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Q&A: Chip Cravaack reflects on defeat, outlines fiscal cliff ‘basics’

WASHINGTON — The freshman Republican also talks about his hope for Nolan’s term in Congress, and his future in politics and in Minnesota.

Rep. Chip Cravaack lost on election night to liberal former Congressman Rick Nolan by 10 points after a bruising campaign.
MinnPost photo by Paul Walsh
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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?

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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.