Boehner: Can we just be honest about this? We’re broke.

posted at 3:21 pm on December 11, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

On the House floor on Tuesday, Speaker John Boehner broke from the mutual semi-silence of what’s been going on between himself and President Obama on the fiscal-cliff negotiations, and informed the Congress that all he’s waiting on are some proposals for spending cuts from the White House on which they would be willing to make moves as part of the “balanced approach” we’ve heard so much about (emphasis mine):

The Republicans made a serious offer to avert the fiscal cliff… Let’s be honest, we’re broke. And the plan that we’ve offered is consistent with the president’s call for a balanced approach. A lot of people know that the president and I met on Sunday. It was a nice meeting, it was cordial. But we’re still waiting for the White House to identify what spending cuts the president is willing to make as part of the balanced approach that he promised the American people. You know, where are the president’s spending cuts? The longer the White House slow walks this process, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff. … We know that the president wants more stimulus spending and an increase in the debt limit without any cuts or reforms. That’s not fixing the problem, frankly, it’s making it worse. On top of that, the president wants to raise tax rates on many small business owners. Now, even if we did exactly what the president wants, we would see red ink for as far as the eye can see. That’s not fixing the problem either, it’s making it worse and hurting our economy.

This is a point about which I don’t think Republicans are being nearly vocal enough: President Obama’s plan is nowhere near the realm of seriousness. He may have the bigger platform from which to trumpet the ostensible benefits of his plan, but the cold, hard reality is that he’s proposing a whole heap of new spending, and merely hiking taxes on the wealthy will do perilously close to nothing to help us bring down our deficit gap. Observe: Even if the president’s proposal works perfectly and brings in the amount of revenue the White House claims it will (I wouldn’t bet on it), a full three-quarters of these tax hikes would go toward new spending. Balanced approach, say what?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said much the same thing to his chamber during Tuesday’s proceedings — the White House needs to get serious and name their cuts.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, said Obama’s $400 billion spending cut proposal is “vague.”

“Until the president gets specific about cuts, nobody should trust Democrats to put a dime in new revenue toward real deficit reduction or to stop their shakedown of the taxpayers at the top 2%,” the Kentucky Republican said Tuesday on the Senate floor shortly before Boehner’s remarks. …

“Don’t you think (Obama) could put together a list of spending cuts that at least, at least includes robo-squirrel? We are still waiting,” McConnell said.

I’d say the onus is on the White House to present the other half of this mysteriously balanced approach they keep talking about. We get that the president would like to hike taxes, virtually eliminate the debt ceiling, and just leave the spending-cut plan for later next year; what else ya’ got?

Predictably, of course, the White House was not impressed.


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0bama? Honest?

Surely you jest.

UltimateBob on December 11, 2012 at 3:24 PM

I sort of agree with the Obama flunkie. The Obama administration has been clear – they will cut nothing.

18-1 on December 11, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Insanity. Just crash it all already, so we can get the shooting started.

rayra on December 11, 2012 at 3:25 PM

“The White House offer had very specific cuts!”

“Which ones?”

Specific…ones!”

apostic on December 11, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Now, even if we did exactly what the president wants, we would see red ink for as far as the eye can see.

If people cared, or understood, it would be President Romney now.

Paul-Cincy on December 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

The media will give this 30 seconds inside a republicans suck piece.

This is how we lose every time.

tomas on December 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Ok, at what point will they tell us we have to pass a budget to know what’s in it ?t

RAGIN CAJUN on December 11, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Boehner: Can we just be honest about this? We’re broke.

While were being Honest here Mr Bonehead, how about you just admit that your plan all along has been and continues to be, to slap on the ole K-Y Jelly and bend over and take whatever Obama want’s to give you?

SWalker on December 11, 2012 at 3:28 PM

November 16th, 1952.

Fallon on December 11, 2012 at 3:29 PM

The only thing Dear Liar would cut is the military.

rbj on December 11, 2012 at 3:29 PM

too bad we cant buy ABC, CBS or NBC

ChunkyLover on December 11, 2012 at 3:29 PM

I guess the printing presses at the Bureau of Engraving can’t keep up with amount of $ Obama’s spending requires so let’s get some from the rich people.

DaveDief on December 11, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Weird, the Washington Post’s Editorial Board assured us in their 2012 endorsement of President Obama that he is “committed to the only approach that can succeed: a balance of entitlement reform and revenue increases” and that he “understands the urgency of the problems as well as anyone in the country and is committed to solving them in a balanced way.”

How could they be wrong, they’re geniuses!

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-10-25/opinions/35500076_1_fiscal-commission-entitlement-reform-and-revenue-president-barack-obama/2

JeremiahJohnson on December 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Yes broke as they continue to do everything and anything to destroy the economy. Seriously, it’s not that hard:

drill for oil
lift these insane environmental restrictions
no tax increases.

