Issues

Warner Calls for Lowering Corporate Tax Rate: ‘We Are Not Competitive at This Point’

Sen. Mark Warner (D., Va.) called for lowering the U.S. corporate tax rate to the "mid-to-low 20s" during an appearance Tuesday on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

The current combined federal and state tax rate for corporations in the U.S. is 39.1 percent, the highest of all developed countries.

Warner said that he wanted to see a tax reform plan that was not so dependent on tax cuts, arguing President Donald Trump's proposal would explode the deficit. CNBC anchor Michelle Caruso-Cabrera challenged him, however, saying that he did appear to agree with the White House that the corporate rate should be lowered.

"Absolutely," Warner said. "We are not competitive at this point when we have not only the highest corporate tax rate in the world—I think we need to bring it down significantly."

"To where?" Caruso-Cabrera asked.

"I would think mid-to-low 20s," Warner said. "The problem is this: We have the world's worst of both. We have the highest corporate tax rate, yet if you look at the total amount of revenues we collect as a percentage of our GDP, we are 31st out of 34 in terms of OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] nations. So we have this high tax rate, yet we collect a very small amount of revenue, because this tax code is riddled with exemptions."

Warner is at odds with some fellow members of his party on the issue, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.).

The White House has called Trump's tax plan the largest tax reform in history, saying it would simplify the code and produce consistent economic growth.