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Tue Jun 12, 2012, 05:36 PM

Senate Democrat Urges GOP To Consider Raising Taxes To Spare Military From Automatic Cuts [View all]

DONNA CASSATA Associated Press
First Posted: June 12, 2012 - 4:38 pm

WASHINGTON Republicans determined to spare the military from devastating across-the-board spending cuts presidential candidate Mitt Romney among them must be willing to consider closing tax loopholes and raising rates to increase revenue, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said Tuesday.

Democratic Sen. Carl Levin insisted that all elements of the federal government taxes, entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security and even additional defense reductions need to be part of the calculation as Congress scrambles to come up with a way to avoid the automatic, $1.2 trillion cuts in domestic and military programs over a decade. Those cuts are scheduled to start kicking in Jan. 2.

Levin said Republican and Democratic presidents, including Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, adopted both spending cuts and tax increases to address budget deficits. He said the current Republican leadership needs to do the same.

"There can be no real deficit reduction and you cannot protect defense and other critically important priorities of this country from sequestration without additional revenue," the Michigan lawmaker said, referring to the process of automatic cuts that will take effect if Congress does not act.



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