House Speaker Boehner offers to raise Revenues

House Speaker Boehner offers to raise Revenues through Tax Reform, expressly-conditioned on larger-cuts to Entitlements (and Domestic Spending); seeking global-compromise on Taxes/Entitlements/Debt-ceiling/2013 Appropriations, by ≈ March 2013.

Boehner implicitly-supports the Sequester “bridge”, defends Defense; and is clearly-warning that impasse will result in breach of both Debt-ceiling, plus a year-long 2013 CRDebt-ceiling is “Forcing-function” from House Republicans’ perspective. (Press Conference with Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), Wednesday, November 7, 2012.)

Key statements by Speaker Boehner (R-OH):

  • “Just weeks away from now looms the so-called fiscal cliff, a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases mandated by law.  Within months of the fiscal cliff, Congress will be asked to raise the nation's debt ceiling.  Around the same time legislation will be needed to keep the government running as the continuing resolution under which we're currently operating expires.  Amid all of the short-term hurdles, we face the greatest challenge of all: a massive debt that is smothering growth and exceeding the entire size of our economy.”
  • “There will be many who will say that with the election over, we should…confront the first of these challenges by simply letting the top two tax rates expire and pushing the sequester off to some other date.”
  • “We won't solve the problem of our fiscal imbalance overnight and certainly won't do it in a lame-duck session of Congress. And it won't be solved simply by raising taxes or taking a plunge off the fiscal cliff.  What we can do is avert the cliff in a manner that serves as a down payment on and a catalyst for major solutions enacted in 2013 to begin to solve the problem.”
  • [T]he independent accounting firm Ernst & Young says going over part of the fiscal cliff and raising taxes on the top two rates would cost our economy more than 700,000 jobs.”
  • “There's an alternative to going over the fiscal cliff,… It involves making real changes to the financial structure of entitlement programs and reforming our tax code to curb special interest loopholes and deductions.”         
  • “Because the American people expect us to find common ground, we're willing to accept some additional revenues via tax reform.”
  • “[I]n order to garner Republican support for new revenues, the president must be willing to reduce spending and shore up entitlement programs that are the primary drivers of our debt.”
  • “The president has called for a balanced approach to the deficit -- a combination of spending cuts and increased revenues. But a balanced approach isn't balanced if it means higher taxes on small businesses that are the key to getting our economy moving again and keeping it moving.”
  • “A balanced approach isn't balanced if it means that we increase the amount of money coming into the coffers of government but we don't cut spending and address entitlements at the same time.  A balanced approach isn't balanced if it’s done in the old Washington way of raising taxes now and ultimately failing to cut spending in the future.  A balanced approach isn't balanced if it means slashing national defense instead of making the common-sense spending cuts that are truly needed.”
  •  “…[W]e're willing to accept new revenue under the right conditions.  What matters is where the increased revenue comes from and what type of reform comes with it.”
  • “Does the increased revenue come from government taking a larger share of what the American people earn through higher tax rates or does it come as a by-product of growing our economy, energized by a simpler, cleaner, fairer tax code with fewer loopholes and lower rates for all?”
  • “And at the same time we're reforming the tax code, are we supporting growth by taking concrete steps to put our country's entitlement programs on a sounder financial footing or are we just going to continue to duck the matter of entitlements, thus the root of the entire problem?”
  • “And if we can't find common ground, that means we'll continue to operate on a tax code on a year-by-year basis.  It means we'll continue to extend major programs for a month at a time.  It means we'll continuously face expiration of the government's borrowing authority, and we'll be on constant downgrade watch from our creditors.”
  • “The foundation of our country's economy, the rock of our economy, has always been small businesses and the private sector...If small businesses don't grow, our economy doesn't grow. And if our economy doesn't grow, we don't have a prayer of digging our country out of the hole that we call our national debt.”
  • “I think this is going to take time.  But if we're all striving for a solution, I'm confident that we can get there.”