ATLANTA,None - Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss responded Monday to critics who claim he's pushing for one of the largest tax increases in American history.
Chambliss is part of the Gang of Six, a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders who unveiled their own plan to deal with the countrys debt crisis.
Conservative critics are calling it a Democratic plan that includes a tax increase, and many have lashed out at Chambliss for praising it.
"I think I represent the overwhelming view of conservative Georgians, Chambliss told Channel 2 Action News on Monday. READ: Gang Of 6 Deficit Plan TWITTER: Follow Political Reporter Lori Geary
Conservative radio talk show host Erick Erickson of AM 750 and Now 95.5FM News/Talk WSB blasted Chambliss for his role in pushing the plan, a plan Erickson claims is one of the biggest tax increases ever.
He can hoot and holler and say we're lying, but if you read Saxby Chambliss' plan, that's what he wants to do, said Erikson.
This guy has been pounding me for years. I've never met the guy. He's never called my office once, you know, professional journalists do that, Chambliss said.
According to Chambliss, the plan would slash the deficit by $3.7 trillion over 10 years and increase federal revenues by more than $1 trillion by changing tax deductions on mortgage interest, charitable contributions and health care insurance. Chambliss said the plan would also lower personal and corporate income taxes.
What Ronald Reagan did is exactly what we're proposing. That is lower tax rates to compensate for the elimination of those deductions, Chambliss said.
Channel 2 political analyst Matt Towery said Chambliss' plan could signal trouble in his re-election bid in three years.
This was probably the senator thinking he would probably do something helpful, but it's not come across this way to conservative Republicans, Towery said. I'm not saying that he's wrong. Im saying he has to understand how the public views it and they're not sympathetic to that deal.
If people want someone who's not willing to address the issues, they don't need to vote for me, Chambliss said.
Chambliss told Channel 2 Action News he will run for re-election in 2014 and he said if anyone questions whether he's conservative they should check his voting record.