Rand Paul: I Won't Break the No-Tax-Increase Pledge I Made to the People
(CNSNews.com) - While some Republicans have indicated they may break their no-tax-hike pledge, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is not among them:
"I made a pledge to the people of Kentucky that I'm not raising taxes. I took a pledge. I signed a statement, an oath that I wouldn't raise taxes, and I'm going to adhere to it," Sen. Paul told Fox New's Greta Van Susteren Monday night.
In fact, if Paul had his way, he says he'd lower taxes:
"I think you should balance budgets, not spend more than comes in, and I think you should lower taxes, not raise taxes. In fact, if you want to stimulate the economy, I'm for cutting tax revenues. All these Republicans who want to give up their taxpayer pledge and raise taxes, I'm the opposite. I want to lower taxes because that's how we'd get actually more economic growth and maybe more revenue, if you cut tax rates.
Paul says the only way he'd raise tax revenue is through economic growth: "You don't have to raise rates or even close loopholes," he said. "If your economy was growing -- you know, when the economy was growing for four years after the Bush tax cuts, we had plenty of revenue. Revenue went down when the recession came.
"The reason we have a lack of revenue in Washington is too much spending and no economic growth. So we don't have economic growth. If the economy were growing at 4 percent right now, we'd have plenty of revenue. But you don't get the economy to grow by raising taxes. That's what they want to do now, and I think it's absolutely the wrong thing to do."
Paul says it's a "real problem" that some Republicans are caving in to Democrats on raising taxes without any getting any "concrete proposals" to cut spending.
Republicans shouldn't be trading tax hikes for an opportunity to address entitlements, he said: "We're all Americans. The entitlement programs are broken. Why don't we just fix them instead of saying, 'Oh, we have to give you a tax increase in order for you to think about fixing the entitlements.' Doesn't make any sense to me."
Paul said he expects Congress to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, but he's not happy about the way it may happen:
"I think there'll be something really big -- some enormous, ugly bill with a lot of stuff in it, including raising the debt ceiling by a couple trillion dollars. They'll squish it into one bill. And sometime before Christmas, they'll pass it."
Asked if going off the fiscal cliff "would necessarily be a bad thing," Paul repeated that "it would be a bad thing to raise taxes, but a good thing to lower spending. So I think you have two competing influences in what people are calling the fiscal cliff. That's why it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me."