Political Notebook

  • Shepard to receive democracy award
    The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site has announced Randall T. Shepard of Evansville as the recipient of the 2014 Advancing American Democracy Award.
  • Stutzman ready for a real recess
    Congress is off the month of August for a "district work period," but its members and the media still refer to such breaks as "recess."
  • Liz Brown gets 4 endorsements
    Liz Brown, the Republican running for the Senate District 15 seat, announced four endorsements Thursday.

Stutzman clarifies stance on debt options


Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, said Thursday he opposes tax increases despite signing a letter that insists “all options” should considered to reduce the nearly $15.trillion national debt.

Stutzman was among 100 House members, 40 of them Republicans, who signed the Nov. 2 letter sent to the House-Senate debt-reduction committee. The 12-member panel has until Thanksgiving to recommend at least $1.2.trillion in spending cuts as part of the Budget Control Act passed in August.

“To succeed, all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table,” the letter said.

Stutzman issued a statement Thursday saying “there is some confusion” about his position.

“I’d like to clarify that I’m against tax rate increases, plain and simple,” Stutzman said. “I’m opposed to any revenue increase that comes from tax rate increases and I won’t vote for a plan that hikes taxes – period. I’ll keep pushing for a plan that makes big cuts to Washington’s bloated budget.”

Stutzman said lower income tax rates would increase tax revenue by fostering economic growth.

“That’s the only acceptable, free-market approach to revenues,” he said. “Those are the only revenues I’ve ever mentioned.”

Only two Hoosier lawmakers signed the letter: Stutzman and Rep. Peter Visclosky, D-1st. The correspondence described the signers as “a bipartisan group of representatives from across the political spectrum.”

If the full Congress does not approve at least $1.2 trillion in spending cuts by Christmas, automatic reductions in discretionary and military budgets will take effect under the Budget Control Act.