Republicans call for spending cuts, tax reform in address

Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) called for spending cuts and entitlement reform in the GOP weekly address on Saturday.

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Camp, who chairs the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, said Democrats have not been wiling to put real spending cuts on the table in deficit-reduction negotiations, including the most recent talks to avoid the "fiscal cliff."

"That position is irresponsible and fails to acknowledge what every family in America already knows – when you have no more money in your account and your credit cards are maxed out, then the spending must stop," Camp said.

The fiscal-cliff deal allowed tax rates to rise on earners making more than $400,000, and included little in the way of spending reductions. Republicans who supported the deal said they were willing to settle the tax question last week and focus on spending during upcoming talks over raising the country's debt ceiling.

Although Republicans say they've given all they're going to give on revenue, Camp said the door is still open to tax reform that closes loopholes and simplifies the tax code.

"Let's face it: the IRS tax code is still a nightmare. It is too complex, too costly and too unfair," Camp said. "There is something fundamentally wrong when roughly 60 percent of hardworking taxpayers have to hire a professional just to do their taxes. You shouldn't need an army of lawyers and accountants to understand our tax code. We need a simpler, flatter, fairer tax code that's designed for taxpayers."

He also acknowledged the strain that popular entitlement programs place on the federal budget.

"Speaker Boehner has said that 'the American people re-elected a Republican majority ... and we will use it in 2013 to hold the president accountable for the 'balanced' approach he promised,'" Camp said. "That means cutting wasteful spending, strengthening programs like Medicare and Social Security so that they're there when Americans need them, and creating a tax code that creates a healthy economy."