Boehner: Americans Don't Need to Talk about Solutions Now

House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, center, accompanied by Craig Fritsche, president of Tart Lumber, left, and Tabetha A. Baume-Chandler, president of Facility Technology of Sterling, Va., gather at Tart Lumber in Sterling, Va., Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010, to announce the Republicans "Pledge to America" agenda. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

John Boehner GOP Republicans
House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio announcing the Republicans "Pledge to America" agenda.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, John Boehner (R-OH) was asked about the lack of solutions, such as for costly entitlement programs like Medicare, in the GOP "Pledge to America."

The House minority leader responded that the purpose of the Pledge was to "lay out the size of the problem," not "to get to potential solutions." Boehner reasoned that once Americans understand how big the problem is, then the talk can turn to potential solutions.

Boehner chastized the appearance of Stephen Colbert before a House committee on Friday. "Washington is spending more time with comedians than debating (our) economic future....They have time to bring a comedian to Washington, D.C., but they don't have time to end the uncertainty."

It seems that Boehner is content to leave the American people uncertain as to what the Republican's would do to help the economy besides extending the Bush tax cuts.

Here is exchange between Boehner and Fox News' Chris Wallace, courtesy Think Progress:

WALLACE: Congressman Boehner, as Willie Sutton said about banks, entitlements are where the money is. More than 40% of the budget. Yet, I've looked through this pledge and there is not one single proposal to cut social security, medicare, medicaid.

BOEHNER: Chris, we make it clear in there that we're going to lay out a plan to work toward a balanced budget and deal with the entitlement crisis. Chris, it's time for us as americans to have an adult conversation with each other about the serious challenges our country faces. And we can't have that serious conversation until we lay out the size of the problem. Once Americans understand how big the problem is, then we can begin to talk about potential solutions. [...]

WALLACE: Forgive me, sir, isn't the right time to have the adult conversation now before the election when you have this document? Why not make a single proposal to cut social security, medicare and medicaid?

BOEHNER: Chris, this is what happens here in washington. When you start down that path, you just invite all kind of problems. I know. I've been there. I think we need to do this in a more systemic way and have this conversation first. Let's not get to the potential solutions. Let's make sure americans understand how big the problem is. Then we can talk about possible solutions and then work ourselves into those solutions that are doable.

  • Dan Farber On Twitter»

    Dan has more than 20 years of journalism experience. He has served as editor in chief of CBSNews.com, CNET News, ZDNet, PC Week, and MacWeek.

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