Republicans have been faced with the prospect of what to do with the looming fiscal challenges or as described, the “fiscal cliff” and recently, Republican U.S. Senator from Georgia, Saxby Chambliss raised some eyebrows when he spoke about the issue of raising taxes in dealing with the deficit problem.
A few days ago, Breitbart reported that it appeared that Chambliss was ready to back down on his anti-tax pledge. The pledge, Grover Norquist’s anti-tax “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” that he and 38 Senators and 219 House members signed many years ago and every year since was a cornerstone pledge from the Republicans to not bend on raising taxes.
Chambliss had stated, “I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge.”
Since that news came out, the Paulding County Republican Examiner sent a message to Senator Chambliss about his comment on raising taxes and how that would hurt the economy and the tax payers.
Today, Chambliss responded with an explanation of what he meant.
“In recent days there has been significant discussion in the press about my position on taxes and tax reform. In spite of speculation to the contrary, my position has not changed and my comments have been consistent and unwavering. I hope to take this opportunity to set the record straight,” Chambliss said.
“I am not in favor of raising taxes. Raising taxes to pay for reckless overspending is bad policy, and I have never, nor will I ever, advance the idea that raising tax rates is an acceptable option for dealing with our deficit spending.”
Chambliss went on to say, “That being said, with the rapidly approaching “fiscal cliff,” there is much discussion in Washington and around the country about our debt, deficit, federal spending, and tax rates. We also cannot forget that beyond the impact of the fiscal cliff, our nation is still burdened with a $16 trillion debt that must not be left to simply grow and fester without immediate and significant action…there are no simple solutions and everything must be on the table. While parts of the tax code provide equitable economic incentives, many of them do not. The current tax code has become burdensome and complex and filled with provisions which only benefit a limited portion of Americans, at the expense of higher rates for all Americans.”
“As such, in addition to reducing discretionary spending, reforming entitlements, simplifying the individual and corporate tax code, and lowering tax rates, we should remove unproductive tax expenditures. This is a proven path to prosperity that President Reagan enabled in the mid-1980s and if done correctly, can provide us with a platform for growth that will help federal revenues rise naturally through economic prosperity. A robust economy simply creates more economic activity and more revenue without raising taxes,” he said.
“Ultimately, my pledge is to protect taxpayers, not special interests. We must analyze every aspect of the federal budget, including the tax code. As my voting record demonstrates, I don’t believe taking more money out of the pockets of hard-working Americans is the right approach for our country,” Chambliss said.
“In summation, I have consistently stated that, due to my conservative principles, I am not in favor of tax increases. I have also consistently said I am in favor of significant tax reform to lower tax rates and generate additional revenues. Those reforms should be on the table in this debt and deficit debate. However, this would only be acceptable in return for entitlement reforms from the other side that truly fix our long-term spending problem.”
Senator Chambliss is scheduled to appear on the Sean Hannity show tonight at 9 p.m. eastern to discuss this issue of taxes, his public comments, and the federal debt crisis that is now just under $17 trillion.