Congressman Dave Camp on plans to cut U.S. deficits

Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) participates in a House Rules Committee meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

JEREMY HOBSON: By now, you've heard about the plan that was released Wednesday to cut U.S. deficits by $4 trillion over the next decade. It came from the leaders of the President's Deficit Commission and it involves cuts to entitlement programs and military spending as well as some tax increases.

Republican Congressman Dave Camp is a member of the full deficit panel and he joins us now from his home district in Michigan. Congressman, welcome to Marketplace.

DAVE CAMP: Well, thank you for having me.

HOBSON: Let me first get your reaction to the proposal from the President's debt panel. What's your take on that generally? Are these things that you think can happen?

CAMP: Well generally I think it's a very serious proposal. If nothing else, I think this preliminary report really shows the difficult choices that have to be made and what we need to do if we're going to get our dept under control.

HOBSON: You sound pretty open to this. Do you think that your colleagues are going to be, by and large, with you on that sort of thing?

CAMP: Make no mistake, I do have problems with it. I think the way the structured the social security reforms are not necessarily the way I would do it. I think it's worth having the debate on. But I would say to those who are critical of this provision or that provision, send me a complete report. Send me a report that will get us to a three percent deficit as part of our economy.

HOBSON: Congressman Camp, you're going to be chairing the powerful Ways and Means Committee in the House at least for the next two years. This is a committee that oversees taxes and trade. What is your top priority?

CAMP: Well I think the top priority is to make sure we don't have a tax increase. I think our economy has not recovered. Our unemployment is still at 9.6 percent so I think we need to send a clear signal. And I would suggest permanently that we not have a tax increase. I think that'll be the first order of business.

HOBSON: Would you be OK with this idea that's been floated of a temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts for maybe two years?

CAMP: I don't think two years is long enough. We need to have a long-term certainty so there's some long term growth in the economy and I think if you shorten it to two years I think in uncertainty comes back in just a few months.

HOBSON: Congressman Dave Camp, Republican of Michigan, thank you so much for talking with us.

CAMP: Thanks Jeremy.

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