Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is “dead wrong” by saying it’s time to turn the focus from tax hikes to spending cuts.
“The tax issue is finished, over, completed,” McConnell said yesterday on ABC’s This Week.
Self-described socialist Sanders also said McConnell is wrong “when he suggests the solution to the deficit situation is to cut Social Security, veterans’ benefits, Medicare and Medicaid.”
“The fact of the matter is that tax revenue today amounts to only 15.7 percent of GDP, nearly the lowest in 60 years. Despite Sen. McConnell’s position, the lack of revenue coming into the federal government must be addressed,” Sanders said today.
“At 1.6 percent, corporate revenue as a percentage of GDP is lower than any other major country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, including Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Canada, Norway, Australia, South Korea, Switzerland, Norway, Italy, Ireland, Poland, and Iceland,” he continued. “In 2011, corporations paid just 12 percent of their profits in taxes, the lowest since 1972.”
Sanders said he’s open to a debate in the Senate about “how we do deficit reduction in a way that is fair.”
“At a time when the middle class is disappearing and the number of people living in poverty is at an all-time high, do we cut programs that working families desperately depend upon, or do we ask the wealthiest people and largest corporations – all of whom are doing phenomenally well – to start paying their fair share of taxes?”
The fiscal cliff deal — for which Sanders voted — raised the tax rate on households with more than $450,000 in income to 39.6 percent, up from 35 percent.