Senator Mike Lee criticized President Obama's and the Democrats' plan to raise taxes, saying that "their proposal would leave 94% of this year's deficit intact, which makes it an inherently unserious proposal insofar as it relates to deficit reduction."
Lee, a Republican from Utah, made his remarks on the Senate floor.
"On Monday we heard from Democrats who insist that Congress must now raise taxes of the American people. In fact, they're so committed to this task that they're willing to take the country off the fiscal cliff in order to get their way, Lee explained.
He added: "This is unfortunate. It's unnecessary and it's a course of action that we cannot pursue. Mind you, they're not trying to pursue comprehensive tax reform. No, they're not trying to fix this byzantine era of tax code, which occupies tens of thousands of pages. What they're doing instead is just to raise taxes right now so that they can get their way right now, so that they can cover their shortfall that exists right now because of a chronic failure by Congress over time to set and stick to spending priorities."
Lee says that's there's good reason not to raise taxes. "First, the federal government has proven its inadequacy in this area," according to Lee. "Second, from the C.B.O. to the I.M.F. to the Federal Reserve to Ernst & Young, experts around the world are warning of the dire economic consequences that await us if we raise taxes."
Lee also suggests that the president is being insincere in offering this proposal. "Now, I really do appreciate the fact that the president is finally talking about these issues, issues that have long gone unaddressed and need to be addressed," says Lee. "But he can't look the American people in the eye and tell them he's doing something about the debt when his own budget, while raising taxes, nearly doubles our already sprawling national debt over the next ten years."