The White House says Republicans need look no further than to Fox’s Bill O’Reilly for advice on breaking through the debt talk stalemate and jettisoning their stubborn opposition to any tax increases whatsoever.
In his smartly titled “Talking Points” monologue Tuesday night, the conservative guru and talking head instructed the GOP to get real when it comes to taxes.“Republicans need to accept the need to raise more revenue,” O’Reilly said, suggesting a 1 percent national sales tax to help deal with the deficit.
White House spokesman Jay Carney, in his briefing with reporters Wednesday, seized on O’Reilly’s comments, as well as those made by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who said he’s worried that the two sides won’t be able to come to an agreement if Republicans won’t budge on the tax issues, even just to close loopholes and unnecessary subsidies in the tax code.
“There’s a growing chorus of Republicans and conservatives who said we need to do this in a balanced way,” Carney said. “Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, Sen. Lindsey Graham has said this. … I think it is recognized by everyone that we should come together and compromise — not say ‘no way, no how’ on every contentious issue.
In a recent interview with ABC News, Graham said Republicans should be open to a deal that curbs entitlement spending and increases tax revenues by closing loopholes and eliminating deductions — even though he doesn’t think both sides would get there before the Aug. 2 deadline on raising the debt ceiling.
“To me, that makes sense,” he said. “That way you don’t raise tax rates, but you do generate new revenue by closing loopholes. You’re giving money away to a few people at the expense of many, and I think it’s time to reevaluate that.”
“You’re giving money away to a few people at the expense of many, and I think it’s time to reevaluate that,” Graham said. “If you did away with all deductions and exemptions except charitable giving and the mortgage interest, that’s $1.2 trillion that’s spent every year.”