Rep. Boehner on Job-Killing Taxes

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," April 27, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: All right, this just in: Make it 12, the dirty dozen. Senator Levin has just, for the 12th time at these hearings with these Goldman guys, uttered the word that rhymes with pretty — again, 12 times, the word that rhymes with pretty. I will leave it to you.

That is the first time in American history a single senator has cursed so many times at a single briefing. Actually, we don’t even know if that’s true, but it’s incredible. We will effort the tape for you very, very shortly.

In the meantime, the president today touting signs of job growth, after telling the debt commission that he’s willing to do some unpopular things it to fix the budget.

My next guest worrying that one of things will hit job creators hard, tax hikes. He is the House minority leader of these fine United States, John Boehner.

Leader, very good to have you. Thanks for coming.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-OHIO, HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Neil, it’s good to be with you.

CAVUTO: I do want to touch on that, but I do want to get your take on all this cursing going on at this hearing with these Goldman guys. What do you think of that?

BOEHNER: I haven’t been watching the hearings. I have got a real job here on the House side of the Capitol.


CAVUTO: Oh, putdown, putdown.


BOEHNER: You can imagine...


BOEHNER: ... that this is a pretty heated hearing. But I don’t think the cursing is necessary at all.

CAVUTO: OK. I was just trying to see if you were going to return the favor. But that’s fine.

But now to the president and this debt commission talk and that everything is on the table — you have assumed for a long time that among those things are tax hikes, right?

BOEHNER: Well, I assume that — that this — the whole commission was created to try to provide cover for finding ways of raising additional revenue.

But the American people are asking the question, where are the jobs? They’re not raising their hand asking the question, “Can I pay higher taxes?” Washington has a spending problem. And we have to get our arms around the spending. And the sooner we do it, the better off we are.

CAVUTO: Do you think we can get from here to there, that is, ultimately, toward balanced budgets and — and eradicate our debt by never raising a single tax, by never hiking fees, by never doing any of this stuff at all, zero?

BOEHNER: Neil, I have been around elective office for a long time and local office, was a state rep, and I have been here in Congress 20 years.

And I have never voted to raise anyone’s taxes. This — this revenue problem that we have is not — it’s not a problem. The American people are working, they are paying their taxes, but Washington continues to spend out of control.

And if you begin think about how to balance the budget, two things are absolutely essential. How about three things? We have to get our arms around the fiscal side of this. We have to get our arms around the entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form.

And, thirdly, if you don’t have a strong, healthy economy, with more Americans working, you’re never going to have the revenue to balance the budget. But it’s going to take all three of these.

And, as I have said to my colleagues and I have said to...

CAVUTO: So, what was it — you know, they have raised, when you have mentioned that — we had Alan Simpson here yesterday, sir, and he didn’t want to rule anything out, but he said, when I asked about a value added tax that — and, again, I don’t want to put words in his mouth — open to that, but it can’t be a pile-on. In other words, it has to be greeted by a cut in income taxes, or words to that effect.

Are you of that mind, or, if we did a value-added tax, you would favor it in place of the income tax system we have now?

BOEHNER: At the end of the day, how will they make their suggestions?

I’m not for raising taxes on the American people. I believe that, right now, if we want to get the economy going again and start creating jobs, we ought be thinking about providing tax relief to American families and small businesses to get our economy going again.

But I have told my colleagues and I have told the American people that, if the Republicans were fortunate enough to win the majority in November, and if I’m lucky enough to be the next speaker of the House, I’m going to run the House differently than it is being run today. And I’m going to run the House differently than it was run under Republicans in the past.

We have to get very serious about fiscal responsibility. If we’re going to spend 43 cents out of every dollar — if we’re going to borrow 43 cents out of every dollar we spend this year, then I think we ought to go through every line in the budget and ask this question: Is this spending so important that we’re willing to ask our kids and grandkids to pay for it?

And, if it doesn’t meet that test, then we probably shouldn’t do it. But, secondly...

CAVUTO: So, in the meantime, on financial reform, sir, just to keep to the issue today, where we have these test votes, every day, they get shot down, and — but it’s a procedure that is happening every day in the Senate — how likely is a financial reform bill in the near future or not?

BOEHNER: Well, I think it’s likely that we will get a bill.

But I’m hopeful that the bipartisan conversations that are going on in the Senate continue. The Frank — the Barney Frank bill that came out of the House I think would cripple the American financial services industry and really have adverse impacts on my local banks back in my district.

It will do nothing to help get our economy going again. And, so, I do believe that the conversations over there to get to a bill that solves the problems on Wall Street, gets to the problem of Fannie and Freddie that’s not been discussed, and do it in a bipartisan way, I think we can get somewhere.

But I — sometimes, I wonder whether the president really just wants a campaign issue for this November, as opposed to getting something done.

CAVUTO: Could I ask you, on a personal level, it seems like the bad blood that appears to be the case between you and the president has gotten worse, or am I imagining things?

BOEHNER: There’s no bad blood between the president and I. He wants a financial regulation reform bill, and so do I.

But the things that they want to do in this bill are not what the president says they want to do. You know, he says he wants to end bailouts forever. But, if you look at the language in the bill, it creates a system for permanent bailouts of Wall Street and others. He says that he wants to get rid of...


CAVUTO: But he’s saying, also, and some of his fellow Democrats are saying they’re going to get a wave of good numbers each month, every month, and this quest of yours to see Republicans take over the House and maybe you become the next speaker, you could be counting your chickens before they’re hatched.

BOEHNER: Well, listen, I think that there’s a rebellion going on in America. The American people are looking up at Washington, and they’re saying, these people are out control, and they’re not listening.

And you’re going to see Republican members — we have been listening over the last year-and-a-half. We’re going to continue to listen to the American people and represent their interests here in Washington.

CAVUTO: All right, John Boehner, always a pleasure. Thank you, sir.

BOEHNER: Neil, nice to be with you.

CAVUTO: All right, the man many claim just could be, if there was a switch-over in the House, the next speaker of these United States, taking over for Nancy Pelosi. We will see.

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