House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivered the following response to President Obama today, urging the administration to work with Republicans on a balanced approach to resolving the fiscal cliff that includes serious spending cuts and pro-growth tax reforms needed to address the debt and help the economy grow.
“The president traveled to a small business in Pennsylvania today to talk about the fiscal cliff. Unfortunately, it is the president and members of his own party who are proposing that we let many small businesses, as in hundreds of thousands of them, go over the fiscal cliff. Simply put, that’s why we don’t have an agreement as yet.
“As I said yesterday, this is not a game. I used to be a small business owner. Small business owners are regular men and women from all backgrounds, who in today’s economy are facing challenges on a daily basis. The president’s tax increase would be another crippling blow for them while doing little to nothing to solve the bigger problem here, which is our national deficit and our national debt.
“This debt doesn’t exist because we don’t tax small businesses enough. It exists because Washington continues to spend too much.
“Raising taxes on small businesses instead of taking a balanced approach that also cuts spending is wrong. It’s only going to make it harder for our economy to grow. And if our economy doesn’t grow, Americans don’t get new jobs and the debt problem that we have will continue to threaten our children’s future.
“As I said the day after the election, Republicans are not seeking to impose our will on the president. We’re seeking a bipartisan solution that can pass both chambers of Congress, and be signed into law by the president in the coming days.
“During the campaign, the president pledged to the American people that he would seek a balanced approach to addressing the debt – a combination of new revenues and spending cuts. So the day after the election, I said the Republican majority would accept new revenue as part of a balanced approach that includes real spending cuts and reforms. Now the White House took three weeks to respond with any kind of a proposal, and much to my disappointment, it wasn’t a serious one.
“Still, I’m willing to move forward in good faith. Our original framework still stands.
“Instead of raising tax rates, we can produce a similar amount of revenue [by] reforming the tax code to close loopholes and lower tax rates. That’s far better for the economy, and the American people actually favor that approach by two-to-one. They favor it even more when we can also show them that real spending cuts will, in fact, reduce the deficit.
“Now there have been many conversations over the last couple of years that could inform a solution. And I hope the president will draw from those discussions and work with both parties to find common ground.
“Solving the fiscal cliff in a manner that addresses the true drivers of our debt and saves American jobs would be a great way for the president to start his second term. For the good of the country, and my colleagues, we’re ready to work with the president to achieve those goals.”
On Fox News Sunday, Speaker John Boehner said Republicans have offered a balanced approach to averting the fiscal cliff but the president is "not being serious about coming to an agreement." Boehner says the White House is holding tax increases over the heads of the middle class while demanding more spending and tax rate hikes that will hurt small businesses. Here are some of the highlights:
Boehner: President Obama' s Fiscal Cliff Offer is "Nonsense," a "Non-Serious Proposal":
"A non-serious proposal. The president was asking for $1.6 trillion worth of, uh, new revenue over 10 years, twice as much as he's been asking for in public. He has stimulus spending in here that exceeded the amount of new cuts that he was willing to consider. It was not a serious offer. ... I looked at [Secretary Geithner] and I said, 'you can't be serious?' ... You know, we've got several weeks between Election Day and the end of the year. And, uh -- and three of those way -- weeks have been wasted, uh, with the -- with this nonsense."
Boehner: President Obama Asked for More New Spending Than Spending Cuts:
"We've put a serious offer on the table by putting revenues up there to try to get this question resolved. But the White House has responded with virtually nothing. They have actually asked for more revenue than they've been -- been asking for the whole entire time.
... And all of this new stimulus spending would literally be more than the spending cuts that he was willing to put on the table. ... Look at the fact that they put $400 billion worth of unspecified cuts up that they'd be willing to talk about, but yet, at the same time, that's over $400 billion over 10 years. Uh, while he wants over $400 billion in new stimulus spending. And this is -- this is -- it's a non-serious proposal."
Boehner: What Will President Obama Do With $1.6 Trillion? Spend It!
"I mean think about the -- the proposal we got from the president. If we gave the president $1.6 trillion of new money, what do you think he'd do with it? He's going to spend it. It's what Washington does. ... They'll spend it."
Boehner: Raising Tax Rates Will Hurt Small Businesses and Destroy Jobs:
"Now, listen, I believe that raising tax rates hurts our economy, hurts the prospects for more jobs in our country. And I realize that the president may disagree. But the fact is, is that if there's another way to get revenue, uh, from upper income Americans, that doesn't hurt our economy, then why wouldn't we consider it?"
Boehner: Spending Cuts & Reforms Must Exceed Any Increase in the Debt Limit:
"Forever. Silliness. Congress is never going to give up this power. I've made it clear to the president that every time we get to the debt limit, we need cuts and reforms that are greater than the increase in the debt limit. It's the only way to leverage the political process to produce more change than what it would if left alone.
Boehner: Going Over the Fiscal Cliff Will Hurt Our Economy, Is Not Fair to the American People:
"[T]his isn't an issue about Democrats and Republicans. My goodness, this is about our country. And we get -- ought to get serious about dealing with the problems at the end of the year. And we need to get serious about our deficit and our debt, uh, that are burying our children's future. ... [G]oing over the cliff will hurt our economy, will hurt job creation in our country. It's not fair to the American people. ... This agreement should come sooner rather than later, because just the threat of the fiscal cliff is already hurting our economy."
I feel that if we are going to criticize the Republican members of the House and the House Speaker, it is good to read what he has to say in his own words. To not go by the media, either side of it, but to hear his own words. I am getting kind of disgusted with the media all the way around and wish that we could find more site that do just this; words for the "horses' mouth" so to speak.
My feeling is tha the is trying very hard to do what is best the for the Country, sees the seriousness of the economic issues and lack of jobs, etc., as well as the blight of those that will create the jobs, small business owners. Having been one, he further understands this. He is trying to find a way to compromise that will not hurt them or the overall economy but get this moving forward and it is, as it has been, Obama that is hindering progress in this arena.
He is right, this is not about Democrats or Republicans, it is about the Country and the welfare of the Country now and for our children and their children. The media is the "loose cannon" as is Obama and they need to be shown that either they get with this or they will take the fall themselves.
He is also right that before there can be debt limit increase, the cuts and reforms have to be greater; Obama will never agree as he is of the opinion that "you just make money and it will go away".
Let's be honest, some of the loopholes that need to be closed are those regarding earned income credit to people with children. Some of these people pay next to no taxes and they are getting $7,000 a year refund or more. And it is these same people that are crying that the rich should be taxed more and share the wealth with them. How much more do they want as the wealthy certainly are not getting that earned income credit nor are those without children but living with less income. How about their sharing some of that with the rest of us, as well.
Excellent, Linda. People with alot of children do receive hefty refunds. There needs to be some reform because, quite frankly, everyone needs to be paying taxes. I keep thinking about the flat tax....no deductions for anyone and each family pays a percentage of their income. Period.