July 12, 2011 - 10:54 am

BY WESLEY P. HESTER

As the debt ceiling debate roils on in Washington, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., is weighing in for the first time saying he has “serious concerns” with any attempt to raise income taxes.

But Webb said he is in full support of increasing revenues through other means, including ending subsidies and tax loopholes and adjusting measures like capital gains.

Republicans in the House, led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-7th, have a taken a hard stand on taxes, opposing any measure – including closing loopholes – that would lead to higher rates for some Americans. 

Webb has introduced legislation over the years to close the ‘carried interest’ tax loophole that allows hedge fund managers’ income to be taxed at low capital gains rates and eliminate ethanol subsidies.

In 2009, Webb introduced legislation to provide for a profits tax on large bonuses paid to executives from companies who received more than $5 billion from the TARP bailout. The measure never received a vote on the senate floor.

“Taken together, such provisions could reduce the federal deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars and restore a measure of fairness to the tax code,” Webb said.

“I believe these and other similar approaches should be taken by Congressional and administration leaders, rather than increasing the tax burden on Americans whose paychecks are coming from earned income as the result of their direct services.”