The economic proposal presented to Congress last week by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner “was not a serious offer,” Speaker of the House John Boehner said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“I was just flabbergasted,” Boehner said. “I looked at him and said, ‘You can’t be serious.’ I’ve just never seen anything like it.”
The proposal includes $1.6 trillion in new revenues over 10 years, which Boehner said is twice as much as President Barack Obama asked for during the campaign, and $400 billion in spending cuts.
“Right now, I would say we’re nowhere,” he said, describing the last three weeks of negotiations as “wasted.” “The president’s idea of a negotiation is roll over and do what I ask.”
Host Chris Wallace asked Boehner whether mortgage-interest and charitable deductions would be eliminated in an effort raise revenues. Boehner refused to answer. Then, Boehner hinted he might allow the country fall off the fiscal cliff when he intoned, “I’m determined to solve our debt problem. We have a serious spending problem, and it is going to be dealt with.”
Boehner said tax increases on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans will damage the economy and is not the solution.
“If there’s another way to get revenue from upper-income Americans that doesn’t hurt our economy, then why wouldn’t we consider it?” he asked. “We’re not going to be able to cut our way out of this problem, nor can we just grow our way out of the problem. We have to have a balanced approach.”
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