Clyburn: ‘I Don’t Know What Is Fair’ Tax Rate

House Assistant Democratic Leader Representative James Clyburn (D-SC) refused to say what he considered a “fair” tax rate on Tuesday’s “Your World With Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Channel.

After declaring that it was “class warfare when you have the upper income paying much less of a tax rate than the middle income,” Clyburn was asked “what’s a fair share, congressman, that the rich should pay, to you? Let’s go back to the top rate of 39.6% at its core, I’ve asked a number of Democrats and Republicans what would be a fair share for the rich to pay. What is it, to you?”

Initially, he stated “the first thing you do, close down these loopholes. This whole notion, and this was the basis of the so-called Fair tax. I’ve shared a lot of discussions with a lot of people, and they tell me ‘why aren’t you for the Fair Tax?’ I say ‘because it ain’t fair.’ If you look at taxing earned income as opposed to taxing unearned income, that is not fair.”

When Cavuto again asked what a fair rate would be, Clyburn responded “I don’t know what is fair. What is fair, I believe, is when we can come to some collective decisions on. Let me tell you something Neil, I’ve talked to a lot of people about this. And this whole notion, and I had one corporate man tell me, said ‘well, I must say you’re the first person that’s ever put it to me honestly,’ and the fact of the matter is, when we start talking about corporate tax rates in this country and how lower they ought to be compared to other countries, I would say to all of the American people who have traveled to Europe, the last thing you did when you left the European country to come here, you went by the kiosk, and got all of your VAT tax money back.” He further expressed his support for a Value Added Tax (VAT).

Clyburn also discussed the president’s tax proposals in light of the recent election, to which he said “I think the president would like to have the American people look in on exactly what his vision for the future is, as opposed to what some of my Republican colleagues’ visions might be, and for the American people to get a chance to compare, and so I think that’s what this is all about.” He added that while he understood that the 2014 elections had “consequences, we’re going to live by them. I’m in the House and I know what the consequences are,” “the president is not a member of the House, he’s not a member of the Senate, he is the president. He will propose, and Congress gets a chance to dispose. And so he shouldn’t sit back and not propose his vision just because of the midterm elections. He was re-elected overwhelmingly. The popular vote was overwhelmingly in his favor.”

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