WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday letting some Bush-era tax cuts expire next year would be "outrageous," given the state of the economy.
The Kentucky Republican, appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," said Democrats' plan to let the George W. Bush-era tax cuts expire Jan. 1 would effectively amount to a tax increase on higher-income brackets. He said the higher tax rate would affect half of U.S. small businesses and one in four American employees.
"I think it is outrageous to suggest that raising taxes in the middle of a recession is a good idea," McConnell said.
He did not offer specifics on spending cuts to cover the cost of extending all the tax cuts.
"The problem is the spending problem," McConnell said. "If we grind down the spending, we will begin to get a handle on this mounting debt. And if you push this economy further backward, we'll get less revenue for the government and not more.
"Raising taxes in the middle of a recession on the major job generator in America's small business is a very, very bad idea."
President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress say they want to let tax cuts expire for individuals with taxable incomes of more than $200,000 and families with taxable incomes exceeding $250,000. The tax breaks would be extended for those making less.