WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – As several GOP leaders agreed to close loopholes and deductions to increase tax revenue, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul reminded them that they are breaking their oath against raising any taxes.
Paul stated that he will not tolerate a tax plan that raises any type of money for the government. His denunciations come as several key Republican leaders — including Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — have allowed that they would be open to raising new revenues through eliminating deductions and closing loopholes as long as Democrats compromised on significant cuts to entitlement programs.
“The real problem, and the thing that we have to be very careful on, is there are people, including some people who took the pledge out there, who think, ‘Oh I can get rid of deductions — which is raising revenue — and that doesn’t count as a tax increase,’” Paul said Wednesday on The Sean Hannity Show.
Paul was reminding fellow Republicans of the anti-tax “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” — which was signed by 95 percent of Republican congressmen earlier this month just before the election.
Several Republicans have defended their actions to compromise with Democrats.
“We’ve been open to revenue by closing loopholes, as long as it’s tied to spending cuts and pro-growth tax reform that broadens the base and lowers rates,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “So Republicans have stepped out of our comfort zone. We’ve been clear about what we’ll do and what we won’t.”
However, Paul reiterated his hardline stance on taxes, stating that giving any new money to the government is unacceptable.
“I think we need to be explicit that if you get rid of deductions only, [you get] $700 billion worth of new revenue — that’s a tax increase, and it’s equally as bad as raising rates because you’re taking money out of the private sector and giving it to the nonproductive center or the counterproductive center, which is the government,” he said.
Paul’s stance echoes that of anti-tax lobbyist and conservative activist Grover Norquist, who claims that any attempt to raise additional revenue from taxes constitutes a tax hike and should be opposed.