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Sen. Kyl: $678-billion tax break for rich should not be offset

By David Edwards and Daniel Tencer
Sunday, July 11, 2010 14:06 EDT
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Sen. Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, believes that any extension to unemployment benefits “ought to be paid for.” But when it comes to the $678-billion cost of extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, the senator says no offsetting is necessary.

In an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace Sunday, Kyl argued that Congress and the Obama administration should extend the tax cuts enacted by President George W. Bush during his first term.

Extending the entire package of tax cuts would cost the US $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years. The Obama administration has argued in favor of allowing to expire at least the part of the tax cuts that applies to people earning over $250,000 a year. That portion is estimated to cost $678 billion over 10 years.

“Tell me, how are you going to pay that $678 billion to keep those Bush tax cuts for the wealthy?” Wallace asked Kyl.

“You should never raise taxes in order to cut taxes,” Kyl said. “Surely Congress has the authority — and it would be right — if we decide we want to cut taxes to spur the economy, not to have to raise taxes in order to offset those costs. You do need to offset the cost of increased spending. And that’s what Republicans object to. But you should never have to offset the cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans.”

Ben Armbruster at ThinkProgress notes that Kyl has in the past defended the GOP’s blocking of unemployment benefits, agreeing with other Republicans that benefits extensions “ought to be paid for.”

This video is from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast July 11, 2010.


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