Rep. Barney Frank Talks Tax Increases Two Weeks Before Election Day

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," October 21, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HEATHER NAUERT, HOST: In the meantime, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank, is talking a whole lot about taxes.

Take a listen to what he had to say here.


REP. BARNEY FRANK, D-MASS., HOUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIR: Yes, I believe later on, there should be tax increases. Speaking personally, I think there are a lot of very rich people out there whom we can tax at a point down the road and recover some of this money.


NAUERT: So, is that the right thing that he wants to say just two weeks before the election?

Here now is Republican New Jersey Congressman Scott Garrett, a member of the financial services committee.

Welcome, Congressman Garrett.


NAUERT: Let me get your reaction to what Congressman Barney Frank said. And this was — he said this just yesterday.

Video: Watch Heather Nauert's interview

GARRETT: Yes, no surprise, and it shouldn't come to anyone as a surprise at all, that's where the Democratic Party really wants to bring the country.

You know, I remember being a new legislator a few years back, and being on the floor of the House of Representatives, and someone there from on the other side of the aisle says, "We need to tax the rich." And the debate and that discussion went on and then someone has said, "How do you define the rich?" And their answer was, "Well, people making over $75,000."

Well, maybe in his state that's rich, but where I come, the state of New Jersey, both husband and wife could be making $75,000, and you would hardly be classified as rich in our state, anyway.

NAUERT: OK. Now, it wouldn't be surprising if somebody running for election said, "I'm not going to raise your taxes, I'm not going to raise your taxes."


NAUERT: Then they get into office and say, "Well, you know, circumstances have changed. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to raise your taxes."

If Barack Obama wins and becomes the next president of the United States, do you believe that he, in conjunction with the House and Senate, are going to push for a tax increase beyond what they've already discussed — a tax increase for people making under $250,000 a year?

GARRETT: Yes. I think it has to come if he wants to do everything that he is talking about. I mean, he has such a mega-plan out there to provide free this, free that, free everything else, universal healthcare, universal this. It all doesn't come without a cost. Now, they'll tell you that we can pay for all these things if we, (A), end the war in Iraq, which we all want to do, and (B), if we do away with the president's tax cuts. Well, remember, that '03 tax cuts, but remember, if we do away with one tax cut, on the one hand, that's basically raising new taxes on the other hand.

So, yes, obviously, if Senator Obama becomes president, all of us have to be afraid, very much afraid that our taxes will be going up.

NAUERT: OK. And let me ask you about this economic stimulus plan.

GARRETT: Sure. Oh, yes.

NAUERT: . which is separate from the $700 billion economic rescue.


NAUERT: It's something that Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama are pushing. We've heard anywhere from — it costs $150 billion up to $300 billion.


NAUERT: What's your take on this? Is something like this going to go through? Are they going to try to push it through after the election?

GARRETT: Oh, sure. And what they're doing right now is all the theatrics. They had Chairman Bernanke come on, again, just like they did last year with the bailout plan and said, "Do we need this?" And, of course, he says, "Sure, why not?" And so, they'll hang on that and say, well, the chairman of the Fed says we need this.

But look what happened last time that was done. You know, they handed out $600 checks to everybody. You saw a little spike, a little popup in that quarter, but then it all went down again as far as the economy.

You know, the American public was pretty — has a lot of common sense and they realized that the last stimulus package did nothing except make them feel good for a short period of time. They paid off the mortgage payment. They paid the rent. They bought a TV or something like that. It did absolutely nothing to turn the economy around and give us the stimulus in the long term and neither will this one.

NAUERT: All right. Congressman Scott Garrett, thanks a lot for joining us tonight.

GARRETT: Thank you.

NAUERT: We'll talk to you again real soon.

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