Jim DeMint: The president is not willing to cut spending

Former S.C. senator on Obama's plans for revenues


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," February 5, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: Welcome, everyone. I'm Stuart Varney, in for Neil Cavuto. This is "Your World."

Remember this, that fiscal cliff deal, a huge amount in tax hikes. Not much in the way of spending cuts. Are we about to see the sequel? Because the president today is calling on Congress to pass another quick fix to avert those automatic spending cuts he originally signed off on kicking in March 1.

And once again, this plan includes new tax revenues.

To former South Carolina senator and Heritage Foundation president-elect Jim DeMint, who says we have seen how this movie ends and it's not good.

All right, Jim, spell it out. More taxes, not so many spending cuts. What's the end result?

JIM DEMINT (R), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Stuart, you really have to scratch your head.

The federal government will receive record, historically high tax revenues this year, yet we have doubled spending over the last 10 years. It's a spending problem. The president is not willing to cut spending at this point. He continues to talk about more taxes, even though he promised that this sequester would never happen and that if he got his tax increases he would cut spending.

VARNEY: But what are the Republicans going to do? Here we have the president calling for more taxes. What is going to be their - what should their response be?

DEMINT: Well, Republicans passed in the House last year what they called a fix of the sequester, which they found cuts in other areas, reasonable cuts, to replace the spending for our defense system. It was a very reasonable bill. They passed it.

Harry Reid never even took it up and the president didn't acknowledge it. But there are good ways to fix this problem without gutting our military. But we can't go back to where we were, where we're just adding all this spending back, along with the president's tax increases.

VARNEY: So, you're saying basically the Republicans, especially in the House, should say, no, we're not going to do this, no more taxes?

DEMINT: Absolutely not, Stuart.

I'm not going to speak for the Republicans anymore. But just speaking as a conservative, we have got to get the president and the Congress focused on, how can we cut spending and put ourself on a path to a balanced budget? If we don't start talking about a balanced budget and getting serious about it, you know what's going to happen and this movie will not end well.

VARNEY: Well, the CBO, the Congressional Budget office, today protected forward on the debt level and the state of the economy. They said two things primarily. They said, number one, that the deficit this year is going to come in below a trillion dollars, the first time we have seen that in the Obama years. But they also said that we're only going to get growth this year of 1.4 percent. Essentially, they are saying that if you cut spending, you will cut the deficit. If you raise taxes, you will cut the deficit. They're saying the exact opposite to you.

DEMINT: It doesn't make sense. I would be surprised if our deficit wasn't back to a trillion. I don't think the government is going to collect all the new revenues that they're projecting because when you start taxing investors, small businesses, they tend to cut back and they don't end up having the profits to pay taxes on.

But the president is distracting from the real conversation, Stuart. We have got to cut spending. There are many areas of the government where we duplicate other areas, where there's wasteful spending. And we need to move some things back to the states and we need to make a commitment to balance our budget within 10 years.

If we do that, you would see our markets and our economy improve almost overnight.

VARNEY: Quickly, Jim, do you predict dealt disaster if we raise taxes?

DEMINT: I think our deficit will go up, because that's going to cut a big hole in our economy so tax revenues will begin to dry up.

I think our economy is very delicate right now. Businesses are tired of the uncertainty. If the president keeps talking tax increases, I'm worried about what that will do.

VARNEY: All right, Jim DeMint, president-elect of the Heritage Foundation, thanks for joining us, sir. Appreciate it.

DEMINT: Thank you, Stuart.

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