'This Week' Transcript: Stephanie Cutter and Kevin Madden

STRASSEL: the only way we're actually going to be able to fix all of these things that we're talking about, OK -- entitlement spending, all of the other problems that we have, the debt that has piled up over the years, is if you get growth.

And the way you get growth is with smart tax policy.

Go out and ask any businessman right now, anyone. The uncertainty of what is happening in tax policy is killing them. and, by the way, on small businesses, too, our fastest job creators. And don't believe this whole line someone will say, oh, only 3 percent of small businesses. Actually, those 3 percent are the most productive and important small business generators in the country. The number you need to look at is $1.3 trillion in net business revenue. Fifty-three percent of that will be hit by the president's proposed tax increases...

(CROSSTALK)

Van Hollen: Just to be clear on why those...

STRASSEL: So I mean this is...

(CROSSTALK)

Van Hollen: Just to be clear on what...

STRASSEL: This is...

Van Hollen: -- these figures are, because the -- the...

STRASSEL: The C...

Van Hollen: -- the rea...

STRASSEL: -- the CBO numbers...

Van Hollen: -- the reason -- no, the -- the -- the reason for this is Republicans talk about small businesses like you -- you want them to think about mom and pops. They would classify Bain as a small business.

Austin Goolsbee: Actually, they would classify Mitt Romney's horse as a small business.

(CROSSTALK)

STRASSEL: Actually, it's anybody...

(CROSSTALK)

STRASSEL: -- who...

(LAUGHTER)

STRASSEL: Actually, it's anybody who...

Austin Goolsbee: And -- and it -- but it's true.

(CROSSTALK)

Van Hollen: But it's true.

Austin Goolsbee: I know it is.

Van Hollen: Hedge fund owners...

(CROSSTALK)

Van Hollen: Fortune 100 companies all come under this rubric of small business.

STRASSEL: And small businesses...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But...

STRASSEL: -- do, too.

Van Hollen: -- but those are not -- but -- but...

(CROSSTALK)

STRASSEL: Small businesses do, too.

(CROSSTALK)

STRASSEL: And the reality is you...

(CROSSTALK)

STRASSEL: -- are you actually arguing...

(CROSSTALK)

STRASSEL: No, I want to ask.

Austin Goolsbee: We have two...

STRASSEL: Should small businesses be paying higher taxes than GE?

Van Hollen: They should not. But the consequence of -- of -- of Grover's design is that for every penny in removing the deduction, you've got to reduce the rate. So Romney's plan would say let's drop the top rate 35 percent, down to 28 percent. He says he wants to do it in a deficit-neutral manner. Now the tox -- Tax Policy Center, which Mitt Romney himself has says -- has said is an authoritative source -- has said if you want to do that, middle income taxpayers are going to pay higher taxes...

(CROSSTALK)

Van Hollen: -- in order to give the folks...

(CROSSTALK)

Van Hollen: -- at the top a break.

(CROSSTALK)

Van Hollen: It's simple...

(CROSSTALK)

Van Hollen: -- math.

(CROSSTALK)

Van Hollen: And that's the consequence...

Pat Toomey: It's simple math that...

Van Hollen: -- of their proposal.

Pat Toomey: -- that follows from invalid assumptions that they chose to make.

For instance, they simply systematically exclude the reduction in value of certain categories of deductions that Mitt Romney never said was off the table.

(CROSSTALK)

Pat Toomey: They chose to...

STRASSEL: They made it up.

(CROSSTALK)

Pat Toomey: They most certainly do.

Austin Goolsbee: -- the amount of money.

Pat Toomey: You take the value of the health care...

(CROSSTALK)

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