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GOP Senator Says He May Support Increasing Tax Rates In Fiscal Cliff Deal

By Igor Volsky  

"GOP Senator Says He May Support Increasing Tax Rates In Fiscal Cliff Deal"

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A prominent Republican senator told a local radio station on Friday that he would consider raising marginal tax rates as part of a balanced package of entitlement reforms, going further than most of his colleagues in signaling an openness to increasing taxes on income over $250,000.

During an appearance on KTRS The Big 550 , Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said he would consider allowing President Bush’s tax cuts to expire on higher-end income if Democrats support changes to entitlement programs like Medicare:

Q: Are you open to voting for some type of compromise that would increase marginal tax rates?

BLUNT: I think I’m unlikely to do that. I think if we had real long-term entitlement reform that would offset the negative economic impact of raising tax rates,that’s something to talk about and that’s the deal.

Listen:

President Obama offered $360 billion in Medicare and Medicaid savings in his FY 2013 budget, including reforming the way government health care programs pay for services to ensure that they reward quality and efficiency and not just quantity of care.

A growing number of Republicans have signalled a willingness to accept increased revenue, but Blunt is one of the few to explicitly leave the door open to raising marginal rates. On Thursday, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) predicted that Republicans in the House would also support such a proposal.

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