Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told KNPR Nevada Public Radio on Thursday that upper earners want to pay higher taxes, ripping into Republicans for steadfastly refusing to accept new revenues in a budget agreement.
“The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The rich know that. The rich are willing to pay more,” he said. “They’re not the ones out here saying ‘please don’t tax me.’ The only people who feel there shouldn’t be more coming into the federal government from rich people are the Republicans in Congress. Everybody else, including rich people, are willing to pay more. They want to pay more.”
Reid said a “grand bargain” isn’t going to happen in the upcoming budget conference talks and said Democrats will maintain their refusal to give in to Republican demands on fiscal issues. He said he wants to get rid of sequestration.
Asked if he wishes he’d refused to make concessions in 2011 over the debt ceiling, Reid said, “Yes.”
“You cannot do business with bullies and it’s taken a while for all my caucus to come to that understanding,” he said. “Quite frankly, the president, the wonderful man that he is, doesn’t like confrontation and he likes to work things out with people. The president feels very good about having stuck to our guns and doing the right thing.”
Reid said he — and not just President Obama — were too lenient on the GOP in 2011. “I was part of the deal too. I was too lenient,” he told the radio host. “Don’t blame it all on him.”