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Meadows: I Won’t Rule Out Raising Taxes on Wealthy to Partially Pay for Tax Cuts

On Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “MTP Daily,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC) argued that he doesn’t believe tax reform should be revenue-neutral and wouldn’t rule out raising taxes on wealthy to partially offset the cost of tax cuts.

Meadows said it was crucial to ensure that tax reform isn’t just a break for the rich.

He was later asked, “Do you rule out actually raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for some of this tax cut?”

Meadows answered, “You know, that’s never been anything that I’ve ruled out, and when they talk about that fourth bracket, I don’t see that happening, but let’s say we keep that top bracket at 39.6%, which is, really was part of the discussion just yesterday. That would essentially mean that we do raise the taxes on some of those. Because we’re getting rid of some of the deductions that are out there. That’s why that top bracket was set at 35%, trying to make sure even with some of the cuts, that nobody sees an increase. But the other big part is, doubling that standard deduction. That goes to those that are working hard, trying to make sure that we protect that first $24,000 worth of income, where they pay zero tax on that. That’s a huge benefit, putting money back in the pockets, and we’d like to say it’s our money. it’s really their money, putting their money back in their pockets.”

He also stated, “I don’t believe that it should be revenue-neutral. I’ve been consistent with that even before we saw the framework. Because what revenue-neutral means to me is the well-connected and those that have big, high-paid lobbyists end up just moving around the same tax burden.”

Meadows continued, “I think what we look at, primarily, is looking at bringing back those foreign earnings, at repatriation at whatever level that is. We’ve got about $3 trillion sitting abroad that no one’s paying taxes on. So, we make a mandatory bringing that back. there’s income some 3-4 hundred billion that would come back from that. We look also at trying to take out some of the deductions that we’d get, carried interest is one that’s been bantered around. The decision hasn’t been made yet. But that would be directly at those hedge fund managers.”

He also pointed to about $200 billion in mandatory budget cuts and argued that under dynamic scoring, “you can end up, in a 15-year window…making sure that there’s not a deficit there.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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