John Boehner Not Thrilled About Possible Budget Bargain

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Here is Sen. Bob Corker (R–Tenn.) on the prospects of a compromise budget deal with Democrats:

I think Republicans, if they saw true entitlement reform, would be glad to look at tax reform that generates additional revenues. And that doesn’t mean increasing rates, that means closing loopholes. It also means arranging our tax system so that we have economic growth.

Corker’s final sentence is an obvious escape hatch, but ignore that for the moment. He says Republicans will seriously consider closing loopholes in return for cutting entitlements. That sounds like progress! Let’s check in with the Speaker of the House to see if he agrees. This conversation is a little hard to follow, but I think it’s pretty clear in the end:

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 r– he–

MARTHA RADDATZ: –that is no?

Maybe Boehner is just talking tough. But he sure sounds like the entire rest of the House GOP caucus, doesn’t he? Nor does he seem willing to talk about any actual entitlement cuts he’d like to see. There’s been vague hand waving about Paul Ryan’s budget, which is a pretty obvious nonstarter, but not much more.

So I guess the question is whether you believe that House Republicans talk differently in private than they do in public. Do you?

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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