'This Week' Transcript: Speaker of the House John Boehner

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (VIDEO): We've already cut-- $2.5-- $2.7 trillion out of the deficit. If the sequester stays in, you've got over $3.5 trillion of deficit reduction already. And, so, we don't have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. In fact, for the next ten years, it's gonna be in a sustainable place.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Is he right that we don't have an immediate crisis?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: We do not have an immediate debt crisis. But we all know that we have one looming. And we have-- one looming-- because we have entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form. They're gonna go bankrupt. Washington has responsibility-- to our seniors and our near seniors-- that we firm up these programs so that they're there for the long term. Because if we don't do it, not only will they not get benefits, we will have a debt crisis right around the corner. We have time to solve our problems. But we need to do it now.

MARTHA RADDATZ: H-- how long do we have to solve our problems?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: Nobody knows where this is. It could be a year or two years, three years, four years. The-- it's not an immediate problem. But we can all--

MARTHA RADDATZ: So, you agree with the president on that?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: The Amer-- yes. But his point, as he went on to say in that interview, is that we don't-- we don't really need to do anything at this point. And I would argue that we do need to do something.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Well, one of the things--

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: The American people know you can't continue to spend money that you don't have. And that's what the president wants to do. The president also said in that interview that his goal wasn't merely to balance the budget. What-- he talks about a bal-- balanced plan. What's balanced about a budget that never gets to balance?

MARTHA RADDATZ: Let-- let's-- let's take a listen to exactly what President Obama said about balancing the budget.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA (VIDEO): No. We're not gonna balance the budget in ten years. My goal is not to chase-- a balanced budget just for the sake of balance. My goal is how do we grow the economy, put people back to work? And if we do that we're gonna be bringin' in more revenue. If we've controlled spending and we've got a smart entitlement package, then potentially what you have is balance.

MARTHA RADDATZ: A quick response to that?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: That's exactly the point. Balancing the budget will, in fact, help our economy. It'll help create jobs in our country, get our economy goin' again, and put more people back to work. The fact the-- the government continues to spend more than a trillion dollars every year that it doesn't have scares investors, scares businesspeople, makes 'em less willing to hire people.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Is the grand bargain dead?

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: I don't know whether we can-- come to an-- a big agreement. If we do-- it'll be between the two parties on Capitol Hill. I believe that it's time to do regular order. We're going our budget-- next week--

MARTHA RADDATZ: But far less likely--

SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: --a bold-- a bold plan--

MARTHA RADDATZ: --a grand bargain?

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...