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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Upton, O’Brien agree "taxes important issue for income growth"


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) – Even though they may have had a slightly different take, both Congressman Fred Upton and his challenger Democrat Mike O’Brien believe taxes play a major role in turning around snowballing income disparity.

At the first debate for the 6th District, held on Western Michigan University’s campus Monday evening, both candidates were asked to respond to a study that showed income disparity has risen dramatically since 1979.

Replying first, O’Brien made it clear that putting Americans back to work is priority number one. “We have a role as Americans to look after each other,” O’Brien commented. The West Michigan native went on to say that, “we need to make sure that everyone and every corporation pays its taxes so that the revenue is coming into the system and we do everything in our power to make sure that the least among us has everything they need.”

On a similar note, Republican Congressman Upton answered the question by trumpeting the commitment he has to partner with businesses, small and large, to create jobs. Upton agreed with O’Brien that to create jobs, taxes must play a key role. However, instead of focusing on ensuring businesses only pay their taxes, Upton emphasized the importance of lowering the corporate tax rate to 25 percent consequently eliminating loopholes that allow big businesses to exempt themselves from paying taxes.  

Watch above for answers and rebuttals from both candidates at the debate hosted by WMUK, MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette.