Both Perdue and Handel have signed a pledge to never raise taxes.
Perdue, in a meeting earlier this week with the editorial board of The (Macon) Telegraph, responded to a question about improving the economy and balancing the federal budget by saying his business background leads him to consider the revenue side of the ledger as well as the expense side.
“Well here’s the reality: If you go into a business, and I keep coming back to my background, it’s how I know how to relate is to refer back to it — I was never able to turn around a company just by cutting spending,” he said. “You had to figure out a way to get revenue growing.”
Handel, during the kickoff of her statewide bus tour that began in her hometown, said the comment shows the true colors of the former Fortune 500 CEO.
“Every conservative know that ‘raising revenue’ is code for raising taxes,” she said, adding it to a list of other issues she accuses him of flip-flopping on.
“He had a chance to say he wasn’t talking about (raising taxes), and I think it’s noteworthy that he did not make a declarative statement ‘I’m not talking about raising taxes.’ ... We all understand we need to grow our economy, but that’s not the same as increasing revenue for the federal government,” she said.
Perdue’s spokesman told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that the retired businessman really was talking about energizing the overall economy which would result in greater tax collections on the expanded wage base.
Perdue himself appeared on the Herman Cain radio show with his own attempt to clarify his meaning.
“I’ve been preaching for over a year that to solve the debt crisis we have to cut federal spending, and we have to grow the economy,” he said. “The other day in the editorial-board interview, I said we need to cut taxes so we can grow revenue -- without tax increases, I might add.”
Interestingly, Democratic nominee-apparent Michelle Nunn, also advocates some corporate tax cuts, noting that the United States has the world’s highest rate.
“And it also making sure that we close the loopholes, creating a comprehensive tax reform that is fairer, simpler and incentivizes innovation,” she said, adding that infrastructure investment like improving the Savannah harbor and encouraging research and development.
Handel and Perdue are vying with five other Republicans for the chance to face Nunn and Libertarian Amanda Swafford in November’s general election.