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."