Most of the uncertainty over the fiscal cliff (which we discussed yesterday) was a result of neither side having taken a post-election stance on the issue. Now that Speaker of the House John Boehner has made his his first statement, things are not much clearer.
The key word that came up over and over in Boehner's remarks was "revenue," in that he and his fellow Republicans are willing to accept "new revenue" in a deal with the President. However, he was explicit that this new federal revenue should come from growth, not higher taxes, which is the easiest and fastest way to get new revenue. Instead, he said "we’re willing to accept new revenue, under the right conditions" and those conditions include cutting spending and entitlements.
The problem, from Boehner's perspective, is that if he does nothing, and no new deal is reached, the Bush tax cuts will expire and everyone will see higher taxes on January 1. The President's message has always been that taxes need to go up on those in the top income brackets, and Boehner is still insisting that he won't do that. (Meanwhile, Majority Leader Harry Reid is already insisting that he must.) Boehner suggests that changing the tax code will bring in more revenue, but he won't do that either, without also cutting spending, another scenario that happens anyway when the sequester kicks in. If that's the case, he isn't really accepting "new revenue" as much as he is pushing his own plan and arguing it will make the economy stronger and thus create more of the things the government taxes, like personal income and capital gains.