Boehner: Tax Talk ‘Over’

Photograph by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Speaker of the House John Boehner speaks during a press briefing March 14, 2013 at the Capitol in Washington, DC.

Updated at 11:30 am EDT

House Speaker John Boehner has given at the office.

And he’s not giving any more on taxes, he reasserted today.

The Ohio Republican, in an interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz airing on “This Week” today, said that any talk of including new tax revenue as part of a so-called grand bargain with the White House on taming the federal deficit is “over.”

“The president believes that we have to have more taxes from the American people. We’re not going to get very far,” Boehner said. “The president got his tax hikes on January 1. The talk about raising revenue is over. It’s time to deal with the spending problem.”

Like the president, who sat for an interview with ABC News last week, the speaker says the United States does not face an immediate debt problem. However, the White House maintains that any effort to rein in the deficit should include a “balanced” approach of tax revenue and spending cuts.

“We do not have an immediate debt crisis – but we all know that we have one looming,” he said. “And we have one looming because we have entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form. They’re going to go bankrupt.”

“Hope springs eternal,” Boehner said of a possible budget deal. He maintains that he has a “very good relationship” with the president, “absolutely” trusts him and considers the “charm offensive” that Obama has mounted in the past two weeks — dining with Republican senators and meeting with both parties’ caucuses in both chambers at the Capitol — a “good thing.”

“It’s always a good thing to engage in more conversation, engage more members in the conversation that have not been involved up to this point,” he said.

Asked about the rifts within his own party, Boehner said:

“There’s nothin’ wrong with the principles of our party. But Republicans have not done as an effective job as we should in terms of talking about our principles in terms that average people can appreciate — why balancing the budget, as an example, would be good for American families. We’ve got to do a better job of helping people understand what our principles are in terms that they deal with every day. ”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was ready with another take on that question today:

– 72 percent of Americans “Disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress are doing their jobs.” According to a Washington Post ABC News poll, 72 percent of poll respondents disapprove of Congressional Republicans.”

– 62 percent of Americans say the Republican Party is “Out of Touch,” 52 Percent Say Republicans Are “Too Extreme.” According to a February 2013 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center: “Sixty-two percent of adults say the GOP is out of touch with the American people, 56 percent say it’s not open to change and 52 percent say it’s too extreme, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday.”

 

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