Boehner: 'Giving this Government More Revenue Would be Like Giving a Cocaine Addict Who Wants to Quit More Cocaine’

By Gabriella Hoffman | June 21, 2012 | 3:00pm EDT

FILE- House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio takes questions during his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( - House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday that raising taxes to increase government was akin to aiding substance abuse.

At a Capitol Hill press conference on Thursday, a reporter asked Boehner:

“I know that you believe that spending is the problem but given that some members of your party are showing some reluctance to sign the Pledge (against tax increases) -- you have shown a willingness to raise tax revenues as an effort to bring down the debt.

“Do you feel that more members of your party are coming around to that view? And do you think that that will make finding common ground on this issue easier?”

The Speaker replied: “Well, in negotiations with the president, I had additional revenues on the table. Revenues out of economic growth. Revenues out of a more efficient tax system. Revenues out of what I’ll call opportunity costs from having certainty about what the tax code looks like.”

But Boehner appeared to shut the door on raising taxes.

“Listen, I do believe that there’s a way to resolve it, but at this point, giving this government more revenue would be like giving a cocaine addict who wants to quit more cocaine,” he said.

“We have to have controls on spending. We have to deal with the entitlement crisis that’s threatening the very existence of these programs,” Boehner said, adding: “So that conversation will continue well into next year.”

House Republicans are looking to pass the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act, which Boehner said would remove government barriers to opening small businesses while ensuring good-paying jobs for Americans. Approval for the Keystone Pipeline XL would be included if this bill were to pass.

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