Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

John Boehner to leftist George Stephanopolous: no clean debt limit increase

John Boehner says that the Republicans are not going to be bullied by Barack Obama and Harry Reid.

Here’s a rush transcript for the video above.

And here is the interesting part:

STEPHANOPOULOS: How is this going to end? You’re clearly not budging right now, even though you are taking — even though polls show that most Americans blame Republicans for the shutdown right now. How long is it going to go on? Is the government going to stay shut down until we reach the debt limit deadline of October 17th?

BOEHNER: Listen, the debt limit is right around the corner. The president is saying, I won’t negotiate. I won’t have a conversation. Even though, President Reagan negotiated with Democrats who controlled the Congress back then. Even though President George Herbert Walker Bush had a conversation about raising the debt limit. During the Clinton administration, there were three fights over the debt limit. You and I participated in several of those. And even President Obama himself in 2011, went through a negotiation.

Now, he’s saying no. I’m not going to do this.

I’m going to tell you what, George. The nation’s credit is at risk because of the administration’s refusal to sit down and have a conversation.

STEPHANOPOULOS: They’re saying it’s at risk because of your refusal to pass a clean debt limit. There have been some reports–

BOEHNER: We’re not going to pass a clean debt limit increase.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Under no circumstances?

BOEHNER: I told the president, there’s no way we’re going to pass one. The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit. And the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So under no circumstances will you pass a clean debt limit?

BOEHNER: We’re not going down that path. It is time to deal with America’s problems. How can you raise the debt limit and do nothing about the underlying problem?

George, we’ve spent more than what we’ve brought in for 55 of the last 60 years. This year, the federal government will have more revenue than any year in the history of our country, and yet we’re still going to have a nearly $700 billion budget deficit. We’re squandering the future for our kids and our grandkids, by not dealing with this problem.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The deficit, as you know, has been coming down this year, but I want to press you on this issue of the risks of not passing a clean debt limit. The Treasury Department put out a report just the other day, where they said it would be unprecedented and catastrophic, that would be the impact of failing to pass a debt limit. They’re going to say, credit markets could freeze. The value of the dollar could plummet. U.S. interest rates could skyrocket. The negative spillovers could reverberate around the world, and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse.

Do you agree with that assessment?

BOEHNER: I do. And the president is putting the nation at risk by his refusal to sit down and have a conversation.

STEPHANOPOULOS: As — we’re going to go back on this. He says you’re putting it at risk by refusing to pass a clean debt limit, so just let me — let me press that, because there have been some reports that you have told your own members that you would be willing to put a debt limit on the floor that would pass with Democratic votes, even if it didn’t get a majority of the Republican caucus. Is that no longer true?

BOEHNER: My goal here is not to have the United States default on their debt. My goal here is to have a serious conversation about those things that are driving the deficit and driving the debt up. And the president’s refusal to sit down and have a conversation about this is putting our nation at risk of default.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So are you saying that if he continues to refuse to negotiate, the country is going to default?

BOEHNER: That’s the path we’re on. The president canceled his trip to Asia. I assumed — well, maybe he wants to have a conversation. I decided to stay here in Washington this weekend. He knows what my phone number is. All he has to do is call.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So it’s October 17th, 8:00 p.m. The clock is ticking towards midnight. The country is scheduled to run out of money, won’t be able to pay its bills anymore. What do you do in that moment?

BOEHNER: No family in America can spend more than what it brings in for 55 of the last 60 years. No family or business in America can survive a $700 billion budget deficit in one year. It is time for us to deal with our underlying spending problems.

I’m willing to sit down and have a conversation with the president. But his refusal to negotiate is putting our country at risk.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So the clock is ticking on October 17th. You’re not going to put that bill on the floor?

BOEHNER: I want to deal with our underlying problem.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes or no, would you put that bill on the floor?

BOEHNER: I don’t want the United States to default on its debt. But I’m not going to raise the debt limit without a serious conversation about dealing with problems that are driving the debt up. It would be irresponsible of me to do this.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s also been reported that you’re going to guarantee that we do not default. It sounds like you’re not prepared to offer that guarantee, you’re not prepared to promise you would actually put the bill on the floor.

BOEHNER: I’ve been willing to sit down with the president and have this conversation. His refusal to negotiate is what’s putting the government at risk of default.

What is Boehner talking about having a conversation about debt?

This:

What Drives Our Debt

What Drives Our Debt

That’s what Boehner is talking about. He doesn’t want to keep raising the debt ceiling over and over when it looks like the entitlement programs are going to be consuming a greater share of government revenues, leaving no money left over for other programs. It looks like the Republicans in the House are serious about trying to stop our runaway spending problem. The Democrats? They just want a blank check to keep spending on Solyndra, and then they’ll send your kids (and grandkids) the bill. 

