The Leader Board

'We don't want to stagnate this economy by raising taxes…We've got a 9.1% unemployment rate. Does anybody think that's a good idea other than the President? There's bipartisan opposition to what the President is recommending already.'

 

LOUISVILLE, KY – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell appeared on NBC's 'Meet the Press' Sunday. The following are excerpts from the interview:

 

On reports that the President will call for even more tax hikes:

"Well, you know, we had that vote, David, [last year] when the Democrats basically owned the Congress. They had overwhelming control of the Senate and the House, and it was defeated then. So I think—I would simply go back to what the President said last December in signing a two-year extension of the current tax rates: it's (raising taxes) a bad thing to do in the middle of an economic downturn. And of course the economy, some would argue, is even worse now than it was when the President signed the extension of the current tax rates back in December. I think what he said then still applies now."

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"…if Warren Buffett would like to give up some of his benefits we'd be happy to talk about it. I mean, I think that means testing benefits is one of the ways that we're going to have to solve at least this Social Security and Medicare problems long-term for the next generations. With regard to his tax rate, if he's feeling guilty about it, I think he should send in a check. But, we don't want to stagnate this economy by raising taxes.

"We've got a 9.1% unemployment rate. Does anybody think that's a good idea other than the President? There's bipartisan opposition to what the President is recommending already."

On tax reform:

"Well, we're certainly interested in tax reform. I don't have a single member of my conference who doesn't think it's time to take a whole look at the tax code, all over again. It's been 25 years since President Reagan led us through this effort on a bipartisan basis back in the mid '80s. He got the top rate from 70 down to 28%. It was a big step in the right direction and it helped {start} an economic boom for a fairly lengthy period of time. So tax reform we're certainly open to. We're not opposed to more revenue. The way you get more revenue is get the economy going."

On the 'wet blanket' holding back job creation:

"Right now, we've got - we've thrown a big, wet blanket over the private sector economy. We've borrowed too much. We've spent too much. We're dramatically overregulating every aspect of the private sector in our country and now we're threatening to raise taxes on top of it. That's not going to get the economy moving."

On not repeating the mistakes of the 2009 stimulus:

"I mean, if you look at the stimulus bill, David, what did we get out of that? Turtle tunnels and Solyndra. Solyndra. Look, more money was lost on Solyndra than came to my state to fix roads and bridges out of the entire stimulus package last year. And now he's asking us to do it again. One of my favorite sayings here in Kentucky, out in the rural areas, is there's no education in the second kick of a mule. I mean, we've been there. We've done that. Now he's asking us to do it again. I'm trying to get him to go in a different direction."