Former GOP Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi can be added to the list of Republicans who seem to be on board with raising the tax rates on the country’s wealthiest as part of a deal to avoid going over the fiscal cliff.
President Obama and House Speaker Boehner have met behind the scenes to work on getting a deal before the end of the year.
Barbour, who joined Morning Joe on Tuesday, said raising the rates on the country’s “top two brackets” should come with broad entitlement reform.
“The question is…what is in the deal? If there is a tax increase for the top 3%, the top two brackets…The question for me is not: Should we pass that by itself? Because we shouldn’t. But [the question is] what else goes along with it? Do we get real entitlement reform?,” he asked on Tuesday morning.
Last Wednesday, Oklahoma GOP Sen. Tom Coburn told Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski he would be willing to raise rates as part of a deal. Other GOP members who have publicly stated their willingness to raise rates include Sen. Bob Corker,R-Tenn., Sen. Susan Collins,R-Maine, and Rep. Tom Cole,R-Okla., among others.
I as a Republican would take raising the rates on the two top brackets if in return we had tax reform laid out over a period of months; if we had entitlement reform…Look, we gotta control defense spending. We’ve got to control the other discretionary non-defense spending. I think if you have the whole package, I would hold my nose despite the fact that raising those two tax brackets is bad economics, bad for jobs, is going to hurt the economy. I would hold my nose to get the other done. What I wouldn’t do is vote for that and do nothing else.