Rep. Paul Ryan says he is open to the possibility of raising revenue through tax reform as a way to avoid the upcoming “fiscal cliff”, the expected tax increases and budget cuts due to occur in early 2013.
In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published Tuesday, Ryan, who is heading back to Congress after three months of campaigning as the Republican vice presidential nominee, said he wanted to “be part of the solution” to the fiscal cliff.
New revenue, Ryan said, could be a component of that solution.
“Yes, you can increase revenues without having to raise tax rates,” Ryan said in response to a question from the Journal Sentinel. “Our fear is that if you raise tax rates you hurt economic growth. You hurt small businesses. So through tax reform you can get higher revenues without damaging the economy. We think that’s the better way to go.”
Ryan also echoed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s call for specifics from President Barack Obama.
“We’ve put out ideas. The House Republicans have put out specific solutions. The president and the Senate have yet to do that,” Ryan said.
“In order to get things done, in order to reach common ground, both sides need to put out, not just rhetoric, but specific ideas on the table. Then you negotiate. We’re hopeful that the president will begin to show some leadership on this and some other issues so that we can begin to get common ground,” he said.
Ryan’s support will be essential to getting House Republicans on board with a deal. The Wisconsin Republican is reported to have been given an early look at House Speaker John Boehner’s speech last Wednesday, in which he called for the president to take the lead on the fiscal cliff negotiations and opened the door to raising new revenue by closing tax loopholes.