Mike Pence’s Bad Math on Taxes

On Sunday’s This Week, host Christiane Amanpour tried to moderate a discussion between Reagan’s budget director David Stockman and Indiana Congressman (and former radio talk show host) Mike Pence. While Amanpour and Stockman had a discussion about facts, Pence just kept parroting the same talking points. He actually said that raising taxes won’t increase revenue, a long-discredited talking point of the anti-tax crowd. And Pence doesn’t see the disconnect between his advocacy for a “pathway toward a balanced budget” and his insistence on deficit-busting tax giveaways to the richest Americans.

Pence also mindlessly parrots the talking point about an “84 percent increase” in domestic spending, while ignoring the fact that nearly all of that amount was a one-time stimulus to keep the economy from completely shutting down.

Mike Pence, ladies and gentlemen:

Amplify’d from abcnews.go.com

AMANPOUR: … what you just said was the campaign — campaign slogan. Now it’s time to legislate. You have a new Congress. You have a new reality. You have a huge budget deficit, a massive national debt.
And what I’m trying to figure out is, where, beyond what you’ve been saying in the campaign about, you know, less government, less spending, where you’re going to make big cuts? And do you agree that there will, after a period of time, perhaps, need to be tax increases?

PENCE: Well, look, Republicans have put on the table — and continue to put on the table — our commitment to change the fiscal direction of Washington, D.C., to put our national government on a pathway toward a balanced budget.
The president yesterday called for a spending freeze. Well, we — we think we ought to go back to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels and freeze there — there’s been an 84 percent increase in domestic spending since this administration took office. We’ve got to roll back there. That will save $100 billion in the first year. How about a net hiring freeze on Capitol Hill?
And let me anticipate — David makes the point — absolutely, for Americans under the age of 40, we’ve got to put everything on the table in the area of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. We have got to reform these entitlement programs. They are threatening the fiscal vitality of future generations of Americans.

AMANPOUR: Is that enough?

David believes that every tax increase equals a revenue increase, but that’s not true. Anybody who is familiar with the historical data from the IRS knows that raising income tax rates will likely actually reduce federal revenues.
So if we raise taxes, the American people are very likely going to — the top 1 percent are going to send less money to Washington, D.C., and that will never get us out of this…
Raising income tax rates on the top 1 percent will not increase revenues to the federal treasury.
AMANPOUR: Well, not — not according to — to the budget director, who is the architect of the biggest, most sweeping tax cuts in American history.Read more at abcnews.go.com