Boehner Doesn't Change the Conversation

Gotta' love the GOP. One day after the election and John Boehner is already agreeing to raise taxes.

Remember the last time this happened, we were told that while Boehner agreed to raise the debt limit and Obama promised to one day maybe sorta' decrease spending but actually wouldn't, it was a victory because Boehner changed the conversation.

CNBC reports:
House Speaker John Boehner offered Wednesday to pursue a deal with a victorious President Barack Obama that will include higher taxes "under the right conditions" to help reduce the nation's staggering debt and put its finances in order.

"Mr. President, this is your moment," Boehner told reporters, speaking about the "fiscal cliff" that will hit in January. "We want you to lead."

Boehner said House Republicans are asking Obama "to make good on a balanced approach" that would including spending cuts and address government social benefit programs.
Repeat after me, raising taxes in a recession is...BAD. So this is what to expect for the next four years. It's going to be a long four years.

I guess this kind of thing needs to be done. Elections have consequences and all.

It's nice to see Obama's making room in the handbasket for Boehner.


  1. Wrong. You should read his statement, not the inaccurate press statements about it (which you have fallen for). I'm Tax Policy Director at Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, and I deal with this stuff every day.

    Boehner said nothing different than what he has been saying all along: no tax increases. If you want revenue increases, you're going to have to get them from the economic growth resulting from fundamental tax reform. That isn't a cave, at all.

  2. Mr. Ellis,

    I appreciate your comments and will let Matthew defend the specifics of his post, but suffice it to say I disagree with you.

    I understand your point about his 'exact' words, but to issue such a statement within hours of the Republicans being thumped is a clear signal of capitulation to all.

    It was written the way it was to provide some degree of cover and a modicum of negotiating room. But to view it as anything other than a clear sign of capitulation is naive in my opinion.

  3. I work with Boehner's office on taxes all the time. I'm intimately involved with what his staff thinks, and I can assure you that the media coverage on this is totally wrong. To buy into it is to get played.

    People need to read what he actually said, not what the liberal media (who wants nothing more than to pick an internal GOP squabble) says he said.

  4. From CNN:
    "In a formal speech on Capitol Hill Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner sounded conciliatory even as he made it clear higher tax rates would be unacceptable to Republicans who control the House."

  5. Eight of the ten richest counties in the country voted for Obama.

    If they're not interested in opposing the expiration of the high end cuts, why should the rest of us run to the sound of the guns?

  6. Boehner did not agree to raise taxes. In fact he ruled out raising it explicitly on the two highest brackets. He wants reform, lower rates, widen the base.

  7. Since people here (including the blog authors) seem to suffer from invincible ignorance on this subject, I will quote directly from Boehner's own words:

    "What matters is where the increased revenue comes from, and what type of reform comes with it. Does the increased revenue come from government taking a larger share of what the American people earn through higher tax rates?
    Or does it come as the byproduct of a growing economy, energized by a simpler, cleaner, fairer tax code, with fewer loopholes, and lower rates for all?"

    That should make this abundantly clear. The "higher revenues" he was referring to were the result of economic growth, not legislated tax increases.

    People on here reading it differently just haven't had the experience I've had working on the fine art of tax diplomacy for many years.

  8. If the debt is as totally staggering as people say, and we want to rid ourselves of it, how on earth can we ever do so without raised taxes. We can't. Or, it simply is no that big. But it IS. The problem is not raising taxes. The problem is the impossibility of actually cutting budgetary spending in any real sense. How about RAISE taxes AND cut the budget at least TEN PERCENT. WIll never, ever happen, which is why we are doomed.

  9. @Most recent Anonymous: the (admittedly debatable) theory of the Laffer Curve states that lower taxes increase tax revenues, because more money remaining in private hands mean there is more investment, therefore more money comes in despite being taxed at a lower rate. It usually seems to work. There may not actually be one sweet-spot ideal tax-rate for the economy.

    As you say, though, the big issue is cutting spending. And also as you say, lotsa luck with that.


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