The 12 member congressional supercommittee is still working on a deficit deal, but co-chairman Jeb Hensarling (R., Tex.) told me on The Kudlow Report that “super” tax hikes will not be part of any compromise.
“We’re facing a jobs crisis and a debt crisis,” he said Tuesday night. “We’re certainly not going to exacerbate one by trying to address the other. Frankly, that’s one of the reasons we are stymied at the moment.”
Hensarling denied any knowledge of what the Wall Street Journal said was a plan for $300 billion in tax revenues up front and $500 billion in tax revenues later. “As the co-chairman of the committee, I don’t know what agreement you are talking about,” he said. “It certainly hasn’t been presented to me.”
The supercommittee has until November 23 to agree on a plan to cut the federal deficit. The legislation that established the panel of six Democrats and six Republicans put in place an enforcement mechanism that will trigger automatic cuts if the committee fails to reach an agreement on $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts over ten years.
Hensarling told me that Republicans have gone as far as they feel they can go. “We put $250 billion of what is known as static revenue on the table, but only if we can bring down rates,” he said.
Hensarling believes they can bring down the top individual tax rate to between 28 and 30 percent and the corporate rate to 25 percent. “On balance, we think that would be pro-growth,” he added. “But listen — any penny of increased static revenue is a step in the wrong direction. We can only balance that with pro-growth reforms. And, frankly, the Democrats have never agreed to that.”