Sen. Jim DeMint, a tea party favorite, ripped House Republican leaders for offering a budget framework that embraced new taxes, saying the GOP plan to raise $800 billion in new revenue would hurt the economy, kill jobs and not reduce the national debt by a penny.
“This isn’t rocket science,” Mr. DeMint, South Carolina Republican, said. “Everyone knows that when you take money out of the economy, it destroys jobs, and everyone knows that when you give politicians more money, they spend it. This is why Republicans must oppose tax increases and insist on real spending reductions that shrink the size of government and allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money.”
Led by House Speaker John A. Boehner, House GOP leaders sent a $2.2 trillion “fiscal cliff” counteroffer to President Obama on Monday that included the $800 billion in tax increases, which would be generated through eliminating loopholes and deductions in the federal tax code.
The broad framework also called for $900 billion in cuts to projected entitlement spending and a lower inflation measure to calculate future Social Security benefits.
“The president’s proposal and Speaker Boehner’s counteroffer fail to seriously deal with the reality of the problems facing the nation,” said Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity. “Conservatives are looking for a leader to fight against tax increases, to push back against wasteful government spending, and address the fiscal challenges in a bold way. Sadly, this plan leaves conservatives wanting.”
The conservative Heritage Foundation also dismissed the GOP’s plan, saying it fails Mr. Boehner’s own test of seriousness because it doesn’t do enough to curtail entitlement spending.
“When President Obama put forth his first offer on the fiscal cliff, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said, ‘You can’t be serious.’ We could say the same thing to the speaker after his counteroffer yesterday,” Heritage said in an email to supporters.