GOP Cave on Tax Increases and Punt Entitlements

When President Obama put forth his first offer on the fiscal cliff, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said, “You can’t be serious.” We could say the same thing to the Speaker after his counteroffer yesterday.

In a letter signed by House Republican leadership, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), Boehner offered to raise taxes by $800 billion and cut spending by $1.2 trillion, with no substantive reforms to the entitlement programs that are driving U.S. spending and debt.

Heritage’s Alison Fraser, director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, and J.D. Foster, the Norman B. Ture Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy, quickly responded that “the Republican counteroffer, to the extent it can be interpreted from the hazy details now available, is a dud. It is utterly unacceptable. It is bad policy, bad economics.”

Boehner’s letter to the President actually said that the Republicans were not going to make their more serious proposal, which has already passed the House.

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