Sen. Toomey says supercommittee proposal could still work
By Mike Wereschagin
Published: Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, 6:20 p.m.
Sen. Pat Toomey wants to use a proposal he put forth as a member of the “supercommittee” last year as the foundation of a compromise to avert the fiscal cliff.
“We still have time to solve this problem. I want to solve this problem,” Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, said during a conference call Monday. “Going over the fiscal cliff, contrary to what some of my colleagues in this body seem to believe, that's a really bad idea.”
Last year, as a member of a House-Senate committee tasked with cutting more than $1 trillion from the deficit, Toomey proposed cutting $750 billion in spending and raising $500 billion in revenue. The spending cuts relied mostly on Medicare, Medicaid and other health care-related reductions, and much of the revenue would come from limiting tax deductions.
“The basic framework that I laid out in the supercommittee is a framework that can get us to an agreement, can avoid the fiscal cliff, and begin to put us on the road to avoiding this fiscal train wreck while encouraging economic growth at the same time,” Toomey said.But limiting deductions for taxpayers making more than $250,0000 won't bring in enough revenue, Democrats say.
“The obstacle remains at this point the refusal to acknowledge by Republican leaders that there is no deal that achieves the kind of balance that is necessary without raising rates on the top 2 percent of wealthiest Americans. The math simply does not add up,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
The supercommittee's failure to reach agreement on deficit reduction started a countdown to the “fiscal cliff” Jan. 1, when spending cuts and tax hikes would begin to take effect.
President Obama campaigned on raising taxes on the wealthy by, among other things, allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire for those making more than $250,000 a year.
Toomey said he'd agree to restrict the tax increases to the wealthiest taxpayers. But in return, he wants the tax hikes to come through tax reform that lowers overall rates while eliminating deductions.
Mike Wereschagin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.