Delivering the Weekly Republican Address, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) highlights his call for bipartisan action on a plan to avert the fiscal cliff and help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to solving our debt. A former small business owner, Boehner notes that a Senate-passed proposal to go off part of the fiscal cliff by raising the top two tax rates would, according to independent accounting firm Ernst & Young, destroy more than 700,000 American jobs. “Instead of raising tax rates on the American people and accepting the damage it will do to our economy,” Boehner says, “let’s start to actually solve the problem” and make 2013 the “year to begin to solve our debt through tax reform and entitlement reform.” Boehner also thanks America’s veterans and their families for their service as the nation prepares to mark Veterans Day.
NOTE: The Weekly Republican Address is embargoed until 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, November 10, 2012. The audio is available here, and video of the address will be available here to view and here to download. A full transcript follows:
“This week, I called for action by both parties on a plan to help our economy grow and create jobs, which is critical to solving our debt.
“It’s also critical to averting the so-called fiscal cliff, a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax rate increases that’s just weeks away from taking effect.
“Some have said that despite the risks, we should let our nation’s economy go off part of the fiscal cliff in January, by allowing the top two rates to rise. They believe that doing that will generate more revenue for the federal government.
“But here’s the problem with that. Raising those rates on January 1 would, according to the independent firm Ernst & Young, destroy 700,000 American jobs. That’s because many of those hit by this tax increase are small business owners – the very people who are the key to job creation in America. I used to be one of them.
“This week, I offered congratulations to President Obama – along with an alternative to sending our economy over any part of the fiscal cliff.
“Instead of raising tax rates on the American people and accepting the damage it will do to our economy, let’s start to actually solve the problem.
“Let’s focus on tax reform that closes special interest loopholes and lowers tax rates.
“Instead of accepting arbitrary cuts that will endanger our national defense, let’s get serious about shoring up the entitlement programs that are the primary drivers of our country’s massive, growing debt. 2013 should be the year to begin to solve our debt through tax reform and entitlement reform.
“Together, we should avert the fiscal cliff in a manner that ensures that 2013 finally is that year.
“Shoring up entitlements and reforming the tax code – closing special interest loopholes and deductions, and moving to a fairer, cleaner, and simpler system – will bring jobs home and result in a stronger, healthier economy.
“A stronger economy means more revenue – which is exactly what the president is seeking. And without a strong economy, we’ll never be able to balance the budget and erase our country’s debt.
“This framework can lead to common ground. The president and I had a brief conversation this week and I’m hopeful that we can continue those talks and forge an agreement that can pass both chambers of Congress.
“Because if there was a mandate in this election, it was a mandate to work together to do what’s in the best interest of our country. And right now what’s best is getting our economy moving again and keeping it moving, so we can begin to restore our children’s future.
“It’s a great honor to serve as Speaker of the House. I’m constantly inspired by the courage and grace of the American people, especially the 22.5 million veterans who we pause to honor this weekend. To them and their families, we say thank you, God bless you, God bless this great nation that you’ve served so valiantly.”