Klobuchar touts her votes to cut debt, but seeks revenue [UPDATED]Published 10:06am Monday, May 21, 2012 Updated 12:08pm Monday, May 21, 2012
By Brett Neely
Minnesota Public Radio News
WASHINGTON – Minnesota Republicans spent much of the weekend criticizing U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar at their convention in St. Cloud.
Republicans argue that Klobuchar’s policies are sending the country down the wrong economic path. They’ve chosen state Rep. Kurt Bills of Rosemount, Minn., to challenge her this fall.
While Klobuchar’s Republican opponents accuse her of letting spending get out of control, she is quick to point out that she has supported some pretty big spending cuts.
“We have got started on that with $2.2 trillion in debt reduction that I voted for as part of the Budget Control Act,” Klobuchar said.
The Budget Control Act is the bipartisan deal that resulted from last summer’s standoff over increasing the nation’s borrowing limit. The legislation also includes automatic cuts to military spending on Jan. 1, unless Congress intervenes.
Klobuchar thinks there’s even more room to cut the Pentagon’s budget — especially as Congress keeps authorizing weapons systems the military doesn’t want.
But along with those cuts, she said, tax revenues need to rise and the wealthiest need to chip in more.
“I’ve long supported keeping the Bush tax cuts in place for the middle class,” Klobuchar said. “But [with higher taxes] for people making over — you can set it over a million a year or over $250,000 a year if you go to the Clinton levels — you can save over $700 billion dollars.”
In addition to tax rates, Klobuchar also wants to close tax loopholes to raise more money for the government. One place she wants to start is the home mortgage interest deduction. She proposes limiting the deduction to the first $500,000 in home value.
“So if you go out and buy a million dollar home, you still get the mortgage tax deduction but you get it up to $500,000 in value to the home,” she said. “That saves $215 billion over 10 years.”