Mitch McConnell emphasized on Meet the Press this morning that Republicans were not open to hiking taxes on the rich, although he added that the party was willing to consider means-testing Social Security and Medicare.
“We had that vote a couple of years ago when Democrats basically owned the Congress, they had overwhelming control of the Senate and the House, and it was defeated then,” McConnell pointed out. “So I would simply go back to what the President said last December in signing a two-year extension of the current tax hikes: it’s a bad thing to do in the middle of an economic downturn.”
McConnell also noted that that the proposed hikes could impact the over 700,000 small businesses that pay their taxes as individuals, not as corporations.
He denied that he was protesting tax hikes to ensure that Obama wouldn’t win another term, pointing to the joint super-committee as a chance for Democrats and Republicans to score a victory.
“Divided government … is the perfect time to do big stuff,” McConnell remarked. “We intend to tackle deficit and debt once again through the joint committee. I’m hopeful the president will sign whatever we send him later this year. That will be an accomplishment both sides can bring about.”
He criticized Obama for “doing all of the wrong things.”
“If you look at the stimulus bill, what did we get out of that? Turtle tunnels and Solyndra. Solyndra. More money was lost on Solyndra than came to my state to fix roads and bridges out of the entire stimulus package last year, and now he’s asking us to do it again,” McConnell said.