HANNITY: And welcome back to "Hannity." And here's more of my exclusive interview with the Speaker of the House John Boehner.
HANNITY: What happened in the 2011 budget deal? Because when it was first announced, we heard it was $60 billion that you had cut. And then that number got reduced to 38 billion. And then by the time that was analyzed even further, it was down just hundreds of millions, and not even billions. What happened on that deal?
BOEHNER: Well, that is not really true. The House passed $61 billion worth of cuts. I tried to do everything I could to get that enacted. The president wouldn't agree.
BOEHNER: What we did was, we got $38-and-a-half billion worth of cuts. That the Congressional Budget Office says, will save hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 10 years. And there's a lot of confusion out there about budget outlays versus expenditures. At the end of the day, it is all cash that was available for the government to spend. Pulling that back was the first step. And the fact is this, we are going to spend $79-and-a-half billion less than what the president wanted to spend this year. And that one third of the budget that we call discretionary pending. And the fact is, we're going spend $38-and-a-half billion less than we spent last year in that one-third of the budget.
HANNITY: Then, why was that all the reports that kept reducing the original number?
BOEHNER: Because people got in this debate over outlays versus expenditures and they confused people. But those are the facts.
HANNITY: All right. Let me just run through. The CBO had some chilling numbers and conclusions that they came out with it. I just want to read a couple of things that they pointed out. We are headed for the most predictable economic crisis in American history. And Washington is not providing the leadership we need to avoid it. That's a frightening and chilling --
BOEHNER: It is a very direct statement.
BOEHNER: And coming from a government agency is even more remarkable. But we can't continue to spend money we don't have. We can't borrow 42 cents for every dollar the federal government is going to spend this year. A budget deficit of one-and-a-half trillion dollars. And according to the president's budget, trillion dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see, this is not sustainable. It has to be stopped. We took a small step earlier this year, now it is time for the big step.
HANNITY: Let me just give this, maybe you can explain this to people in terms -- because I think we get into millions and billions and trillions and people get confused. The CBO projected the public debt is going to reach 70 percent of GDP this year. The normal historical average putting aside World War II is what, about 18 percent. Seventeen percent. And the other years, 11 percent, very, very low. Historical averages about 18, 19 percent. So, they predict by 20-21, 91 percent of GDP and then they predicted going to 101 percent. And then they predicted going to 200 percent by 2030. So, that means we are going to spend two times the amount we take in.
BOEHNER: This is not sustainable. The American people know it. That's why I don't want and my team doesn't want this opportunity to escape us. It is time for the president to get serious about cutting spending now and making real changes so that the debt curve out in the future turns down dramatically.
HANNITY: Even Greece, and we see what is going on there, is 150 percent of GDP. So, we are on this trajectory. The Democrats though have been using these tactics, predictable fear tactics. Medi-scare we call it. You know, how are you going to counter the predictable attacks against conservatives and Republicans by the president, he's already done it, and by the Democratic leadership?
BOEHNER: Well, I don't know we want to outline the steps that we are going to take. But they are going to come. It is pretty clear to me that we are going to see the Treasury Department or the Social Security Department sending letters out, suggesting that you might not get your Social Security check next month. Or we may have to stop payments to Medicare providers, unless this debt ceiling is dealt with. It is predictable. It is going to come. What we've got to do is continue to press our case with the American people that cutting spending now and dealing with our long term debt will help create a better environment for job creators in our country.
HANNITY: Last point in the CBO. They said, Medicare is unsustainable. Paul Ryan put forward a plan. Can you explain to people, how this won't impact, as the president said, kids with autism, kids with Down syndrome and the elderly, that they will have to fend for themselves. What is the plan?
BOEHNER: What it does is give every American who is on Medicare the opportunity to choose a health care plan that fits their needs. Guaranteed issue. Nobody is going to be denied. And for most of the population, we will pay the full cost of that premium, if you will. Medicare recipients today pay a small premium every month. They will continue to pay that. But if you are wealthy and you've got substantial assets beyond your Social Security, we are going to expect you to actually pay the cost of your premium. But it is not going to affect anybody in the middle class or below. It will actually give you choices of a private sector plan that will actually cover more than what Medicare covers today.
HANNITY: More, in other words, it will go to the states and the states will -- in other words that money will be allocated?
BOEHNER: No, no. Just like the prescription drug plan that seniors have available to them today. They get to choose whatever kind of plan they want. They pay a portion of that cost. The government pays a portion of that cost. Why shouldn't Medicare have the same kind of opportunity where the private sector would actually offer these plans, in a variety of plans to seniors?
HANNITY: What about Social Security, similarly it's headed for bankruptcy. Is means testing inevitable, raising the eligibility age, is that inevitable?
BOEHNER: At some point it is. I would hope the president would deal with it. When I said everything is on the table, except raising taxes, I meant everything is on the table.
BOEHNER: We know we've got long term problems in Social Security. We know it has to be dealt with. And the longer we wait, the harder it is going to be to make the changes necessary to assure that the program is sustainable. And there for those seniors who needs it.
HANNITY: Pretty profound though when you think about it. We take in $2.2 trillion a year and we spend 1.65 trillion more than we even took in. It's almost double, we're spending double of what we take in.
BOEHNER: Sean, I've been watching leaders for 20 years that I've been in Washington. Every year they look at this problem. And it's like, they look up at a mountain, they see how tall it is, and they see how steep it is and decide, nah, we are going to kick the can down the road another year. Well, guess what? We are out of road to kick the can down. Now is the time to deal with it.
HANNITY: All right. Let me ask you this. One or two foreign policy questions. The battle, the president, the war powers act in Libya. And recently, you had a vote in the House saying, you know, what? You don't feel that there's a defined mission by the president. Explain why that vote went that way.
BOEHNER: Well, I've never seen an administration act so precipitously when it came to engaging American troops on foreign soil. There was no consultation, there was no discussion, not with members of Congress, not with the American people. Next, you know, we've got troops flying missions in Libya. And so, there's a constitutional battle that's taking place here between the Congress and the president over the fact that there was no consultation. Was no authorization. Secondly, we get into this whole issue of, what is the mission? What is our goal here?
HANNITY: He said, there were no hostilities.
BOEHNER: Yes. Right. Well, nobody bought that nonsense at all.
What is our strategic interests here? The plan is to protect innocent civilians and hope that Colonel Qaddafi goes away. Well, guess what? I asked the question, two days into this, Mr. President, what if he doesn't go away? I didn't get an answer.
HANNITY: All right. Mr. Speaker, we really appreciate you coming in.
BOEHNER: Sean, nice to see you.
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