GOP Rep. Price: Obama Debt Solution 'Smoke and Mirrors'

Sunday, 10 Jul 2011 01:40 PM

By Jim Meyers and Ashley Martella

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Rep. Tom Price, a member of the House Budget Committee, says President Barack Obama’s plan to cut spending by $4 trillion relies on “smoke and mirrors.”

The Georgia Republican also tells Newsmax that Friday's national employment report showed that job creation is “pitiful” in this country because of Obama’s policies.

Price was first elected in 2004. He is also a member of the Ways and Means Committee and chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. He has a 100 percent favorable rating from the American Conservative Union.

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In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Price was asked about House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s statement that he would accept ending some tax breaks as part of a compromise on the debt ceiling.

“We’ve always talked about ending some of the tax credits that are out there,” Price says. “I don’t know if that’s part of this debate at all. The big issue here is spending. Washington spends too much. The American people know it. We’ve got to stop it.

“In our budget, the Path to Prosperity, we decreased or closed a significant number of tax credits by broadening the base of the individual tax rate and lowering the rate to a point that actually becomes competitive with the rest of the world.

“Right now we have the highest business tax in the industrialized world, which drives jobs away from America. What we need to be doing is putting in place the appropriate incentives to create jobs in this country.”

Commenting on House Speaker John Boehner’s assertion that comprehensive tax reform is “under discussion,” Price says: “We’ve always felt it was important to decrease significantly the corporate tax rate. If you’re a job creator out there, there’s no incentive from a tax standpoint to put your business here in America. It’s better from a tax standpoint to go almost anywhere else. The individual rates in this country are also decreasing the ability of the economy to recover.

“And then there’s something called repatriation. Businesses that make a profit outside the United States but are domiciled here, they have a huge incentive not to bring that money back, repatriate that money, because of the tax rate here.

“If we were to allow those taxes to come back at the rate at which they’re taxed in other countries, then we would have a huge jobs magnet to this country.”

Previous discussions between Obama and the Republicans have centered on a $2 trillion cut in the deficit, but Obama now claims to want to cut $4 trillion. Has he flip-flopped? Price was asked.

“In my reading of how he gets to his $4 trillion number, it appears that much of it is in smoke and mirrors,” Price responds.

“What we need is real, substantial, measurable reductions in spending at the federal level, not simply nibbling at the sides and saying that this rate will go up a little here or down a little and therefore you get on paper significant reductions.

“What we need to be doing is cutting the size, scope and reach of government. And by that we mean decreasing the size of the departments that are out there, decreasing the regulatory oppression across this country that is stifling job creation.”

Referring to the disappointing job-creation numbers released on Friday, Price tells Newsmax: “Job creation is pitiful. Pitiful right now. And it’s because of the president’s policies.”

Price — an orthopedic surgeon — was also asked what happened to the Republicans’ plans to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a better healthcare reform package.

“The House voted to repeal Obamacare, which takes $500 billion out of Medicare and denies care to seniors. And our replace process is moving forward. We’re having hearings at all sorts of different committee levels to identify the remarkable challenges and difficulties with the Obamacare plan.

“We’re in the process of having a hearing on the repeal of the Independent [Payment] Advisory Board. That is the rationing board of President Obama’s administration.

“We’ll continue to look forward to putting in place patient-centered reforms.”

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