Blake on December 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM

SWalker on December 11, 2012 at 3:28 PM

I think he would rather not have any KY

ChunkyLover on December 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Boehner: Can we just be honest about this? We’re broke.

That being said, lets just go with Obama’s plan. Seems legit, I mean its mostly on paper, he seems to like it, got numbers on it, what could go wrong?
-Boehner

Gatsu on December 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM

WE’RE BROKE? PFFFFFFFFT!
WE JUST MADE 23 BIL ON AIG SHARES!
AND WE’VE STILL GOT CHECKS IN THE CHECKBOOK!
SILLY BOEHNER!

/s

Marcola on December 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Let’s be honest

*SNORT* surely you jest.

wolfplus3 on December 11, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Fallon on December 11, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Left you a note at QOTD last evening.

Bmore on December 11, 2012 at 3:32 PM

The irony of this is that the White House offer had very specific cuts, the GOP counteroffer had almost none

Great!
List ‘em for us.

Yeh, didn’t think so.

Hill60 on December 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM

FINALLY !
Using the Deceiver in Chief’s own propaganda against him…

Hey Barky- why DOESN’T a “Balanced” approach mean Spending cuts MUST be considered and carried out?

you lying POSPOTUS !

FlaMurph on December 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM

The word honest and Democrat and Republican leadership should not be used together.

With them it is all about only one thing. RE-Election.

Two Party Evil Money Cult of Liars.

Watch what they do.

You will notice that Re-Election Money is Job One.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM

I love that everyone has to talk about this in ten year terms- because if they came out and said “our plan cuts the deficit by $40 billion a year” everyone would laugh in their face.

Farce. Total farce. $40 billion is what we borrow every week. And you know in the ten year plan years 2-10 never happen the way it was planned. . . .

Scotsman on December 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM

What Does Let It Burn Mean?
http://minx.cc/?post=335557

“Let It Burn” is about inaction. There’s no point in trying do anything that avoids going over the fiscal cliff/sequestration. Remember, the deal that got us to this point was agreed to by House Republicans, Senate Democrats and signed by Obama. That’s as bi-partisan as it gets. I’ve heard from squishy low information voters, Obama and the media that “bi-partisan problem solving” is the Holy Grail of politics. Well, here it is.

Will it lead to massive disruptions? Yes. That’s the point. The current system is rigged against conservative. We should play no part in its perpetuation. If you can’t win the game, concede and start new one. That’s the heart of Let It Burn.

This isn’t some petty “I lost so I’m taking my ball and going home” tirade. This is what people want. It’s simply not sustainable. If we can’t stop them, we don’t have to continue to enable them either.

Galt2009 on December 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Anyone else notice how all the news regarding this are the talking points coming out of the White House…?

… Pass your plan cutting spending back to the Clinton years John, then send it to the Senate, and walk away.

Seven Percent Solution on December 11, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Raise taxes on everyone by at least 30%. Do it now. Do away with congress controlling the debt ceiling. Pubs pass a budget that increases spending by 20 trillion dollars a yr. Let’s crash this POS failing bloated gubmint NOW!!!!! No need to let it be a slow death with useful idiots sleeping through it. We need to wake the sheeple up with a big dose of reality!!!

they lie on December 11, 2012 at 3:36 PM

“Can we just be honest about this? We’re broke.”

There go the Republicans again, fear-mongering and playing politics by talking down the economy.

-The MSM

Liam on December 11, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Boehner: Can we just be honest about this? We’re broke.

The country’s Socialist Workers Party would say Au Coitre:

We’re not broke, there’s plenty of money; they have the money, we need to get it back – Steve Lerner

Those folks are insane enough to think things like that and express them in public.

Galt2009 on December 11, 2012 at 3:38 PM

BREAKING New Video: Steve Crowder brutally assaulted by union thug mob

Terp Mole on December 11, 2012 at 3:27 PM

UNIONS ASSAULT ON CAMERA!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_F3oev06i0&feature=player_detailpage

Oppressives should be darn proud of themselves today.

Galt2009 on December 11, 2012 at 3:39 PM

This is a point about which I don’t think Republicans are being nearly vocal enough

Are they “vocal enough” about ANYTHING?!

rrpjr on December 11, 2012 at 3:40 PM


“Can we just be honest about this? We’re broke.”

He said, as single tear cascaded down his time-worn visage.

Jeddite on December 11, 2012 at 3:41 PM

OT…

Bmore on December 11, 2012 at 3:32 PM

OMG ~ They’re ALL beautiful. Wow, I think I love the Mountain Laurel best. Kudos to you, Bmore. They’re absolutely stunning.

Fallon on December 11, 2012 at 3:42 PM

This entire episode is bogus – we’re broke; we have no money. IF Obama won’t cut spending (and there a a ton of ways this could be done – start with a 10% across the board of all social services) – to keep their jobs, employees will find a way – WI did it.

