Rep. Tom Price argued on a Sunday morning political program that raising tax rates on the country’s top earners would not avert the fiscal cliff, saying the only responsible path to a deficit-reduction deal lies through the elimination of loopholes and credits.

“We need to look at increasing revenue through pro-growth policies as well as tax revenue,” the Georgian, who days earlier had just lost his bid to steer the House Republican conference, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

When pressed by host Candy Crowley how he squared new tax revenue with a pledge by his party not to raise taxes, Price said increasing tax revenue was possible through “broadening the base” and tightening credits.

“Tax revenue, which means broadening base, lowering the rates, closing the loopholes, limiting the deductions, limiting the credits, and making certain that we identify the appropriate spending reductions so that we have, indeed, a balanced approach,” the congressman said.

– James Richardson