MP: What should a final deal to avert the fiscal cliff look like?
CC: Anything that does not hurt the economy. That’s the bottom line. It can’t hurt the economy.
MP: Could you define a package of what you think would hurt the economy would look like?
CC: If somebody can prove to me that raising income taxes would benefit the economy, I’ll be glad to take a look at it. But Ernst & Young came out and said, ‘If you raise taxes on those making $250,000 or above, it’s going to be at the cost of 700,000 jobs.’
[Note: The Congressional Budget Office says raising taxes on incomes above $250,000 will mean 200,000 fewer jobs over what would happen if all the Bush-era tax cuts were extended.]
MP: Some Republicans from Speaker Boehner on down have said that they’re open to more revenue.
CC: But how do they do that? Closing loopholes, closing special interests, that’s another way of raising revenue. It’s so funny because, we demonize the 1 percent, when we’re the ones who are trying to close the loopholes on the one percent. The special tax incentives — why isn’t some major corporation not paying taxes? Allowing these current tax rates to expire isn’t the way to go.
MP: So we’re clear here, you seem to be OK with closing loopholes, but you don’t want to raise tax rates?
CC: I don’t want raise tax rates because … I was at London Rental in Duluth, and one of the CREDO guys [a super PAC that opposed Cravaack] came up and started hitting me on it. I said, show me data that says by raising taxes on income, we’ll produce jobs. I said, please send it to me, I’d love to take a look. Make an appointment … in Duluth and I’ll come in and we’ll talk about it.