GOP fiscal panel member hardens stance on report

A Republican member of President Obama's fiscal commission revealed he has deeper problems with the draft report released by the panel's co-chairmen than he previously suggested.

Rep. Dave Camp (Mich.), the incoming chairman of the House's tax-writing panel, said former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) favor tax increases he says are unhelpful.

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“I don't like the idea of tax increases. The reason I don't is we have not demonstrated that we're serious about reducing spending," Camp said on Bloomberg's "Political Capital," which airs over the weekend. "There's been a really dramatic run-up in spending in the last couple years. We need to demonstrate to the American people that we're serious about reducing spending."

The soon-to-be chairman's stance is yet another signal that the right, as well as the left, has a bone to pick with the report that proposes steep spending cuts, tax reform and sweeping changes to Social Security.
 
Camp, along with GOP fiscal panel members Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Jeb Hensarling (Texas), released a tight-lipped statement when Bowles and Simpson released their report Wednesday, saying they had "concerns with some of their specifics" but failed to elaborate.

The report, which has not been approved by the full commission, lays out dramatic changes to the U.S. tax code designed to raise revenue that include eliminating several popular tax credit, widening the tax base while lowering rates and gradually instituting a 15 percent increase of the federal gas tax.

It also calls for $200 billion in cuts to domestic and defense spending. Liberal Democrats have objected to the Social Security benefit cuts and spending reductions.

Camp did not dismiss the proposal outright, saying, "We've got some more work to do."

"So we've got some more work to do. But I do think they (fiscal commission) are to be commended for at least coming together with a proposal to try to reduce our deficit. It's so important for job creation, but we've got some more work to do."

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