Tag Archives: John Boehner

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.

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.

We can’t wait: the do-nothing Democrat Senate is blocking 15 bipartisan jobs bills

Have you heard about “The Forgotten 15“? Here’s a news article by the Washington Times that explains it.

Excerpt:

Last week, the House passed a strongly bipartisan bill which would prevent a job-killing 3 percent withholding tax on all government contractors from going into effect. Even though the White House supports the measure, Mr. Reid, a Nevada Democrat, has chosen instead to bring another “small bite” from the president’s failed American Jobs Act to the floor. He wants to hike taxes on business owners so he can blow $60 billion in more stimulus for bike paths, choo-choo trains and bus stops.

Mr. Reid can’t even round up all the Democrats behind his partisan plan, but he continues to drag his feet on items that could pass because the last thing he wants to do is adopt legislation that gives the GOP the chance to take some credit with the public.

The Senate has not been this inactive in at least a quarter-century. As of Tuesday, the Senate had held 194 votes for the year, 54 fewer than at this time last year.

The intransigence has real-world implications. In March, the House passed a strongly bipartisan bill which would have stopped a court order from imposing duplicate and expensive regulations on farmers and ranchers. The Senate never brought the bill up for a vote, and on Monday a key deadline passed, allowing new regulations on pesticide applications to go into effect. That’s bad for jobs.

House Republican leaders want the public to know that they aren’t to blame for the stalemate on Capitol Hill. Speaker John A. Boehner produced a card listing the “forgotten 15” jobs bills that have passed the House but not the Senate. The Ohio Republican gave the card to members, telling them to carry it with them, hold it up at events at home, and flash it during interviews to remind Americans that Republicans are doing everything they can to address the employment situation.

The Democratic strategy is to set up Republicans as a foil for their 2012 re-election bids. Even though the congressional approval rating is down in the single-digits, Mr. Reid wants to draw a distinction between his party and the GOP by only bringing up bills that Republicans will oppose so his caucus can send out accusatory press releases.

The messaging is carefully crafted to fit with Mr. Obama’s latest campaign trail slogans about how “we can’t wait” for Congress to act. He showed his true motives on Tuesday when the president invited congressional Democrats to the White House to ostensibly talk about the jobs agenda. He has no plans to invite Republicans over to chat.

You can print a PDF of the The Forgotten 15 card right here.

Remember, Democrats are great at spending money – not so good at creating jobs.

Projected vs Actual Unemployment With Stimulus 2011
Projected vs Actual Unemployment With Stimulus 2011

Back in 2007, when the Republicans controlled the House and Senate, the unemployment rate was near 4%. FOUR PERCENT. And we had a deficit of $160 billion – NOT 1.6 TRILLION.

Let’s take a closer look at the Forgotten 15 from an article on John Boehner’s web site.

Excerpt:

Campaigning for another failed stimulus and more job destroying taxes, President Obama has repeatedly—and falsely—asserted that “Congress isn’t willing to move” legislation to facilitate job growth. While the president plays politics, House Republicans have been working and approving legislation to promote economic growth and job creation. The House has approved more than 15 bills that, if enacted, would immediately help to grow the economy without more failed stimulus spending. These bills are currently stalled in the Democrat-controlled Senate and the president has not encouraged the Senate to act.

Here is a sample:

4)  H.R. 1230—Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act: H.R. 1230 would require the Department of the Interior (DOI) to auction offshore oil and gas leases in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico, as well as in an area off the coast of Virginia. The bill would help to reduce energy prices and promote job creation by expediting offshore oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and the Virginia coast.

6) H.R. 1231—Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act:  H.R. 1231 would require that each five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program offer leasing in the areas with the most prospective oil and gas resources, and would establish a domestic oil and natural gas production goal.  The bill would essentially lift the President’s ban on new offshore drilling by requiring the Administration to move forward on American energy production in areas estimated to contain the most oil and natural gas resources.

7) H.R. 2021—The Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011:  H.R. 2021 would eliminate needless permitting delays that have stalled important energy production opportunities off the coast of Alaska.  The bill would also eliminate the permitting back-and-forth that occurs between the EPA and its Environmental Appeals Board.  Rather than having exploration air permits repeatedly approved and rescinded by the agency and its review board, the EPA will be required to take final action – granting or denying a permit—within six months.

10) H.R. 1938— North American-Made Energy Security Act:  H.R. 1938 would direct the President, acting through the Secretary of Energy, to coordinate with all federal agencies responsible for an aspect of the President’s National Interest Determination and Presidential Permit decision regarding construction and operation of Keystone XL, to ensure that all necessary actions are taken on an expedited schedule.  The bill would promote job creation and energy security by ending the needless delay of the construction and operation of the Keystone XL pipeline.

11) H.R. 2587—Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act:  H.R. 2587 would prohibit the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) from ordering any employer to close, relocate, or transfer employment under any circumstance.

16)  H.R. 2433—Veterans Opportunity to Work Act:  H.R. 2433 would create or modify programs that provide employment and training services to veterans and service members separating from active duty.  The bill would also make changes to programs that offer home loan guarantees, ambulance services, and pension payments to qualifying individuals. Among other things, the bill would provide up to 12 months of Veterans Retraining Assistance to no more than 100,000 unemployed veterans that enter education or training programs at community colleges or technical schools to prepare them for employment in an occupational field that is determined by Department of Labor to have significant employment opportunities.

