From The Newshour with Jim Lehrer April 2, 2009. John Boehner is suddenly now concerned about fiscal responsibility with his criticism of the Democratic budget. Never mind the debt that was run up under the Bush administration for things like invading other countries that weren't a threat to us and war profiteering. Never mind tax cuts that never trickle down and enrich those at the top. Now that the spending is needed to keep our country out of a depression, Boehner is concerned about the debt being left to future generations. His talk about bi-partisanship after the way he and his fellow Republicans ran the House of Representatives is also laughable.
KWAME HOLMAN: Leader Boehner, thank you for joining us.
Leader Boehner, you and other Republicans on both sides of the Capitol have looked at this budget that the Democrats are moving today in the House, that is a reflection of what President Obama has called for, and railed against it. What's wrong with what they're proposing?
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-Ohio, House minority leader: Well, I don't know where I should begin.
The first problem is it spends too much. When you look at the level of spending in this budget, it will make President Bush look like a piker. And I and other Republicans felt like we spent too much during the Bush years. But this budget, at some $3.6 trillion for next year, will be the largest expansion of our government in our history.
Secondly, it taxes too much. There are some $2 trillion worth of taxes in this proposal that will tax every American. Not only do we have higher taxes for capital gains and the top rate and bringing the death tax back in full force, but we have this national energy tax.
You know, they like to call it cap-and-trade. But what it does is that it taxes energy. And so, if you drive a car or turn on a light switch, or you have byproducts that use a lot of energy, everybody's going to pay this tax.
But it's not just the tax that's so onerous. It's the millions of American jobs that I believe will be at risk because our competitors around the world don't have such a policy. And so you'll see products coming in from China and India and elsewhere that will make our products made here more expensive relative to theirs.
And so you've got higher spending. You've got higher taxes. And then you get to the real whammy, and that's the national debt.
President Obama's budget will double the national debt in the next five years. It will triple the national debt in the next 10 years, given their projections.
This is unacceptable. I think it will imprison our kids and grandkids. It will slow our economy. It will slow job growth in America. It's just not, in my opinion, not the way to proceed.