this bill. And theyre going to, as they do with so many things here, Hugh, make it a Christmas tree. Harry Reids already trying to legalize online gambling using this tax agreement. That isnt going to happen, but he is trying to work that through to give a payback to the gambling interests that helped elect him.
HH: Senator DeMint, youve got friends, Ive got friends in the Republicans who negotiated this. But I am still shocked that it was such a surprise, and they did not consult widely, and they did not even involve the new members who were just elected. Are you surprised that the leadership went back to the failed model that brought us the Gang of 14 and the disastrous immigration bill of a few years ago?
JD: Well, you know, hesitate to pounce right on them and criticize them, because I wasnt in the room doing the negotiation. And they may have felt after being there that this was the best we can do. Frankly, I dont think the President is going to let us leave town without extending tax rates for at least the middle class. So I think we had a lot of leverage. I dont want to second-guess my leadership, but frankly, I think we need to come away with a lot better than this. We cannot increase the deficit, or keep increasing deficit spending. So again, Im trying not to be too hard on the people whove done this, but weve worked too hard, and Americans worked too hard to elect us. And like you said, I think our new members should have a say in what were doing here. So it wouldnt hurt my feelings at all if we pushed this whole things into next year.
HH: Now is there a substantial number of Republican Senators who agree with you, Jim DeMint?
JD: Im not sure yet. I mean, there are a lot of people advocating for it, saying this is the best that we can get. But Ive talked to a number of the conservatives today who have grave concerns. I know a lot of them wont vote for it unless its paid for. I dont think the Democrats are going to cut spending enough to pay for this, because its getting close to $200 billion dollars in more deficit spending. So I think theres going to be a lot of fallout on the Republican side, and I suspect even on the Democrat side, because they dont want, I mean, they want taxes to go up, just not for their constituents.
HH: Now I know youre loathe to talk about the other house, but you were a member of the House in the past, and Ive just got to ask you. What do you think the reaction of the Tea Party is going to be to the elevation of Hal Rogers, a known big appropriator and earmarker, and Spencer Bachus, a critic of Sarah Palin to the chairmanship of appropriations and financial services, respectively?
JD: Well, I dont think the response is going to be good. And I think weve got to be real careful here. I mean, theres some good things happening, such as Paul Ryan being chairman of Budget, Dave Camp in Ways And Means, and these are real important committees. And so weve got some good minds on it. But frankly, the thing that killed the 94 revolution was that you got a lot of new people came in, but the guys whod been there forever took over the chairmanships of committees, and we went downhill from there. And so I dont want to second-guess Boehner, and hes not the one who makes all of these decisions. I like the fact they put Jeff Flake on appropriations. Hal Rogers may be sorry for the day he became chairman with Jeff on that committee. But I think we needed to show a little bit more light than whats been shown so far, but Ill let the Tea Party speak for themselves.
HH: Jim DeMint, always a pleasure, Senator. Well check in early and often during this interregnum in the lame duck, and of course in 2011.
End of interview.
when our two best people in the congress (demint and bachman) are united against this “deal”. i say no deal.
He is right.
Whenever DEM/GOP compromise we get the worst of both world. A tax cut that lead higher deficit which require more money printing is not going to benefit the economy. People may have a little more money in their wallet, but their money have just been devalued and everything they buy is a lot more expensive now
DeMint is right. Anyone who doesn’t get that is missing the point. They’re being tactical, not strategic. IOW, looking to win a battle at the cost of the war...
This is a RINO Senate deal to quick step the new House.
the quicker they move past the tax deal, the quicker the lame duck congress can move on to even worse legislation that is completely inconsistent with what the American people want as evidenced by the 2010 mid term election results.
A permanent extension of our current tax rates would allow businesses to plan five and ten years in advance.
Thats how you build an economy.
Not personal for you, 4rcane.....
It irritates the hell out of me that the media, Dems (including Obama) and some Republicans keep referring to this mess as “tax cuts”!
The proposal is to not RAISE taxes from the present rates!
The extension of unemployment payments for 13 months WILL add to the deficit, and there is no apparent reduction in spending to offset. Demint is correct on that.
Bureaucrats apparently planned on the current tax rates expiring and going higher, so were counting the increase in revenue in their budgeting. That must be why they keep shouting that to leave the tax rates the same will result in hundreds of billions of dollars in more deficit spending.
Idiots in this administration have been just betting on the chance that people would like more handouts and no one would notice that the hole keeps getting deeper and making it that much tougher to climb out of debt.
I agree....Demint 2012....The only leader in DC
No comprimises! Make no deals with the devil.
He’s right! ANd why are we just staying with the “Bush” tax cuts? Can’t we do BETTER tax cuts? And why make a deal on MORE benefits—actually extending current benefits by more than a year??? Why not wait until the new Congress comes in and really slash and burn? Let the Bush tax cuts EXPIRE—and then come in and get even deeper ones. And start auditing and destroying wasteful government jobs and spending.
DeMint, and the rest of you are WRONG.
If he wanted these rate to be permanent he should have pushed for that when they were enacted, which was at a time when his party controlled all 3 branches, iirc.
We, by which I mean all Americans, do not need our taxes going up in January.
And we don’t need another 3 weeks, or months, of uncertainty.
Nobody likes a fight more than me, but not when my money is at stake. Then I like to settle.
We, by which I mean Republicans, do NOT control the Senate or the WH, and won’t do so even in January.
I say: take this deal, STOP the DREAM act, and go home for the holidays.
NIMBP...not in my back pocket? Just in the back pocket of my grandkids. No thanks. I’ll take the hit, thank you.
My hunch is Obama staged this deal to show how he could go against his own party. He is angry because the dems are not going along.
I agree with a lot of what you have to say. DeMint is right in theory but he has yet to prove he can be an effective leader to actually enact his agenda. The conservative movement has way to many talkers who sound great and accomplish nothing. That is why many people are so excited about a Chris Christie on economic issues. He talks the talk, fights the fight and then wins. He may not get everything he wants but he moves the policy in the right direction—smaller government.
I’m not slamming DeMint here—I’m just saying I’m going to hold off on praising him until I see him successfully implementing what he is talking about. And complaining that “RINOs” are blocking him doesn’t cut it. I want to see what he can actually do with this Congress.
Well stated-I know many will have to tighten our belts, reduce our own spending (to pay our taxes), but as I see it, it is already hard enough on our kids now, I’d rather take teh hit than see them have to, Howevr, I have this bad feeling, that the GOP (just slightly right of the Dems, significantly left of left), as a whole, isn’t going to get it....
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! (Whether you like it or not!)
“I agree....Demint 2012....The only leader in DC
I would agree to that.
But I’d rather have a leader from outside DC.
Let’s be a little careful here. With the spending orgy that has already taken place, and probability of more to come, the economy is already sliding down a steep, slippery slope. If the tax cut extension and other conservative initiatives are not enough to turn it around (and, it will be difficult to do enough in a short amount of time to make a noticeable difference), the socialists now have someone to blame, and it appears to me they are already setting themselves up to do just that.
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