Boehner says debt limit should be part of talks

House Speaker John Boehner insisted on Friday that any deal with President Barack Obama to avert the so-called fiscal cliff must include lower tax rates, eliminating special interest loopholes and reining in government-benefit programs.
Associated Press
Nov 10, 2012

"2013 should be the year we begin to solve our debt through tax reform and entitlement reform," Boehner said.

Boehner and Obama have taken the initial steps in high-stakes negotiations over how to deal with expiring Bush-era tax cuts and automatic spending cuts to defense and domestic programs that economists warn could plunge the nation into another recession.

Boehner, Obama and Senate leaders face a Jan. 2 deadline to reach an agreement or at least come up with a framework to deal with the issue early next year.

Boehner expressed a degree of optimism about resolving the issues and ensuring that his sometimes reluctant GOP rank and file will back any deal.

"When the president and I have come to an agreement, there's been no problem getting it passed in the House," Boehner said.

The speaker declined to discuss specifics on deficit targets or what tax loopholes to eliminate though he cited both corporate and individual.

"I don't want to box myself in. I don't want to box anyone else in," he said.

Boehner indicated that increasing the nation's borrowing authority, which was a divisive issue in August 2011 talks, should be part of any talks in the coming weeks on avoiding the fiscal cliff. The government has said the nation won't reach the debt limit until the spring.

"It's an issue that's going to have to be addressed, sooner rather than later," he said.

Boehner said he had a brief, cordial conversation with Obama earlier in the week and reiterated that the president needs to lead on the negotiations.

Democrats have resisted including entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security in any deficit-cutting deal. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said earlier this week they were unwilling to make changes in Social Security.

Boehner insisted that the programs need to be on the table.

"It's not like there is money in Social Security and Medicare" trust fund, Boehner said. "This has to be dealt with."

The Ohio Republican, reflecting the sentiment of his caucus, said increasing the maximum 35 percent tax rate on high-income earners cannot be part of the deal. Boehner did signal that he was open to eliminating loopholes.

"The problem with raising tax rates on wealthy Americans is that more than half of them are small business owners," Boehner said. "Raising tax rates will slow down our ability to create the jobs that everyone says they want."

The Republican leader acknowledged that his party faces several roadblocks after Obama won a second term and the GOP lost seats in both the House and the Senate.

"It's clear that as a political party we've got some work to do," he said.

Republicans fared poorly with Hispanic voters. The fastest growing minority group went heavily for Democrats, backing Obama by more than 70 percent. Boehner signaled a willingness to tackle immigration legislation next year.

"What I'm talking about is a common sense, step-by-step approach, would secure our borders, allow us to enforce the laws, and fix a broken immigration system," he said. "But again on an issue this big, the president has to lead."




i have said this many times. you will never hurt the rich. if you tax them more then they will make cuts to preserve their monies. whether it is by letting employees go or not buying as much ie autos, boats, clothing etc. so, in the long wo pays the price for this? the common man, thats who. then who ya gonna bitc! at? you got what you wanted.

您美國人是哀鳴者。 對你自己而不是富有的憂慮!


for every 1% that the man in the oval office wants to tax the rich that same percentage should be cut from gov't funding to programs.


The Big Dog's back

mikel, you make the case as to why we should go back to 90% tax rate. Let's see them make that up with less workers.


Actually, the 90% tax rate might work if they give a deduction based on how many jobs you create or maintain each year ~

The Big Dog's back

knuckle! We agree! I'd go for that.


Good one Knuck


I still think flat taxing is the answer to everything. You pay according to your income. That way it is based fairly.

And we eliminate these fat cat pay's for the Senate and House. They have to run their offices out of their salaries. No more big paydays for these guys. Eliminate the fat.

Watch how fast the "deficits" go down. Eliminate the huge tax offices (you won't need the big IRS offices any more).

Cut back on government spending by eliminating double jobs. Streamline operations. No more CIA and FBI. One or the other but not both.

No more Homeland Security....we don't need them.

Just a few choice cut backs.


You're right. That's why it'll never happen.

I'm in favor of a graduated flat tax, too. Under a certain income, you pay nothing. Then graduated percentages to a top rate of maybe 20-25% (lower than current top rates). NO DEDUCTIONS OF ANY KIND. (Let's be real: People who make a LOT of money don't need the deductions. People who DON'T make a lot of money typically don't get deductions anyway outside of a pittance per child. Those people would pay no tax or so much less in tax under a flat tax plan that they'd come out way ahead without those deductions.)

Oh, and one more thing: If you're able-bodied and on ANY kind of assistance (outside of those past retirement age who are on Social Security and/or Medicare), you must WORK for it.

Meanwhile, as for cutting back in government, I support a pay-go program. So does Congress. They just didn't mean a word of it! The ultimate in cutbacks would, of course, be limiting the government to those things it's actually SUPPOSED to do as opposed to those things it's encroached into doing. Just one more thing that's not gonna happen, not without another revolution, anyway.


Yes! Flat tax for ALL. Forbes had it right when he ran for office. It would bode well if the next CIC would speak this. They would garner many votes alone from that single item.


Gold is a terrific investment! Except for a couple of things, of course. You can't eat gold. You can't burn it. And I'm almost sure you can't crawl underneath it for a safe place to sleep. On the plus side, I imagine you could bonk a bad guy over the head with it when he comes to take what you don't have!

