Representative Dave Camp, head of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives, told Reuters in a telephone interview that the deepening global financial crisis would prompt him and other "super committee" members to pull together.
Asked what sort of pressure the economic turmoil put on the committee, he said: "It does add an importance to what we are trying to do. It makes the stakes even higher."
Camp, who was named on Wednesday to the new special deficit reduction panel, voiced optimism that the group of six Republicans and six Democrats would overcome the political divide and reach agreement.
"I don't want to rule anything in or out," Camp said. "I am willing to discuss all issues that might help us reduce our short and long-term debt and grow our economy," Camp said.
"Everything is on the table, until we as a group rule it out," he said. The economy and jobs are priorities, he added.
"Economic growth and job creation in the private sector -- that's what we need to use as a benchmark about any policy, but particularly tax policy," Camp said.
What he means by "leaving tax policy on the table" is "slashing corporate taxes" so even more of them end up with zero corporate income tax burden. Camp is talking the good talk here, but if you remember the so-called "moderate" Republicans talked a good compromise speech during the health care reform debate too.
We remember how that turned out. What Dave Camp really thinks about taxes has been well-documented. He has said time and time again that he has no intention of raising taxes in "this economy" or any other US economy for that matter, and in fact has proposed to cut taxes on the wealthy and on corporations as part of "tax reform". As a member of Simpson-Bowles, Camp pushed for capital gains tax cuts as well and opposed reducing tax expenditures and loopholes.
Camp insisted that the Bush tax cuts had to be extended for the wealthy. He says that people who do not pay income taxes because they earn less than $13,000 or so a year create a "moral hazard" and that they need "skin in the game." He's voted against closing loopholes for corporations that send jobs overseas. He wants to repeal "Obamacare". And of course, above all he wants to slash spending from social programs.
The people who are telling you Dave Camp is open to tax increases? They need a good swift kick in the ass.