Don’t cave –

Explain –
1 – there is no money
2 – raising taxes won’t solve the problem – y

This stuff isn’t hard – we make it complex to confuse low-info-voters.

Let Obama own it – the press may not go along but eventually, even they MAY wake up – since Rs get blamed all the time, might as well throw down the gauntlet. We cannot let O get away with Rs sharing the blame.

Walk.

BTW, 8/10 top income voting areas (NYC, Nob Hill, etc.) voted Democrat. Let them pay for it.

MN J on December 11, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Why do I have this felling that Boehner and crew will cave?

kingsjester on December 11, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Demand this from the POTUS or no deal: $50 trillion in new spending, minimum wage increases to $20/hr, void the debt ceiling mandate, and raise income taxes for anyone earning over $100k/yr to 80%.

Top it all off with a tearful plea to Bark to pass this for the starving children, the homeless brown people, the widows begging for food, do it for fairness and to spread the wealth.

Then walk away and enjoy the hysterics.

Bishop on December 11, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Why do I have this felling that Boehner and crew will cave?

kingsjester on December 11, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Ummm, maybe because they are really Marxists pretending to be Republicans and they ALWAYS cave?

SWalker on December 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

No matter what any of these assclowns do…it’s all over but the shooting…

PatriotRider on December 11, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Boehner: Can we just be honest about this? We’re broke.

He sure is smart.

moonsbreath on December 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Boehner: Can we just be honest about this? We’re broke.

So we simply need to make sure the rich pay their fair share, duuuh-BHO

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

What number for the coming year only is the GOP proposing? How huge a one-year increase is the GOP fighting for tooth-and-nail compared to (automatic) sequestration?

Those are the only two numbers we need. We need them in every post. Spare us the “10-year” talk.

kunegetikos on December 11, 2012 at 4:01 PM

If Pfeiffer knows of specific spending cuts from the WH, he should just list them. Problem solved.

hawksruleva on December 11, 2012 at 4:01 PM

… Pass your plan cutting spending back to the Clinton years John, then send it to the Senate, and walk away.

Seven Percent Solution on December 11, 2012 at 3:35 PM

This. Lefties love the romantic era of Oral Orifice interns and midnight basketball.

tom daschle concerned on December 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Barry-O,
Why is it so?

albill on December 11, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Boehner still needs to tell people that Obama is only talking about 8 days worth of government spending and is avoiding the other 357 days. He really needs to harp on that because the LSM refuses to ask this White House any questions. Would someone please tell them they don’t have to protect him any more, he’s been re-elected so now they can do the job the 1st Amendment protections were set up to allow them to do.

bflat879 on December 11, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Why isn’t anyone bringing up the fact that the one time “STIMULUS” spending was added to the ‘base line budget’…?

Seven Percent Solution on December 11, 2012 at 4:08 PM

So we simply need to make sure the rich pay their fair share, duuuh-BHO

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

When I was in high school, I worked at a local drugstore. Management would brow-beat us into giving our “fair share” to the United Way every year. They got some kind of award for employee participation. I freakin’ made $2.30 an hour.

I’m sick and tired of being being brow-beaten (and at the capitol in Michigan, actually beaten) by those who think they should decide what I should or shouldn’t do with my money.

Fallon on December 11, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Barky said he wants a Balanced approach- his words.

If that’s the way he wants it, he gets it.

Freakin Choom Chump.

FlaMurph on December 11, 2012 at 4:21 PM

The GOP is so stupid it’s incredible. Of course Obama is not going to make a proposal on spending cuts. Why would he do that? The longer he lets people like Boehner get in front of TV cameras yakking on and on about “spending cuts”, the more the public will blame them for the inevitable pain that will result.

People want low taxes and generous benefits, no matter how irrational that might be. Any politician not promising that is going to lose, again and again. The Democrats have finally figured out that people will actually support tax increases, as long as they think it’s going to fall on someone else.

The GOP cannot win that game. Once we start down the road of one group voting to tax another, it’s only a matter of time before the 51% taxes the 49% into oblivion. As long as the GOP holds any power in Washington at all, or anywhere else for that matter, the only strategy is to be a reliable “No” vote on any and all proposed tax increases and then let the Democrats and the bond traders worry about whatever needs to be done to align revenues and expenditures.

Progressive Heretic on December 11, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Boehner misses the essential point: just because we’re broke doesn’t mean we can’t go on spending – we’ve been doing it for years! God gave us rubber words for a reason….

PersonFromPorlock on December 11, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Good luck with that Boehner. This is a man that legitimately believes that as long as we tax the rich, all the problems will go away.

Even if he got to tax the rich at 100%, he would still not admit that the problems start with him, and end with spending.

milcus on December 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM

The House Republicans should pass:

(1) An extension of the Bush tax rates.

