Corker: Tax Hike On Wealthy Could Give GOP Edge On Spending Cuts
WALLACE: Senator Corker. Senator Schumer (D-NY) is exactly right. A growing number of Republicans and conservatives, though not a majority, but a growing number are saying, look, we're going to have to cave on tax -- on raising tax rates, not just the idea of closing loopholes. Would you accept returning to the Clinton rate of 39.6 percent? Or, would you accept something, perhaps, a mid-point, 37 percent or starting with people who make $500,000, rather than $250,000?
SEN. BOB CORKER (R-TN): Well, Chris, there is a growing group of folks, that are looking at this and realizing that we don't have a lot of cards as it relates to the tax issue before year end. I mean, we're -- have one house, that's it. The presidency and the Senate in the Democrats' hands.
So, and a lot of people are putting forth a theory and I actually think it has merit where you go ahead and give the president the 2 percent increase that he is talking about, the rate increase on the top 2 percent. And all of a sudden, the shift goes back to entitlements, and all of a sudden, once you give him the right on the top 2 percent, it's actually much lesser tax increase than what he has been talking about, the focus then shifts to entitlements and maybe it puts us in a place where we actually can do something that really saves the nation.
So, there is a growing body. I actually am beginning to believe, that is the best route for us to take, to, again, shift the focus where it needs to be, which is on entitlements.
Still, Chris, the top 1 percent in or country, take in 17 percent of the income and pay 37 percent of the taxes that are paid. I do hope we'll take up tax reform in a way that creates growth in our nation at some point. But at this juncture, we may be exactly where Senator Schumer says, and I'm not sure that's not the healthiest place for us to go as Republicans, to really get entitlement reform to save our nation.