By Martin Gould and Ashley Martella
GOP leaders simply need to look at history to realize why they must reject Democratic pleas for tax hikes and focus on spending cuts to reduce the deficit, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert tells Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.
Both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were hoodwinked with similar plans that amounted to nothing, he said.
President Barack Obama wants a deal that will not include any spending cuts at all until after the next election. And that means they will never happen, Gohmert said.
Gohmert, whose district covers an area on the Louisiana border, refuted Obama's claims that many Republicans favor revenue-increasing measures alongside spending cuts. He said those who do should have learned from the mistakes of the past.
"After 1986, that tax reform that Reagan did -- he was promised all kinds of tax cuts in return for what was done to the tax code. Well the cuts didn't come," said Gohmert, who has been in Congress since 2005.
"President GHW Bush was promised all kinds of cuts in spending in return for just a tiny "oh come on President Bush, we know you said read my lips, no new taxes, but just a little bitty raise here.'
"Once he did, they beat him up for breaking his pledge of no new taxes and the cuts never came."
When asked if current Democratic tactics were planned to "snooker" Republicans just like Bush, he said, "That is exactly what's going on and the best evidence of that being the case is there is no agreement to cut anything in the short term, in the next year and a half.
"You surely realize what it means to agree to cuts over 10 years. You get more than a year and a half out, they will not happen.
"There is no agreement to cut anything while he's president this term. That's just shocking to me that he would propose anything that didn't have firm commitments in the next 18 months. Because that means there is no commitment to cut."
Gohmert said he cannot believe that Obama can say "with a straight face" that the American public wants such a deal.
"This president has proposed no deal. He hasn't put anything in writing. He hasn't made any form of proposal at all. He keeps requesting that the Republicans do what he asks and that includes raise taxes. But he has no deal."
Gohmert also said the president's claim that Social Security payments may not be made after the Treasury's Aug. 2 deadline for an agreement on raising the debt ceiling was bogus.
"The fact is there's $2.6 trillion in Treasury notes in the Social Security trust fund," he said. "There is enough money to pay every social security check for at least three years."
And he said the seniors should stop worrying that they will not be getting their checks, as non-payment would be illegal. "In 1996 a very conservative new Congress passed a law so that it would be even clearer that if there is a shortfall that needs to be made up in the cash on hand, you can sell some of the Treasury notes to pay the Social Security.
Obama's scare tactics are "absolutely unconscionable," he said. "He ought to be out there being a statesman, and saying, "We've got nothing to fear but fear itself. Be calm, we're going to work this out, we're going to take care of things, we're going to take care of our commitments. Seniors don't worry.'
"Instead of that you've got this Scarer-in-Chief out there scaring the elderly. It's a tactic he's been using since he became president and told America you've got to pass this $800 billion stimulus, which is more like a trillion, because if you don't then the unemployment rate could go as high as 8.5 percent."
Gohmert also hit out at his own party's leader in the Senate for putting forward a plan that would essentially allow Obama to get his way on the debt limit while saving face for the Republicans who would not have to vote on it.
"I can understand Mitch McConnell's concern about America getting mad because they think the Republicans aren't doing anything," he said.
"But it's ridiculous to push forward such a drastic cave for a plan because when you have a plan B and the other side knows what it is, plan B becomes your plan, and they say we'll forget your plan A, we'll go straight to your plan B.
"We should not be making a proposal like that."