House Republican leader John Boehner spoke earlier today about his party’s plan to revive the American economy. Boehner wants lower taxes, including the extension of the Bush tax cuts, an end to government stimulus, and serious austerity measures to combat the deficit.
Boehner attacked Obama’s strategy for saving state jobs (emphasis ours):
Not long after we spoke [Boehner and President Obama], he signed a 26 billion dollar ‘stimulus’ spending bill that funnels money to state governments in order to protect government jobs. Even worse, the bill is funded by a new tax hike that makes it more expensive to create jobs in the United States and less expensive to create jobs overseas.
When Congress returns, we should force Washington to cut non-defence discretionary spending to 2008 levels – before the ‘stimulus’ was put into place. This would show Washington is ready to get serious about bringing down the deficits that threaten our economy.
If a Republican Congress suddenly cut off the stimulus lifeline from the states, the unemployment situation there would get much worse than our current 9.6% position. And the current situation in Europe might show them just what harm austerity could cause.
Or, they could settle for tax breaks.
So let me be clear: raising taxes on families and small businesses during a recession is a recipe for disaster – both for our economy and for the deficit. Period. End of story.
So maybe in a Congress likely to be split rather than completely dominated by one party, Republicans would be willing to swap tax cuts for some sort of stimulus in a package deal with the Democrats. That might also include some weak set of budget cuts, but not the austerity Boehner, and other Republicans, have been demanding.
We’re likely to have our cake (stimulus) and eat it too (tax cuts) for another couple of years.
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