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Big League Economics

Club for Growth prez blasts Corker-Lankford ‘tax hike trigger’

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The president of the Club for Growth, the conservative group that supports free-market candidates in GOP primaries, strongly criticized the proposal by Sen. Robert P. Corker Jr. (R.-Tenn.) and Sen. James P. Lankford (R.-Okla.) that would create an automatic mechanism to raise federal taxes in the Senate’s tax reform bill.

“The idea of a ‘tax hike trigger’ should be rejected on its merits,” stated Club for Growth President David M. McIntosh.

Corker and Lankford successfully included their proposal, which would immediately raise federal taxes if the economy’s growth fell below the growth rate assumed in the economic models used to score the bill’s effect on the federal debt, into the tax bill that was reported out of the Senate Budget Committee Tuesday.

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The Tennessee senator is a member of the Budget Committee and he met with Majority Leader A. Mitchell McConnell (R.-Ky.) before he offered his amendment to the tax bill that passed the committee.

McIntosh said it defied logic that the Congress would raise taxes because the economy is growing too slowly.

“Any senator who understands basic business principles and truly cares about the deficit should understand that this trigger is an automatic tax increase and will actually harm economic growth,” he said.

“It will have harmful impacts on American businesses and undermine any economic growth potential in this tax reform bill because businesses will not invest due to the possibility of a higher tax rate,” he said. “What Senators Lankford and Corker are saying here is that if the deficit gets too large, then they want to tax people more.”

McIntosh said a better solution was to force cuts on the other side of the ledger.

“Here’s an idea. How about cutting spending? Just yesterday Senator Lankford issued 100 wasteful examples of federal spending. But instead of cutting the programs, ironically, Senator Lankford would allow wasteful measures like them to continue to receive funding – through his automatic tax increases no less!” he said.

“If they’re truly worried about the deficit and they want to establish a trigger, then they should limit the size of government. A spending cut trigger would be a far better idea.”

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