S.C. Rep. Clyburn calls for end to Bush tax cuts, loopholes

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn said Tuesday that a soon-to-be-appointed bipartisan congressional committee, charged with finding ways to cut federal spending, should sunset tax cuts, passed under President George W. Bush, and eliminate corporate tax loopholes, not cut entitlement programs.

The Columbia Democrat’s position is in stark contrast to the state’s Republican congressmen, who say cutting entitlement spending is key to putting the country on sound financial footing.

“The reason that there is discussion of entitlement reform is you’re not going to end the deficit without it,” U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-Spartanburg, said Tuesday.

“You could do away with the Bush tax cuts,” Gowdy said. “(You could do away) with big oil subsidies. But, at the end of all of that, you still have to acknowledge that none of this is going to solve our fiscal woes. You could tax the so-called rich at 100 percent, and you won’t make up a $1.65 trillion annual deficit.”

Clyburn does not want any cuts made to entitlement programs that would affect beneficiaries. But he did not rule out cutting payments to Medicare and Medicaid providers, such as doctors and hospitals.

“Entitlements aren’t causing these problems,” said Clyburn, referring to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, all projected to run deficits within the next two decades. “This is just blaming poor people ... when fat cats in the upper 2 percent (of Americans) are getting tax cuts.”

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