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Fiscal cliff deal raises taxes by $600 billion, increases spending $330 billion

The Heritage Foundation explains.

Excerpt:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just now released its score of the bill the Senate passed early this morning while everyone was celebrating the beginning of the New Year. Despite knowing for a long time that taxes would go up on all Americans today, the Senate waited until we technically went over the cliff to act. Washington’s dysfunction was even fodder for New Year’s revelers in Times Square.

Going over the cliff allows Congress to technically say that it isn’t raising taxes, but is cutting them instead. CBO’s score backs them up on this by scoring the Senate bill as a $3.6 trillion tax cut. No one should fall for this. The Senate bill is a tax hike because it allows taxes to go up from 2012 to 2013. The tax increases in the bill will reportedly raise about $600 billion over the next 10 years.

Also of note in the CBO score is that the Senate bill increases spending by around $330 billion by extending expanded unemployment benefits, a temporary “doc fix” patch to prevent cuts to Medicare, and extension of the agriculture programs.

There was some good in the Senate bill — the harmful defense sequester cuts were postponed and most tax hikes were avoided. But there was bad — tax hikes that will hurt the economy and do little to tame the deficit, especially factoring in the spending in the bill.

As I noted before, the CBO has predicted that the bill will add $4 trillion to the national debt, taking us over the $20 trillion mark.

Bloomberg:

The budget deal passed by the U.S. Senate today would raise taxes on 77.1 percent of U.S. households, mostly because of the expiration of a payroll tax cut, according to preliminary estimates from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington.

More than 80 percent of households with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would pay higher taxes. Among the households facing higher taxes, the average increase would be $1,635, the policy center said. A 2 percent payroll tax cut, enacted during the economic slowdown, is being allowed to expire as of yesterday.

According to the CBO, the deal would raise taxes by $41 for every $1 cut from the budget. Have we really dodged a fiscal cliff?

 

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Obama’s fiscal cliff plan would increase debt to $20 trillion by 2016

Forbes magazine explains why Obama’s plan doesn’t solve our long-term spending problem.

Excerpt:

The President, while not presenting concrete proposals, has been quite clear on what he wants: to raise taxes on the top two percent, keep the Bush tax cuts for everyone else, offer only vague promises of future spending cuts, and gain the unprecedented authority to raise the debt limit without Congressional approval. He does not plan to reform the entitlements so dear to his heart and his base’s. Instead of less spending, he would like to spend more on “stimulus” and “investments.” Obama knows that physicians will desert Medicare if he cuts their compensation by the scheduled 26.5 percent. That is simply not going to happen.

Here are Obama’s desired alternative fiscal policies to avoid the fiscal cliff in order of their effect on the five-year budget as estimated by the CBO:

1. Preserve Bush tax cuts and other tax provisions for everyone except the top 2 percent: Raises the five-year deficit by $2.0 trillion.

2. Drop the fiscal-cliff sequestration of spending and expand discretionary spending by the rate of inflation: Raises the five-year deficit by another trillion dollars.

3. Raise the tax rate on the top 2 percent:  Lowers the five-year deficit by $300 billion.

4. Extend enhanced unemployment benefits: Raises the five-year deficit by $200 billion.

5. Do not cut Medicare payment rates to physicians: Raises the five-year deficit by some $100.

Four of the five fiscal policies on Obama’s wish list raise the deficit. Only one – the vaunted tax on the rich on which he based his campaign – lowers the deficit, but only by a miniscule $300 billion ($60 billion per year). If Obama gets the tax and spending changes he wants, his 2017 successor will inherit a national debt in excess of  $20 trillion.

A warning: The 2013-2017 budget deficits could be much higher. No one knows what the costs of Obama Care will be. By 2017, the federal government will be spending more on health care than on social security. The CBO projection assumes that the costs of Obama Care come in on target. If Obama Care cannot contain health care costs, we could easily see a five-year deficit well in excess of $5 trillion, for an annual deficit of more than a trillion dollars. The CBO also uses a historically low rate of increase of discretionary non-defense spending equal to the rate of inflation. If we return to “business as usual” in Washington, the discretionary spending figure could also be blasted out of the water.

Obama based his re-election campaign on “the rich should pay their fair share” and “I killed Osama.” Well before the election, it was clear from the government’s own figures that taxing the top two percent would make only a tiny contribution to solving our deficit problems.

Why was this not pointed out by the media, who played along with the “tax the rich” fairy tale?  Why was this not the central theme of the Republican campaign?

