New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, said he is “very heartened” by House Speaker John Boehner’s “tone” after hearing his speech given the day after Obama won the presidential election. But, Schumer added, Republicans are still living in a “Rumpelstiltskin tax fairytale.”
“I was heartened, very heartened by the tone that Speaker Boehner showed yesterday in his remarks,” Schumer said during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast on Thursday.
“He basically said the president won the election and he should lead. He basically, he said that he is open to revenues, which many in his own party disagree with so I thought the tone was the right thing.”
Boehner delivered a message to Obama in his speech at the Capitol on Wednesday, saying, “This is your moment” and “we want you to succeed.”
Boehner said he’s willing to raise revenue as part of a debt reduction package through reforming the tax code. However, he remains opposed to raising taxes on families making over $250,000, arguing that it would hurt small businesses.
After hearing Boehner’s comments, Schumer said he is now “very hopeful” that Congress and the White House can get something “big” done in the next month and a half to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff – a combination of the Bush-era tax rates expiring and automatic defense cuts taking effect.
“You can’t expect the Speaker to turn on a dime in twenty four hours and embrace everything: higher taxes, higher taxes on the wealthy, but I think that privately he’s seen the handwriting on the wall and it makes me very hopeful that we can do something big in the next month and a half. It’s a good first step,” Schumer said.
He said the results of the 2012 election showed that Americans want Congress to raise taxes on the “wealthiest people.”
Schumer took issue with Boehner and his colleagues for arguing that when Congress cuts taxes, it increases revenue. Schumer said it is about time Democrats “debunk” this “myth.”
“It’s a Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, dynamic scoring. If you may remember Rumpelstiltskin was the fairy tale figure who turned straw into gold,” Schumer said.
“It’s a lovely thing but it’s a fairy tale…it is the Rumpelstiltskin tax fairy tale that if you cut taxes you increase revenues.”