U.S. should revamp Medicare but avoid 'class warfare' while raising debt limit, Congressman Davis says

05/16/2011 03:46 PM

Republican U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis said he would vote to raise the debt ceiling only if Congress cut spending and revamped Medicare and Medicaid.

And he said he wouldn’t support any proposal that sought to cut debt by raising taxes even on the wealthiest — a proposal he called “class warfare.”

Davis, a Republican representing Kentucky’s 4th District in Northern Kentucky, made the comments on Pure Politics on Monday as the United States government hit its $14.3 trillion debt limit.

“It puts us in a tremendously untenable position,” Davis said. “The only way there will be an agreement is if we look at it as if we were looking at a small business that was in trouble or a family that was in financial dire straits — the credit cards have to be cut up.”

In this case he said cutting federal spending and reforming “entitlements” of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

He said he prefers cutting a dollar of spending for every dollar the debt ceiling is raised as House Speaker John Boehner has proposed.

But Davis said he wouldn’t support raising taxes, even on the wealthiest Americans — including those earning more than $1 million.

“A rocket scientist in the Maryland legislature proposed an idea that Gov. (Martin) O’Malley signed into law that would put huge additional taxes on millionaires thinking that would solve their problem,” Davis said at around the 3:35 mark in the video. “What happened the very next year after this was enacted was their tax revenue fell when the economy was coming up last year.”

Maryland raised the personal income tax rate to 6.25% for millionaires in 2009. And between 2008 and 2009, the number of millionaires dropped from 3,000 to 2,000, according to figures from the state comptroller as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

“We need to move away from this class warfare,” Davis said.

Davis also fielded a couple of questions about Tuesday’s primaries for statewide office. Find out what he said at the 5:30 mark of the video:

(Programming note: Pure Politics will air more of the interview with U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis later in the week.)

- Ryan Alessi

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