I think that point I highlighted in bold deserves emphasis. Obama ran up over $6 trillion in new debt – pushing us to a $16.5 trillion dollar debt. His “balanced approach” will generate a measly $60 billion a year in “new revenues”, assuming that “the rich” don’t just curtail their productive activities and shift their operations elsewhere (Canada). If you generate $60 billion in revenues, there is NO WAY that this is going to pay for a trillion dollars a year in new debt. So we are on track to hit over $20 trillion in national debt in Obama’s second term, taking us into Greece-like territory.

And that is according to the official CBO numbers.

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John Boehner on Fox News Sunday discussing the fiscal cliff

It’s time for our weekly update on the fiscal cliff.

Full text:

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.”

That’s where the Republicans stand. They did offer to tax the rich by capping tax deductions, so that the very wealthy would pay more in taxes. But Obama turned down that offer. That was a solid offer, and Obama turned it down.

Right now, I am just sick of the American people who re-elected this spendthrift. I want the Republicans to let all the tax cuts expire. It will be good for the American people as a whole to see the importance of not re-electing an ignorant fool. Maybe we have to hit the bottom of how much we can borrow before the people who voted for “Obamaphones” will feel the effects of their economic ignorance.

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132 economists prefer the Republican job creation strategy

From John Boehner’s web site.

Excerpt:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today released a list of 132 American economists who believe the job creation strategy used in the House GOP Plan for America’s Job Creators will do more to boost private-sector job growth in America in both the near-term and long-term than the “stimulus” spending approach favored by President Obama.

“This list underscores the need for immediate action on the now-22 bipartisan jobs bills passed by the Republican-led House that are awaiting a vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate,” Boehner said.  “All 22 of these bills passed the House with bipartisan support, but to date have not been brought to a vote by Senate Democrats.  To help support job creation in both the short-term and long-term, we need bipartisan action to halt unnecessary government regulations and fix the tax code to help private-sector job creators.  Our plan does that.  The Senate needs to pass these 22 bills and send them to the president’s desk.” 

Last month, Boehner asked a group of economists across the nation: which do you believe is more likely to provide a boost for private-sector job growth in America in both the near- and long-term: a plan focused on billions of dollars in additional “stimulus” spending by government – or a plan focused on halting excessive government regulations and fixing the tax code to help private-sector job creators?  A total of 132 economists indicated they clearly favor the latter strategy.  The list of 132 economists includes experts from Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Carnegie Mellon University, and Harvard University; economists from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Manhattan Institute, and the American Action Forum; and many others.

On Friday, in response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s announcement that October 2011 marked the 33rd consecutive month in which the national unemployment rate exceeded eight percent, Boehner asked President Obama to prod the Democratic-controlled Senate for action on the stalled jobs bills.  Boehner and other Republicans have called for President Obama to be more engaged in the legislative process this fall and less focused on his re-election campaign.

“I urge the president to call on Senate Democrats to bring these common-sense jobs bills to a vote,” Boehner said.  “As long as these bipartisan jobs bills are stalled in the Senate, it is unacceptable for the White House to be anything less than 100 percent engaged in the legislative process.”

Here’s the plan:

Empower Small Business Owners and Reduce Regulatory Burdens:

  • Require congressional review and approval of any government regulations that have a significant impact on the economy or burden small businesses.
  • Audit existing and pending regulations to identify and address those that hinder economic growth.

Fix the Tax Code to Help Job Creators:

  • Increase American competitiveness to spur investment and create more American jobs by streamlining the tax code and lowering the tax rate for businesses and individuals including small business owners to no more than 25%.
  • Reform the tax code to allow American businesses to bring back their overseas profits without having to pay a tax penalty so they can invest in our economy and create American jobs.

Increase Competitiveness for American Manufacturers:

  • Pass the three pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea to create up to 250,000 jobs.
  • Continue to open new markets to American made products. Encourage Entrepreneurship and Growth:
  • Modernize our patent system to protect our nation’s innovators, discourage frivolous lawsuits, and expedite patent reviews.
  • Re-Authorize and improve federal programs and approval processes to streamline development of new products.
  • Remove barriers to building a first class workforce so that the United States can compete in the global marketplace and lead the way in technological development and growth.

Maximize Domestic Energy Production to Ensure an Energy Policy for the 21st Century:

  • Promote lower energy prices through increased domestic production.
  • Encourage all forms of energy production.
  • Pay Down America’s Unsustainable Debt Burden and Start Living Within our Means:
  • Build upon the House Republicans’ Budget by enacting significant spending cuts.

And they already passed about 20 bills through the House with bipartisan support.

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