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Green Bay Press Gazette - Sen. Ron Johnson Says he Won't Support Tax Increases in a Fiscal Cliff Deal

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Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh says he will not support increasing taxes to avoid heading over the fiscal cliff.

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders met Friday to discuss the pending fiscal crisis, and both sides say they're confident they'll reach an agreement before the end of the year.

Johnson said he supports raising revenue, but only through economic growth.

"(I don't support) punishing success by increasing tax rates," Johnson said. "It won't work, it's counterproductive. It's not even close to fixing the problem. I do not know that of a tax increase that helps grow the economy or create a job."

Raising taxes on earners making $250,000 or more is not a solution, he said.

"(People say) "Are you willing to compromise?' Well, absolutely, but I actually have to see a plan from the other side to see what I'm compromising with," Johnson said.

"But (Democrats) haven't put a legit plan on the table….I do not want any part in pushing the economy over the fiscal cliff."

If Obama and Speaker of the House U.S. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, do not reach an agreement in deficit reduction, the country will head over what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernake termed the "fiscal cliff," more than $1 trillion in automatic cuts to domestic and military spending over the next decade.

Heading over the fiscal cliff also means automatic tax increases, including the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. If the country does head over the cliff, analysts predict that the $770 billion in cuts and tax increases in 2013 alone will be too much, too soon for the fragile economy.

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