House Speaker John Boehner says President Obama should drop his proposal to avoid automatic tax increases and spending cuts at the end of the year, and instead embrace a plan outlined by Erskine Bowles -- co-chair of the White House's commission on fiscal responsibility -- at a congressional hearing last November.
"The new revenue in the Bowles plan would not be achieved through higher tax rates, which we continue to oppose and will not agree to in order to protect small businesses and our ailing economy," Boehner writes in a letter (PDF) to Obama. "Instead, new revenue would be generated through pro-growth tax reform that closes special-interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates. On the spending side, the Bowles recommendation would cut more than $900 billion in mandatory spending and another $300 billion in discretionary spending. These cuts would be over and above the spending reductions enacted in the Budget Control Act."