Since the deal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” was signed, Republicans have tried to portray it as “the last word” on taxes, since the deal included $600 billion in revenue. But last year, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) reportedly agreed to a deal that included $1 trillion in revenue. When asked by a reporter during a press briefing today why that total is now off the table, Boehner had no answer other than blaming President Obama:
Q: You said that President Obama quote “got his revenues, has his revenues.” But during December you offered $1 trillion in revenue, the fiscal cliff deal got $600 billion. If Obama took your offer, your last offer, $1 trillion for $1 trillion, could that pass the House?
BOEHNER: Who knows what would happen today? The fact is that the $1 trillion in spending cuts and reforms that were on the table, the president never agreed to. And the $1 trillion I put on the table wasn’t enough for the president.
However, the deficit reduction achieved since 2011 has still overwhelmingly favored spending cuts to tax increases, meaning that any budget deal going forward should include new revenue in order to be truly balanced. As the Congressional Budget Office reported yesterday, the country’s projected deficits have improved substantially over the last few years, while the debt is all but stabilized. The far bigger problem is that tighter fiscal policy from Washington is stifling economic growth.
One House Republican yesterday admitted that he would rather agree to a new increase in revenue than see the so-called “sequester” spending cuts take place on schedule in March.