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Sen. Paul: GOP 'willing to close loopholes' as part of broad tax reform

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) pushed back on Democratic finger-pointing over the increasingly likely failure of the debt supercommittee, saying Sunday that Republicans were willing to close tax loopholes as part of a bigger package.

"If you're a millionaire or a corporation that's not paying, we're all for eliminating those deductions, but the vast majority are paying, that's who pays the income tax," Paul said on CNN's State of the Union.

Paul also maintained that any tax loopholes that were closed should be coupled with a lowering of tax rates across the board.

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"I think you need to listen between the lines here, we are willing to close loopholes… but we want it to be part of tax reform, which lowers tax rates," Paul said. "The only thing that has ever helped unemployment in the country was when Kennedy lowered tax rates, and when Reagan lowered tax rates."

Paul said that Democratic proposals to raise revenue by taxing the wealthiest Americans would only worsen the economic situation.

"Most of us think we're taxed enough already… we need to grow the economy and get out of the recession," Paul said.

The Kentucky senator also rejected arguments by Democrats and Republicans alike that the automatically triggered cuts that would be a result of the supercommittee failing could have a detrimental impact on national security.

"We're only cutting proposed increases… spending is still rising under any of these plans," Paul said.

Paul was also reluctant to support two Democratic proposals that had seemed to gain traction in supercommittee negotiations - an extension of unemployment benefits for Americans out of work, and an extension of the payroll tax deduction. Paul said that he believed unemployment benefits emphasized the wrong priorities.

"The question is, do we want to borrow money from China to pay people not to work?" Paul said.

And while Paul said he was sympathetic to the idea of lowering taxes, he saw the payroll tax - which helps fund Social Security - as an important dedicated revenue stream.

"The hard part here is that Social Security is $6 trillion short, because we have less workers…I have a difficult time with saying it's a good thing for Social Security to lower the amount of money coming into it," Paul said.