Bloomberg News

Republican Governors Urge Supercomittee Not to Include Tax Boost

October 24, 2011

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Republican governors urged Congress not to raise taxes or shift more of the cost of running the Medicaid health-care program to states in a bid to reign in the federal budget deficit.

The Republican Governors Association said overhauls to Medicaid, which provides medical care for the poor, and other federal programs should give local officials more power to cut costs so states won’t face added financial burdens. The group today sent a letter to the leaders of the panel seeking to cut the deficit by $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

“We believe less federal spending will benefit the private economy rather than more federal spending,” the governors of Virginia, New Jersey, Mississippi and Indiana said in the letter to Representative Jeb Hensarling and Senator Patty Murray, the co-chairs of the so-called supercommittee.

“We combine our view that raising taxes is the enemy of controlling spending with our belief that excessive regulations and tax increases, especially on employers, are the largest barriers to job creation and economic growth,” the letter said.

The state governors are among those seeking to influence the congressional panel, which is seeking agreement by next month on ways to reduce federal spending.

The panel’s decisions may influence the fiscal outlooks of state and local governments, which received $630 billion from the federal government in 2010, according to the Census Bureau.

The Republican letter was signed by Robert McDonnell of Virginia, Mississippi’s Haley Barbour, New Jersey’s Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels of Indiana.

--Editors: Mark Tannenbaum, Mark Schoifet

To contact the reporters on this story: William Selway in Washington at wselway@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net


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