Don S

Speaker Boehner,,, What a joke on Ohio !!!!


Dude, look down, the joke is in your hand.


The Repubs are SITTING on that tax- break money.


As I see it, the Republicans already lost so what more do they have to lose then to call Obama's bluff and allow it to go over the cliff. Watch Obama come to the table real fast. The taxpayer is getting tired of this chicken game between the two parties only to extend it out for another few months and it never gets addressed. Another four years of grid lock. Can the country stand much more?


And yet we keep voting for the same each and every year. It is going to take a real depression for the American people to wake up.


I've been saying it for years: If you're sick of politics as usual, stop voting for the usual politicians. And what do we get? The same old thing, time after time, and all too often regardless of nominal party affiliations. Pathetic when you think about it...

A depression will, unfortunately, not wake too many more people up. It'll simply cause even greater demands on an even bigger and more powerful government. Democracies typically only last until the voter realizes he can vote himself largesse from the public treasury. November 6 proved definitively that we've passed that tipping point.

Freedom, without effort by people to STAY free, inevitably deteriorates into complacency which is always, ALWAYS followed by a dictatorship and effective slavery. The lack of effort, the lack of personal responsibility, the desire by too many to live on the backs of too few, shows us right where we're at on that historically-validated timeline, and it ain't pretty.


If history is any guide, economic turmoil tends to increase the likelihood of authoritarian collectivist methods (shared sacrifice) and away from free market principles.

See: FA Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" or Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged."

Hitler and Mussolini were much more effective "New Dealers" than FDR, but only because of the political structure.

When Herr Hitler was elected Chancellor in 1933, many Jews ( the "rich") who remained in Germany, believed that the electorate would eventually see through the madness and vote the Nazis out in an upcoming election - sadly they were wrong.

I'm "shrugging" as best I can. IMO, our only "weapon" of resistance is to contribute as little as possible to the insanity as we perceive it.


Ayn Rand's teachings suck.


The Republicans need to call a bluff on Obama and allow the fiscal cliff thing go over the cliff and watch Obama get back to the negotiating table real quick. Every year we go through this and every year they put an extension on things and not really address the situation. The taxpayer is tried of the grid lock. Maybe we need to go over the cliff to finally get the situation addressed.


It seems to me that many people including the author of this article are missing a very obvious point. We keep approaching and raising the debt ceiling because we are spending a lot more money than we are taking in. There will be much debate on how to raise taxes and it is sadly inevitable that someone's taxes will go up, but we(meaning the federal government) need to reduce spending. It won't solve all of our problems, but we can't keep spending money we don't have and then raising our debt. That debt has to be paid at some point. Spending cuts are going to hurt, but they need to be made. Without spending cuts, the debt will continue to rise and we will be having this same discussion in a couple more years.


Does anyone have any statistics yet about how much money was spent on the most recent election cycle? I will bet that at least 8:1 or even 10:1 ratio for Romney over Obama. I wonder what the people whom contributed to him wanted in return. My opinion, and mind you I have no proof, is that they wanted to keep the preferential treatment embedded in the tax code. If they could spent this obscene amount of money on an election how much money DO they actually save when paying taxes today compared to 2000.


@ eriemom:

No search engine?

The final popular vote was 50-48-2.

So 50% of the electorate wanted "someone" other than Mr. Obama.

Doesn't look like a mandate to me, even though in Mr. Obama's confused mind he believes it to be.



@ contango
You said:
"The final popular vote was 50-48-2."
Where did you get those figures?

Obama got 50.5%
Romney got 47.9%

So 50.5% of the electorate wanted "someone" other than Mr.Romney.

In 2000, Gore WON the popular votes OVER Bush but lost the Electorate.

So what?


@ 4shizzle:

So using your figures, 49.5% (50% rounded) wanted someone 'other' than Mr. Obama.

Looks pretty split to me - no mandate.

If Mr. Obama has a mandate, then the House has a mandate - no tax increases.

Bipartisan: Extend all the current tax rates for one yr. and begin tax reform ala Simpson-Bowles and TRA86.


@ con

Time will tell.

The Big Dog's back

A mandate was established: Obama 332 Romney 206. Mandate.


buy lead. it is the only metal that will count when the poop hits the fan!

您美國人是傻瓜。 您的領導將毀壞您工作的所有。


@ mikel
oo ee oo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang


It's really simple. Let them go off the cliff. The senate and house must be really scared now. Obama won and now they have little to NO leverage with this deadline coming up. The rich must be shaking in their shoes because of the loop holes closing. If Obama does NOTHING, they close. The rich have no choice but to pay their fair share. If Obama stay on the track he is on now, there is nothing the rich can do but pay, pay, pay.

OUCH. The Republicans must be screaming at their buddies in the Senate to do something and do it quick. But they cannot FORCE the President to do anything at this point. He probably won't. I hope he does let those loopholes expire, let this go off the cliff and start anew after the first of the year. It would be the best for all concerned for anyone making less than $250,000 a year.

Listening to George Stephanoplis this morning was an earful on how the Republicans are NOW blaming Bush for everything.....lololol. How funny to hear that one.


@ wiredmama222:

That 400 pt. drop in the market last wk. was nothin' if DC dives off the fiscal cliff.

How many of those making $250K annually are employers? Watch for an unemployment spike if DC dives off the fiscal cliff.