Defeated Veteran Democrat: ‘Taxes Are Going to Have to Go Up’

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports:

Despite President Obama’s suggestion that he’s willing to compromise with Republicans to extend all the Bush tax cuts at least temporarily, not all Democrats are willing to follow him down that path.

Amid a liberal backlash against the president, Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., told us on ABC’s “Top Line” today that there isn’t “any way in the world” he would agree to extending the tax cuts for upper-income American – even if it’s only done so temporarily.

“I would suspect most Democrats agreed with the president when he campaigned against allowing tax reductions for millionaires and billionaires -- took that very seriously. I certainly did,” Kanjorski said. “As a matter of fact, I can declare today that I can’t think of any way in the world that they would get me convinced to vote for the continuation of the tax cuts, whether it be temporary or permanent.”

Kanjorski lost his seat in last week’s election, after serving nearly 26 years in Congress. He said the setbacks for he and his fellow Democrats should be a message that it’s time for the Democratic Party to “stand firm on real principles.”

“We’ve got to go back and educate the electorate as to what happened or why, but then stand on principle and stay with the same position -- particularly on the tax issue,” he said. “I think you just have to concede taxes are going to have to go up. I mean, I want to return to the Clinton era, where we had a balanced budget,” Kanjorski said.

“I just think that’s responsible government. I don’t care whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat. And we should require that.”

Kanjorski lost to the same Republican candidate he’d beaten twice previously – a signal, he said, that a “wave across the country” cost Democrats about 5 percent of the vote on average.

“Everybody seemed to suffer that deficiency. And certainly, I did,” he said. “The Obama administration and the leadership in Congress, although they were very effective in legislating, they were terrible in educating. And in order to be successful, you have to be able to educate. If the electorate doesn’t know what you did, or what the legislation passed accomplished, then for all intents and purposes, you accomplished nothing.”

Kanjorski acknowledged that he would most likely be supporting Nancy Pelosi’s bid to stay on as Democratic leader, if he had won reelection. But he said Pelosi’s continued service may not be the best option for the party in the long term.

“It would probably – from a rebuilding aspect, long-term – be better to put new leadership in place,” he said.

And as a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, Kanjorski said he fears the new Republican leadership will let the financial regulatory reform law “atrophy” by not applying adequate oversight.

Watch the full interview with Rep. Paul Kanjorski HERE.

Also today, we checked with Stephen Mansfield, author of “The Faith and Values of Sarah Palin,” about Palin’s latest maneuverings, which Mansfield said he thinks will build up toward a 2012 presidential run.

“I think she's going to run. I don't want her to run,” Mansfield told us.

Watch the full segment with Stephen Mansfield HERE.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...