At a speech tonight for the Economic Club of New York, John Boehner will try to establish a new bargaining position for the debt limit vote, one that would set trillions, not billions, of dollars as the baseline. From an excerpt from the speech:
Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase. And the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given. We should be talking about cuts of trillions, not just billions.
The Treasury has estimated that the limit would have to be raised by $2 trillion to avoid further hikes before the 2012 elections. By Boehner’s formula, that would entail spending cuts of more than $2 trillion, which would be far larger than any previous spending reductions, and much larger than anything Republicans have proposed.
While $2 trillion in spending cuts is almost certainly an unattainable goal, framing the negotiations as a matter of trillions and note billions is an aggressive move by Boehner.