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Chambliss defends openness to raising taxes

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MARIETTA, Ga. — Sen. Saxby Chambliss on Saturday defended his call for raising more tax money if it comes with spending cuts and gradually pays off debt, a stance that has become harder to hold among other Republicans.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss said he was sent to D.C. "to think for myself."  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sen. Saxby Chambliss said he was sent to D.C. "to think for myself."

Chambliss used a breakfast meeting with fellow Republicans north of Atlanta to defend comments he made in a recent TV interview, saying he cared more about the country than an anti-tax pledge he signed years ago with anti-tax advocate Gro­ver Norquist’s Amer­icans for Tax Reform.

That remark set off speculation that Chambliss would face a primary challenger when he runs for re-election in 2014.

Chambliss said he would support eliminating some tax deductions and credits if Democrats agreed to spending cuts and overhauls in entitlement programs, including health care programs. Chambliss said he wants to keep some form of tax deductions for charitable giving and mortgage interest. He compared the U.S. debt to a household mortgage.

“Well, that’s a violation of the pledge because I say we’ve got to pay down our mortgage with some of that money,” he said Sa­tur­day. “If we don’t pay down our mortgage, guess what happens? The debt keeps going up and up and up.”

Any tax increase would be deeply unpopular with some in Geor­gia’s conservative GOP. Just before Chambliss publicly broke with Norquist, a political aide for former GOP gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel said she was considering running for his seat. When asked whether he might run, U.S. Rep. Tom Price told a reporter that it was “completely premature” to consider it. He did not rule it out.

“I think that you sent me to Washington to think for myself,” Cham­bliss said Saturday. “And I want to vote the way you want me to vote. I don’t want to be dictated to by anybody in Washington as to how I’m going to vote on anything, and when I say I care more about my country more than I do a 20-year-old pledge, I sincerely mean that.”

Chambliss received sustained applause from the roughly 100 people who listened to his remarks.

Arthur Gardner, an Atlanta lawyer, asked Chambliss whether the GOP’s position against raising taxes was hampering its ability to negotiate a long-term agreement to bring down the debt. Gardner said in an interview that he believed the debt was a greater financial threat than the extra taxes he would pay under a Chambliss-style plan.

Just before Chambliss took the podium, the head of the Cobb County Republicans warned the audience against compromise with Democrats.

Drew Holley, 27, of Kennesaw, said he would support a more conservative GOP candidate in a primary against Chambliss. He accused Cham­bliss of campaigning as a supporter of small government but not voting that way in Congress.

“His rhetoric doesn’t match his actions,” Holley said.

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Little Lamb
Little Lamb 12/01/12 - 05:40 pm
Cliff Is Better

This Arthur Gardner fellow is missing the big picture. What Obama wants is to raise Gardner's taxes but make no spending cuts. On top of that, Obama wants additional spending to extend the unemployment compensation checks, reimburse doctors more for Medicare payments, and then he wants a new $50 billion stimulus package (read: crony slush fund). That is a recipe for disaster.

Going over the fiscal cliff would be preferable. At least we'll get some automatic spending cuts out of that.

OpenCurtain 12/01/12 - 05:55 pm
Shameful Saxby as we called him Atlanta

Pro-Democratic on so many issues we considered him a RINO.

One senator we should have cut loose back years ago.

Come next election, since we don't have the Senate anyway,
maybe it would be a good wake up call, to glean the RINO Party herd of every Liberal Republican and rebuild the party.

Electing those that agree to a balanced budget amendment and HR and Senate Term limits.

Also the next campaign needs to get out of the Social / Moral Agenda issues that should be handled at home and / or in church.

We have had ZERO success in legislating morals. Especially when those writing and passing the laws lack the basic knowledge of morals, themselves.

OpenCurtain 12/01/12 - 06:16 pm
Want something that will work?

A standard across the board, 1 flat rate, 1 tax, NATIONAL Sales tax with only 2 exceptions. NO other hidden taxes. Just 1 federal tax no other federal taxes. EVERY Time $$$ is use to purchase something, except basic Food and health Medicine, a National Sales tax and State/Local tax is applied.

Preceded by a complete elimination and constitutional Ban on a Federal Income Tax. The Constitutional amendment, which would include requiring Congress to a set a budget in Peace time equal to the collected taxes the previous year, minus 10% for NATIONAL emergencies and possible future wars. Plus includes a TOTAL Tax CAP in Peace time for all 3 (City/State/Fed) taxes not to exceed 33% total.

southern2 12/01/12 - 07:05 pm
Only thing that got Saxby

The only thing that got Saxby elected last time was getting Sarah Palin to come down to Georgia to rally the conservative base. I've had enough of him and Isakson. To long between Senate elections.

prov227 12/01/12 - 09:54 pm
The national income tax is collateral ...

for the loans to the government from the private central bank called the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB). Both the laws establishing the Federal Reserve and the national income tax were passed in late December, 1913. The national income tax on your labor will not disappear until the FRB does. However, there is a better than even chance that you will get both taxes, income and national sales tax to pay down the debt issues coming due with the new loans made to the government to pay off the old loans and interest, pushing the debt to higher levels. Reduced purchasing power of the dollar is the natural outcome and a hidden tax. The national debt will feed on itself like the thousand pound tick on the poor dog. When the dog (wage earners and producers) runs out of energy so will the tick.

No Congress will challenge this tick; certainly not Chambliss. I do agree that we need new people in Washington.

Jane18 12/02/12 - 04:11 am
Just Another Big-Shot Politician

No Chambliss, you were sent to Washington to think for (and do) what is best for America and us! It is time for you to go, and take Isakson, Barrow(D) and your lobbyist son with you..............

OpenCurtain 12/02/12 - 08:30 am
Shameful Saxby - What happened

Like a leaf in the wind:

"He is the primary sponsor in the United States Senate of the tax-reform proposal The Fair Tax Act (S. 1025), attracting more cosponsors than any other fundamental tax reform bill introduced."

2012 He wants to raise taxes?
"Sen. Saxby Chambliss on Saturday defended his call for raising more tax money if it comes with spending cuts and gradually pays off debt..."

He is a career politician and I think he plans to switch parties if re-elected for greater power and "retirement benefits".

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