Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, and most Americans realize the difference, according to Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.
Corker made the distinction in addressing the furious debate over income-tax policy in an appearance on CNBC Monday, ahead of the network'sone-hour town hall program with Presisent Obama's at 12:00 p.m. ET today.
Corker said trying to raise taxes in the current economic environment is "unproductive," and predicted, "We’re gonna' end up two years from now with tax policy being exactly like today. And I think that’s a good thing."
Republicans are pushing for a two-year extenson of the Bush tax cuts, applying to all income groups, while the Democrats want to exclude the two top-income brackets.
The Senate Banking Committee member also said he expected the President would have to focus on cutting spending and the growing budget deficit after the midterm election in November. Many analysts expect the GOP to regain control of the House, which would make it harder to pass new spending initiatives.
Earlier this year, Corker criticized President Obama toward the end of a grueling Senate battle over the shape of financial-reform legislation, saying he was insincere in reaching out to the GOP after orchestrating the legislative process with Democratic Congressional leaders.
At one point, Corker played an key role in intense negotiations with committee chairman Chris Dodd of Connecticut in trying to shape a bipartisan package of reforms. Those talks broke down and Republicans, including Corker, were forced to live with a bill that few of them supported.