Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean agreed with Republicans Thursday that the U.S. corporate tax rate has to be lowered as he called for a fix to the nation's "screwed up" up tax policy overall.
In comments on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program the Democrat said was sure to draw fire from "progressives" in his own party, Dean said he would "lower the corporate tax rate, as some Republicans are suggesting, but make it revenue neutral.
"They need reasonable, thoughtful corporate tax policy and then on a one-time basis — or maybe not even a one-time basis — make it inexpensive for them to bring that money back in the United States, as long as they invested it in job producing facilities," the former presidential candidate and former chairman of the National Democratic Committee continued.
"And our tax policy is screwed up. This is something I allow Progressives are going to be horrified. We do have an offshore problem. Apple has something like close to $100 billion offshore and not bringing it back into the United States and investing it here because they have to pay 30 percent on tax.
"We have to deal with the tax laws, whether we like it or not," he declared.
The comments surprised a few of the "Morning Joe" political commentators, including Republican Nicole Wallace, a former White House communications director under President George W. Bush.
"Howard Dean is digging himself out from a mountain of hate mail, his own description of what happened this morning, when he told all of us that he supports lowering the corporate tax rate," Wallace joked later in the program.
Dean, also a regular commentator on "Morning Joe," took a swipe himself at President Barack Obama for unveiling a set of charts in a speech Wednesday that predicted unemployment would not reach 5 percent again until 2022 and showed that median household income has dropped 8 percent since 2000. The president laid a lot of the blame for the economic problems on Republicans.
"I don't think the president gets a lot of points for talking about this," Dean said. "This is, in my opinion, one of the two really enormous issues in the United States. We're at a crossroads here.
"The reason why, it has nothing to do with Democrat versus Republican," he added.
"If a substantial amount of Americans don't believe America works for them any more, this country is finished."
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