Sen. Jon Kyl is accusing President Barack Obama of backtracking from his own statement two years ago that raising taxes on small businesses “would be a blow to the economy.”
“Economic growth was over 3 percent [then]. Today it’s under 2 percent,” Kyl said. “So if it was true then, it is even more true today that we shouldn’t raise taxes.”
The Arizona Republican made the comments during an appearance Tuesday night on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,” during which he quoted Obama as once saying, “It would be a blow to the economy” to raise taxes on businesses that are helping to create jobs.
Kyl, who serves as the Senate minority whip, also took issue with Democratic assertions that raising the tax rate on wealthy earners making $250,000 or more — as Obama has called for — would help reduce the deficit.
“We would be much better off leaving that money with the small business people who earn the money. Let them invest in their businesses,” he said. “That will do a lot more to get money to the treasury than taking it from those people today, because as their businesses grow and expand, they will have to pay greater income taxes.”
Kyl said it was time for Democrats to come clean about the reality of their tax-cut proposals. Except for differences over whether to increase taxes on the most affluent Americans, the two parties favor an extension of the Bush tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003.
“We’re talking about keeping the tax rates where they have been for a decade. . . . And neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are talking about reducing taxes below that until we get to next year, when both sides have talked about fundamental tax reform, where we might be able to lower rates by eliminating so-called loopholes,” he told Van Susteren.
Kyl also responded to a claim by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that Republicans want “lavish, huge, across-the-board tax breaks on billionaire hedge fund managers and people like mega rich celebrities like Donald Trump,” or like “fabulously rich so-called small business owners Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton.”
“Gee, I hardly know where to start,” Kyl deadpanned. “First of all, Republicans are not proposing any tax cuts for anyone. Let me repeat that. Republicans are not proposing any tax cuts for anyone.”
“What we are hoping is that President Obama and Sen. Reid will not increase taxes on any Americans,” he added.
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