(CNSNews.com) - President Obama's call for $320 billion in new taxes on the rich to boost middle-class entitlements shows that he is "tone deaf," said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
"We do not have a revenue problem," Blackburn told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren Monday night.
"You know, we brought in the most money ever -- the most money ever -- in 2014, $3 trillion in revenue. And what this president does not understand is that you have to make certain you're lowering all of the rates, getting more people into the process, paying taxes, so you increase those revenues. And he still doesn't understand the best economic stimulus is a job. And that is what people want the focus to be."
Blackburn said the best "formula" to boost the economy is "less regulation plus less taxation plus less litigation," which "always equals more innovation and job creation. That's what the president ought to say (Tuesday) night."
Instead, President Obama, in tonight's State of the Union address, will propose a tax hike on wealthy Americans -- including a hike in the top capital gains tax rate, which affects certain investment income.
As White House adviser David Simas told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday: "It's important for us to find every single way that we can to provide some relief for middle class families, because as the economy finally -- after six years -- gets to the point where people are beginning to feel it, we need to make sure we lean in so that folks have a little bit more money at the end of the week, and, as importantly, that they have all the opportunities they have to get ahead. And so this is why we call this middle class economics, and that will be the focus (Tuesday) night."
Blackburn said the White House is floating "grandiose ideas."
"The American dream is not being dependent on the federal government for your health care, for your automobile, for your college education, for your student loan, on and on and on. The American dream is independence and being able to create that dream for yourself. And they (the American people) don't want government taking more of their freedom and then having to live the way government prescribed. And all of this college education and these other programs, I tell you, it is not selling well out here with my constituents."
President Obama wants to take more of the income from wealthy Americans to make community college free "for every student willing to do the work." He wants to double the Earned Income Tax Credit (money back on tax returns) for workers without qualifying children, increase the income level at which the credit phases out, and make it available to workers age 21 and older. He also wants to give a new tax credit to two-earner couples; and give middle-class families with young children a tax cut of up to $3,000 per child.
Blackburn said those expensive new programs won't help:
"There are several things we can do, precisely cutting discretionary spending. One percent across the board saves us $4 billion in one year," Blackburn noted. She also called for entitlement reform, "beginning with Medicaid. Stabilize Social Security and Medicare, which are trust funds. And then let's lower rates, not raise the rates."
"You know, look at what this does to seniors when you talk about raising cap gains, taxing investments that seniors have made building their nest egg so that they can retire. The president does not understand. The federal government cannot get in here and control all of this. It makes things worse. It doesn't make things better.
"And what he's going to find is a Congress that is going to say, look, we are for reducing the size of the federal government, taxing people less, having government spend less."
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