The PJ Tatler

Levin: We Need More Money from Corporations 'Whose Contributions to the Treasury Have Gone Down'

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said he’s looking forward to negotiating corporate tax reform with Republicans, but has already panned any revenue-neutral proposal.

“We’ve got deficits. We’ve got sequestration. We’ve got cuts in education, cuts in many other things including defense. We cannot afford this kind of loss of revenue and it’s not appropriate,” Levin said over the weekend on Bloomberg.

The senator said he believes there’s support for closing offshore tax haven loopholes and broader tax reform, “but I’m not sure the broader tax reform can actually come to the Senate for a vote, because where there are legitimate deductions that are taken by corporations or individuals, then there’s going to be a legitimate and I think a well fought fight to hang on to those deductions.”

“But these deductions we’re talking about, the shifting of profits to offshore tax havens, these are not defensible in my judgment. These should not happen even if we had no deficit, even if we had no sequestration,” Levin continued. “These are not the kind of deductions or loopholes which are justified in any event. And so they ought to be closed. And I believe, to answer your question, that if this bill could come to the floor, which would close this type of unjustified loophole, I believe we would get bipartisan support. We have a lot of support, for instance, from Senator McCain, for the recommendations of our subcommittee, which was a bipartisan report, which would close these loopholes.”

The Michigan Dem said he could only back broader tax reform “providing that the unjustifiable loopholes are used to produce revenue.”

“I cannot support something which is revenue neutral, which includes keeping the revenue which was produced by the use of unjustified tax loopholes. Revenue neutrality is not what we need,” Levin said. “We need additional revenue from corporations whose contributions to the treasury have gone down. We obviously need additional revenue as part of a deficit reduction program, which must also include not just additional revenue, but also include some entitlement reform as well as some targeted spending cuts on the discretionary side.”

House Republicans have made tax reform a cornerstone of their 113th Congress agenda.