Interviews

Higher taxes, fees for 'under $250K' crowd?

Rep. Rangel on Obama's budget plan

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," April 11, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, now we know. We are all fat cats, because it's not just the rich getting socked by higher taxes. Now -- well, now they have got company, us.

Welcome, everybody. Glad to have you. I'm Neil Cavuto.

And do any of you remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you make under $250,000, you will not see your taxes increase by a single dime, not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains tax, not any tax. You won't see your taxes increase one single dime.

One single dime.

The middle class doesn't need a tax hike.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO: Why I oughta...

That was then. Fox on top of a tax hit that is over the top, actually, way -- well, under the top, because if you make less than 250 grand, let's just say life with the tax man won't be grand anymore. Under the president's budget, you too could get slammed badly, especially if you're a smoker. You're looking at a tax on a pack of cigarettes almost doubling to about two bucks, or let's say you're a flyer. Try $18 billion in new fees to pay for aviation security.

Or let's say you are a saver -- 59 billion bucks in taxes on banks and brokerage firms and life insurance companies that undoubtedly will be passed along to you via higher fees and charges. Or if you are, oh, I don't know, a driver, another $94 billion in energy taxes that will quickly work their way to you at the pump, or if you're just hanging out at home to that utility bill in your mailbox.

Add them all up, more than a trillion dollars in new taxes over the next decade, Republicans all but saying the president has lost his mind.

To New York Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel, who says the president has found his nerve.

Congressman, good to have you.

REP. CHARLES RANGEL, D - N.Y.: Good to be back with you.

CAVUTO: Those are lot of taxes, Congressman.

RANGEL: Well, there's a lot of debt that we have and a lot of sacrifices have to be made.

And I think it's just the American thing to believe, that if we all chip in, we all take a hit, we all make some sacrifices, that we will come out of this OK.

CAVUTO: But when I heard the president and a lot of leading Democrats saying not too long ago that it was only going to be the $250,000-and-over crowd taking that tax hit, I was dumb enough to believe them.

RANGEL: Well, obviously, you are in -- above that $250,000 group. And this is where you concentrated. The truth of the matter is that...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: No, what I just cited, Congressman, were taxes that would affect below that group.

RANGEL: We're talking about a whole new bag of wax. We really are talking about trying to get something with the Republicans that would cut back in spending and at the same time get rid of this sequestration.

You can't do this. You cannot do this if you are just concentrating on cutting. And if we have to raise revenue, even if you were just talking about income tax reform, if you were talking about getting rid of loopholes, you have to raise revenues to do it.

This whole idea that at a time when our corporations are making record profits, the stock market is soaring and we have more people in poverty now than we have ever had, we have got to come together on this. And you know it.

CAVUTO: But do you think, Congressman -- I know the president was saying yesterday when he announced this that something like, well, the rich have to pay their fair share. Are they close to that point now? Should they pay still more? When do they pay their fair share?

RANGEL: Let me tell you this.

I have never heard a complaint with the successful businessmen that we have in this country, not in New York, and not in Washington. I don't know what...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Well, who are you talking to, people on Mars? I hear them all the time. Left or right, they feel like they're getting taxed up the yin-yang.

RANGEL: I don't think that's -- I don't think that's the prevalent view of wealthy people in this country.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: What wealthy people are you talking to, Congressman?

RANGEL: I'm talking about those that we were talking about in the top 1 and the top 2 percent.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But in your neck of the wood, in your district, Congressman, the ones who are in that $250,000 crowd, and now we know with some of these increases -- for example, smokers, who on average earn about $40,000 a year, their taxes are going to double on a pack of cigarettes, essentially.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: I'm just asking you, do you talk to these people?

(CROSSTALK)

RANGEL: You are very optimistic in believing that the Republicans are going to allow us to debate the president's budget.

I hope you're right. But I don't think I will be coming back saying that the taxes on cigarette smoking is too high, but I think it's something that we should discuss. If not cigarettes, then what?

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: I appreciate your honesty, Congressman. Because at least you're saying something that many in the White House and many of the heads of your party have not said, that we have to broaden out the pool to pay for a lot of this stuff, and by that it would include -- it would include smokers ostensibly earning as little as $40,000 a year. It would include a lot more folks in that $100,000 to $150,000 a year who get entrapped some of these higher fees.

Everyone is going to pay higher gas tax as a result of this, higher utility bills as a result of this. You're saying this is all for the common good.

RANGEL: What I'm saying is that we haven't had a chance to get from the Republicans, not that they have a problem with the president's bill, but are they going to give it a chance to be heard, to be discussed, so that we have a Senate bill that they can tear apart, a president's bill, and then just take a look at their bill, there's no equity?

There's no fairness in what they're talking about. All they are talking about is cutting.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: And all you're talking about is taxing.

RANGEL: Well, you ask any economist during the time that we're pulling out of recession whether laying people off is going to help at all for us to have economic growth.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: Well, you tell me how raising taxes on anyone in the middle of a said recession is going to help anyone? What is better, cutting spending or raising taxes?

(CROSSTALK)

RANGEL: What is better is having the revenue to get involved in increasing education, research development, improvement of our infrastructure to be a first-class nation.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But you're investing money we don't have, right? And you're assuming that the money you're getting out of the wealthy or now this expanded pool of people is still going to be there.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: But, generally, the history suggests the more you hit them up, the fewer of them you have, and the fewer dollars you get.

RANGEL: There is no option to say America does not have enough money to have an infrastructure that is capable of having us as an international trader and number one.

There's no way to explain to the American people why we don't have enough money to develop the scientists and the people that we need in order to keep our research and development at the highest. America cannot afford to go backwards.

CAVUTO: That assumes that the money they're giving for those purposes, Congressman, meets those ends. Right? That doesn't happen.

RANGEL: Well, you bet your life it's going to meet those ends.

CAVUTO: All right.

RANGEL: It's going to create new jobs. It's going to create the revenue. And we are able to reduce the deficit.

But if you take a look at the options the Republicans have, it really doesn't make sense to say that America is going to stand still, not raise revenue, and just cut the social programs that people are living on. That makes no sense.

In any event, we got three different budgets.

CAVUTO: Well, you do. You do.

RANGEL: And I'm glad that we -- I'm glad that we are going to have some exchange on this.

And I do hope that the American people allow themselves to be heard, especially our churches and our do-gooders and all of those people. Today, I asked the secretary of treasury, where was the big businesses and what were they thinking about this program where we have these taxes?

CAVUTO: All right.

RANGEL: And he said that big business stood behind the president. He said that to us this morning.

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO: I don't know where you're going and I don't know what churches you're going to, but I hear the lord's name being used, but not quite the way you're reflecting it.

But, Congressman, it's always good having you. Thank you very much.

RANGEL: Good having you on the program.

CAVUTO: All right, Charles Rangel.

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