(2) A one-trillion dollar cut in expenditures, back to 2007 levels.

And then send it to the Senate. Then blame the Democrats and the President for whatever happens when they don’t agree.

Simple: stop weaseling, play hardball.

MrLynn on December 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM

Dan Pfeiffer

The irony of this is that the White House offer had very specific cuts, the GOP counteroffer had almost none

That’s how you do it. You just sort of say it.

“If I eat the apple, I’ll die.”

“No, you won’t.”

Easy.

Axe on December 11, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Boehner is right, but the American people made their choice.

Jennifer Rubin had an interesting post today. A lot of people on both sides will not agree with her..but she has a point here.

If Boehner can either get something (entitlement reform) in exchange for tax hikes or get a less onerous tax hike than the president wants, then it’s a win, maybe a miraculous one considering the position he is in.

The range of potential deals include letting rates on the rich rise (but not as much as the president wants) but also doing tax reform; agreeing to all or some of the Simpson-Bowles plan; and allowing rates to go up for the rich (maybe only for those at a higher threshold than $250,000) in exchange for avoidance of national security sequestration. Other than some combination of these or slight variations thereon, there is nothing that “fighting” will get Republicans. Again, they cannot get what they want, which entails gaining agreement from Obama and Senate Democrats to stop taxes from rising on the rich.

Boehner will need a lot of Democratic votes to pass a potential deal because many GOP grandstanders will refuse to follow him. That might make him unpopular with the all-or-nothing set, but the majority of his caucus is very likely to stick with him.

When you vote for something less horrible than available alternatives, you have not “caved.” You have governed. You have been an adult. That is what separation of powers, checks and balances and the essence of our Constitution are all about, namely messy alliances, imperfect choices, half a loaf, live to fight another day and avoid doing the most harm. If that is an anathema to some on the right, they have no business in government or selecting candidates who don’t grasp these essential principles. Simply because conservatives think Obama has the wrong idea about taxes or is behaving irresponsibly or is willing to wreck the economy to wage class warfare does not mean the R’s magically win. This is not a high school debate tournament Do you really imagine that, at this stage, the brilliance of the GOP’s arguments will simply win over Democrats?

Those who cannot figure out that policy arguments don’t always carry the day or that simply not giving in gets R’s what they want in this situation can, I guess, cash in at a think tank, advocacy group or on K Street, where one has no real responsibility or authority and can self-righteously lecture everyone else about one’s pristine motives. The rest of the R’s will muddle through as best as they can.

Terrye on December 11, 2012 at 5:06 PM

The Republicans need to walk away. Anyone blaming them is braindead anyway so who cares.

Let them eat cake, (and by cake I mean sh!t).

Lonetown on December 11, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Isn’t the writing already on the wall? Obama isn’t going to get serious about the debt and neither are the Democrats, because they don’t see it as serious. There is a real question in my mind whether the Republicans actually think it’s serious, either. After all, this is Inside the Beltway — do they really think this is a serious problem, or are they just trying to sound good for their base?

I had a little bit of hope before the election that if Romney won there would be some real efforts to do something about America’s huge debt, but with the results we got, there will be no reform. All there will be is mounting borrowing, spending and increasing debt. There can be only one end to this, and how long it will take no one can tell us. There will come a point when the US Government will be forcibly cured of its borrowing and spending addiction, and that will be when no one on the Earth is stupid enough to loan to us. When that happens, it’s anybody’s guess what the results will be, but whatever it is, it will not be pretty.

hachiban on December 11, 2012 at 5:59 PM

The only thing Dear Liar would cut is the military.

rbj on December 11, 2012 at 3:29 PM

And THIS SAME GOP leadership agreed to do just that 18mos ago when they fell for the creation of this impending sequestration crapola.
They’re multi-term MORONS that are far more concerned with their privilege and comity with their long-term fellows, than any serious business of this nation. One big frat party for them and screw US.

rayra on December 11, 2012 at 6:22 PM

But we’re still waiting for the White House to identify what spending cuts the president is willing to make as part of the balanced approach that he promised the American people.

And I’m waiting for hell to freeze over.

GarandFan on December 11, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Ok, at what point will they tell us we have to pass a budget to know what’s in it ?t

RAGIN CAJUN on December 11, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Is this a trick question? The senate will never pass a budget as long as the dems are in charge.

RoadRunner on December 11, 2012 at 8:12 PM

Boehner is a total failure and an elitist politician. He couldn’t negotiate his way out of a crowded McDonalds…… We wouldn’t be in this situation if somebody with the strength of Gingrich was the speaker. The weeper of the house needs to get the hell out of the way.

ultracon on December 11, 2012 at 9:10 PM

“Can we jesht be honest about this? Beer ish good!”

cane_loader on December 12, 2012 at 2:11 AM