Howard Dean: Tax increase on upper brackets won't hurt job market

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean on Monday said the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for wealthier taxpayers will not cause the country to lose jobs. 

"I don't think it has any effect on jobs at the upper income level and that's been proven," he told CNBC. 

He added that under President Clinton the economy created a historic amount of jobs even though Congress increased taxes. 

"When Bill ClintonBill ClintonGOP rep: North Korea wants Iran-type nuclear deal Lawmakers, pick up the ball on health care and reform Medicaid The art of the small deal MORE came in -- the huge federal deficits that were left to him by Ronald Reagan and George Bush, he raised taxes and he presided over the best eight years of the American economy in the last 100 years," he said.

Dean appeared on the program with House Minority Whip Eric CantorEric CantorEric Cantor offering advice to end ‘immigration wars’ Trump's olive branch differs from the golden eras of bipartisanship After divisive rally, Trump calls for unity MORE (R-Va.), who argued a tax increase on wealthy taxpayers will be negatively impact already-weak job creation. 

"People are still out of work," Cantor said. "You hear and I know you're hearing it as well, small business people, working families, investors, are scared to death, because they don't know where Washington is going next. So the equity is sitting on the sidelines, refusing to enter into the game of risk-based investment and we're at a standstill."

Recent reports show that companies are sitting on approximately $1.6 billion instead of investing it to expand their operations.

Republicans have argued that extending all of the Bush tax cuts would stimulate economic activity. Democrats suggest that view isn't supported by what happened after the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. 

Democratic leaders plan to decide the fate of the Bush tax cuts in the upcoming lame-duck session. President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress want to extend tax rates on individual income below $200,000 and family income below $250,000, while allowing tax rates above those thresholds to rise.