Boehner: 2013 should be the year government solves debt crisis

WASHINGTON — Addressing the fiscal cliff crisis on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner said lawmakers should extend current tax rates set to expire this year now so the next Congress can reach a broader deal to tackle the debt in 2013.

“Now, 2013 should be the year we begin to solve our debt through tax reform and entitlement reform,” Boehner said at the Capitol on Friday, “and I’m proposing that we avert the fiscal cliff together in a manner that ensures that 2013 is finally the year that our government comes to grips with the major problems that are facing us.”

The fiscal cliff crisis refers to the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and automatic spending cuts set to take place at the end of the year if lawmakers and President Barack Obama don’t come to a deal.

Obama is expected to address the crisis at the White House on Friday. Obama is for raising taxes on Americans who make more than $250,000 a year to offset the spending cuts.

Boehner, who said he and Obama had a “cordial” conversation this week, says increasing tax rates will harm the economy. On Friday, he cited Ernst & Young in arguing that 700,000 would be lost if taxes were raised.

“I outlined a responsible path forward where we can replace the spending cuts and extend the current rates, paving the way for entitlement reform, as well as tax reform, with lower rates,” Boehner said.

While Boehner said he is against raising taxes, he is open to finding new revenue.

“It’s clear that there are a lot of special interest loopholes in the tax code, both corporate and personal,” he said. “It’s also clear that there are all kinds of deductions, some of which make sense, others don’t. And by lowering rates and cleaning up the tax code, we know that we’re gonna get more economic growth.”


Follow Alex on Twitter