17) H.R. 674—To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the imposition of 3 percent withholding on certain payments made to vendors by government entities:   H.R. 674 would permanently repeal the imposition of 3 percent withholding on certain payments made to vendors by government entities. Currently, the imposition of the 3 percent withholding is set to take effect on January 1, 2013. If the 3 percent withholding tax were implemented as scheduled, government entities would be required to withhold 3 percent of payments to persons providing property or services to the government.  For example, on an invoice for $20,000 the government would pay the business $19,400 and withhold $600 as a preemptive tax.  These added costs would almost certainly translate into fewer private-sector jobs and higher costs for the government and taxpayers.

They are actually up to 17 jobs bills now.

And finally, I have to post this funny John Boehner clip:

We need more of that Mr. Boehner. I think that was a good opportunity to say “freaking” as well. Because he should be pissed off with this Solyndra-bailout President.

Tea party voters are pleased with John Boehner’s deal

Boehner's deal pleases the Tea Party
Boehner's deal pleases the Tea Party

From the liberal Washington Post.

Excerpt:

A majority of Republicans who agree with the tea party movement give House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) positive reviews for his role in debt negotiations in a new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll. The speaker’s high marks represent a crucial link between the highly energized political movement and the Republican establishment as attention pivots back to the 2012 election cycle.

[…]After Republicans cut a deal on Sunday reducing the deficit with spending cuts alone – a key GOP and tea party priority – there is little doubt that the tea party movement has emerged as a powerful and sustained force in national politics.

[…]Tea party Republicans are significantly more tuned in than others to the 2012 presidential contest, according to another survey. Overall, more than eight in 10 are closely following the campaign, said the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. Some 42 percent of Republicans who strongly support the tea party said they’re following it “very closely,” roughly twice the number of Democrats (17 percent), independents (19 percent) and Republicans overall (21 percent) who say so.

Tea party Republicans make up nearly one-quarter of registered voters in swing states. While tea party Republicans make up 17 percent of registered voters in states that favored Obama by 10 points or more according to June and July Post-ABC polls, they make up 23 percent of voters in states decided by single digit margins. That’s identical to the 23 percent of voters in heavily McCain states who identify as tea party Republicans.

Elections matter. Make sure you start engaging your friends now.

A closer look at the budget deal

Here’s a good article in the Wall Street Journal about the budget deal struck by the House, Senate and White House on the weekend.

Excerpt:

The big picture is that the deal is a victory for the cause of smaller government, arguably the biggest since welfare reform in 1996. Most bipartisan budget deals trade tax increases that are immediate for spending cuts that turn out to be fictional. This one includes no immediate tax increases, despite President Obama’s demand as recently as last Monday. The immediate spending cuts are real, if smaller than we’d prefer, and the longer-term cuts could be real if Republicans hold Congress and continue to enforce the deal’s spending caps.

The framework (we haven’t seen all the details) calls for an initial step of some $900 billion in domestic discretionary cuts over 10 years from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline puffed up by recent spending. If the cuts hold, this would go some way to erasing the fiscal damage from the Obama-Nancy Pelosi stimulus.

[…]The second phase of the deal is less clear cut, though it also could turn out to shrink Leviathan. Party leaders in both houses of Congress will each appoint three Members to a special committee that will recommend another round of deficit reduction of between $1.2 trillion and $1.5 trillion, also over 10 years. Their mandate is broad, and we’re told very little is off the table, but at least seven of the 12 Members would have to agree on a package to force an up-or-down vote in Congress.

If the committee can’t agree on enough deficit reduction, then automatic spending cuts would ensue to make up the difference to reach the $1.2 trillion minimum deficit-reduction target. One key point is that the committee’s failure to agree would not automatically “trigger” (in Beltway parlance) revenue increases, as the White House was insisting on as recently as this weekend. That would have guaranteed that Democrats would never agree to enough cuts, and Republicans were right to resist.

Instead the automatic cuts would be divided equally between defense and nondefense. So, for example, if the committee agrees to deficit reduction of only $600 billion, then another $300 billion would be cut automatically from defense and domestic accounts (excluding Medicare beneficiaries) to reach at least $1.2 trillion.

One reason to think tax increases are unlikely, however, is that the 12-Member committee will operate from CBO’s baseline that assumes that the Bush tax rates expire in 2013. CBO assumes that taxes will rise by $3.5 trillion over the next decade, including huge increases for middle-class earners. Since any elimination of those tax increases would increase the deficit under CBO’s math, the strong incentive for the Members will be to avoid the tax issue. This increases the political incentive for deficit reduction to come from spending cuts.

Mr. Obama’s biggest gain in the deal is that he gets his highest priority of not having to repeat this debt-limit fight again before the 2012 election. The deal stipulates that the debt ceiling will rise automatically by $900 billion this year, and at least $1.2 trillion next year, unless two-thirds of Congress disapproves it. Congress will not do so.

I don’t like the deal because I wanted Obama to have to face this problem with this again in May of 2012, but it may be the best deal we could get with control of only the House.