This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," June 16, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina joining me right now.
Senator, I want to get first your reactions to the meetings and the whole BP saga at the White House today, a lot of talk time, four hours- plus, 45 minutes on the president’s part. What do you make of that?
SEN. JIM DEMINT R-S.C.: Well, Neil, it’s about time they get together with some high-level meetings. As you know, this should have happened within a week of the spill.
We really need some focused leadership on the Gulf at this point, not so much of lawsuits or creating new cap and trade bills, but the focus on stopping this leak and getting it cleaned up.
So, this is a good start. It’s just way late to be doing it, but I’m glad the president is getting personally involved at this point.
CAVUTO: You have been arguing that the bigger issue for our country, beyond the Gulf, because things will get cleaned up in the Gulf, and maybe soon, we hope, is just a tax tsunami that’s coming our way, right?
DEMINT: Well, Neil, not too many people are even talking about it, but you know, within six months, the tax rates for every American are going to go up, for every business, capital gains, dividends, death tax. It’s all going to go up. There will be an explosion of taxes.
And this is in the middle of a bad economy. So I think you’re going to see a terrible impact on jobs and economic growth. And so what we’re trying to do here in the Senate right now is begin to take on this whole problem by trying to keep tax rates the same.
The bill I’m working on right now, the amendment to the tax bill on the floor, is just to keep cap gains from going to 15 to 20 and keep dividends tax from going from 15 percent all the way up to nearly 40 percent.
CAVUTO: By the way, is there a vote required, Senator, on either, in other words, on lifting — or letting the top two rate cuts expire, more to the point? How is that done, for example? Do you vote on that or do you not vote? What’s the procedure?
DEMINT: Well, Neil, if we don’t do anything, current tax rates expire and go back to where they are.
CAVUTO: For everybody? For everybody?
DEMINT: For everybody.
The 10 percent bracket that was created under Bush goes away. So, the low-income folks are going to be paying more taxes.
DEMINT: The high-income are.
And, more importantly, the investors who are looking for capital gains returns if they risk their money, they’re going to be paying 20 percent. And senior citizens who are living on dividends are going to be — are going to go from 15 percent to nearly 40 percent. So, we need to stop this tsunami of taxes.
And it’s not really even being talked about. But, at the beginning of next year, the tax rates are going to be a lot higher than they are right now.
CAVUTO: Yes. I’ll tell you something politically that is being talked about, this Alvin Greene character, this Democratic nominee who is supposed to challenge you, got the most votes in the primary a couple of weeks ago.
What do you think about him? Are you worried? What — it is just a weird thing.
DEMINT: It is a weird thing. It’s so bizarre. I’m not saying anything until the Democrats sort out what really happened and who the candidate is. So, I’m trying not to comment right now, because I’m really not sure who my opponent is going to be.
They say, a number of them, that Republicans put this dude up.
DEMINT: Well, that makes no sense at all. There would no reason for a Republican to try to get someone else on the ballot, because all that would do was put the other Democrat on the ballot.
It’s much more likely it came from the other side, because, in South Carolina, if you don’t have an opponent, your name is not on the primary ballot, so you would not get the statewide publicity for winning your primary. People wouldn’t vote for you. So — but there’s no reason Republicans would want that to happen.
CAVUTO: Do you think he should step down, because he has got this sordid past and all these charges on soliciting porn and all that? Should he just leave?
DEMINT: I’m not going to comment on that. I think that’s up to him and the Democrat Party. I’m going to keep focused on my election and as well as trying to elect a few more conservatives from around the country.
CAVUTO: All right. Senator, thank you very much. We appreciate it.
DEMINT: Thank you, Neil.
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