As you regulars know, I’ve been hoping and hoping that reporters will press top Republicans on a simple question: Is there any ratio of entitlement cuts of your choosing to new revenues you’d accept? Three to one? Four to one? Five to one?
Well, John Boehner was asked something very close to that question on ABC News today:
MARTHA RADDATZ: Is there any ratio of entitlement cuts to new revenues that you would –
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: The president got his –
MARTHA RADDATZ: — say that the is three to one, four to one –
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: — tax hikes. The president –
MARTHA RADDATZ: — nothing?
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: — got his tax hikes on January the 1st.
MARTHA RADDATZ: So, the answer to –
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: He–
MARTHA RADDATZ: — that is no?
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: — he ran his election on taxing the wealthy. He got his tax hikes. But he won’t talk about the spending problem and that’s the problem here in Washington.
We’ll take that as a No. House GOP majority whip Kevin McCarthy was also asked that question on NBC today:
DAVID GREGORY: Is there any ratio that you could accept?
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY: There are no new tax increases because you don’t need it. If you look at this report –
DAVID GREGORY: But you’re never going to get entitlement reform –
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY: You’re going to get nothing.
DAVID GREGORY: — without tax increases. Is that political reality?
Again, until we hear otherwise, we’ll take that as a No.
And so it’s now sinking in that: 1) Republicans are not getting the entitlement cuts they want without agreeing to new revenues; and 2) Republicans are explicitly confirming that there is no compromise that is acceptable to them to get the cuts they themselves say they want. The GOP position, with no exaggeration, is that the only way Republican leaders will ever agree to paying down the deficit they say is a threat to American civilization is 100 percent their way; they are not willing to concede anything at all to reach any deal involving new revenues to reduce the deficit, or to get the entitlement reform they want, or to avert sequestration they themselves said will gut the military and tank the economy.
But … but … but … Obama needs to lead and prove he’s Serious by offering still more entitlement cuts than he already has!
Come on. Is the situation clear enough now?