Obama And Boehner Pledge Neither Will Blink On Taxes In Debt Ceiling Talks (VIDEO)
WASHINGTON -- A deadlock in the high-stakes talks to raise America's debt limit loomed Friday as President Barack Obama and Republicans each drew lines in the sand over taxes.
Pointing to Friday's disappointing employment report, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Republican leaders said the only thing that they would not do is agree to increase government revenues.
"We can't raise taxes on the very people who create jobs, and keep spending money that we don't have," Boehner told reporters.
"Spending cuts must accompany any increase in the debt limit," he added. "One look at the jobs report should be enough to show the White House, it's time to get serious about cutting spending."
Yet the president told his Democratic Caucus Thursday afternoon that he would not budge on letting the Bush-era tax cuts expire for wealthy Americans "no matter what hostages Republicans took," an attendee told The Huffington Post.
Obama compromised with Republicans last Christmas and allowed cuts for the richest Americans to be extended two years -- much to the dismay of many Democrats.
But when Boehner was asked if Republicans were willing to compromise on taxes Friday, he declared, "We are not."
"Everything's on the table except raising taxes," Boehner said.
Ending the Bush-era cuts would return the nation to Clinton-era tax levels, although Democrats would leave the Bush rates in place for the lower 98 percent of the income ladder.
Boehner also rejected a call by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan to restore the Clinton tax rates.
The conservative ex-chairman told CNBC Friday that his support for such a move was "an indicator of how scared I am of this debt problem that has emerged and its order of magnitude." Greenspan argued that spending cuts alone can not solve the problem.
Beohner also criticized the president for not being more involved in the debt talks, having left it in the hands of a bipartisan group headed by Vice President Joe Biden.
"I just think it's time for him to take a more active role," Boehner said, even as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Obama administration officials insisted progress was being made. "If he wants this agreement done by the end of the month, he better get going."
The nation hit the debt limit of $14.3 trillion last month. Since then, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has been juggling the bills to prevent a U.S. default. He has estimated that the nation can keep paying its creditors until Aug. 2.
The bond rating company Moody's warned Thursday that it might cut United States' credit rating if progress is not evident by the middle of July.
A White House official told The Huffington Post Friday that they remain confident, in spite of the opposing, hard-line positions on taxes being taken by both sides in the debt talks.