James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

Rep. Dave Camp battles the tax hikers

June 27, 2011

Great WSJ interview with House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp,  a Michigan Republican.  A few of the better bits (but please read it all):

A short-term debt ceiling extension?

There’s talk of a short-term extension while these discussions continue. I think that’s not a good idea, because it doesn’t give you the certainty. Ideally, you’d like to get that settled, and not have it be continually a hanging-over issue.

Can we get the budget to balance without tax increases?

The House-passed budget does that, gets to primary balance. … What we want to do is not have higher revenues. Because the issue is who’s going to pay them. Their idea is always, quote unquote, “rich people over $250,000.” Half of that, as we know, is small business, which is the very sector we need to see some growth in.

What is the least damaging place to raise taxes>

I can’t think of a least damaging place. The approach they’re looking at is not just on what they call high income. They also want to sort of pluck out various provisions of the tax code and simply end them, not really with an eye to what this means to our competitiveness in a global economy. That, I think, is a very dangerous prospect.

Taxing investors and entrepreneurs and small business is no way to boost economic growth. And U.S. economic policy is so sub-optimized for growth that we could generate more revenue by expanding the pie, not raising the tax burden.  That should be the focus on government policy.

 

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