House Speaker John Boehner agreed with President Barack Obama on Sunday that the U.S. does not have an “immediate” debt crisis — but that’s where the agreement ends between the two leaders on how to reduce the deficit.”We do not have an immediate debt crisis,” Boehner said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“But we all know that we have one looming. And we have one looming because we have entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form. They’re going to go bankrupt.”
Boehner’s comments are significant in the sense that they’re similar to Obama’s just last week in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
“We’ve already cut $2.5 to $2.7 trillion out of the deficit,” Obama said. “If the sequester stays in, you’ve got over $3.5 trillion of deficit reduction already. And, so, we don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt.”
When ABC’s Martha Raddatz followed up with Boehner, he reiterated that the problem is not immediate. But “no one knows,” he said, when it will be a problem — it could be “a year or two years, three years, four years.”
Obama’s “point, as he went on to say in that interview, is that we don’t really need to do anything at this point,” Boehner said. “And I would argue that we do need to do something.”
To that point, Boehner emphasised spending cuts to entitlements as an immediate solution and repeating a familiar refrain he has pushed since the deal to avert the fiscal cliff in January.
“The President believes that we have to have more taxes from the American people. We’re not going to get very far,” Boehner said. “The President got his tax hikes on January 1. The talk about raising revenue is over. It’s time to deal with the spending problem.”
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