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Saturday, October 22, 2016

House Speaker John Boehner published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that begins by asserting that “a dramatic new federal policy is set to go into effect that threatens U.S. national security, thousands of jobs and more.”

Boehner concludes by stating that the sequester — the “federal policy” he’s referencing and his majority voted for — will go into effect unless the president names an equal amount of cuts, which would still likely destroy around  750,000 jobs, according to CBO estimates.

Of course, the House GOP knows that the president is not willing to agree to any deficit reduction that is entirely made up of cuts. That’s what he did in 2011 and the only reason any new savings have come from taxes is that the Bush tax breaks expired at the end of 2012, and Republicans were forced to compromise only a slight increase on income over $400,000 in order to prevent increases on all taxpayers.

Republicans demanding huge deficit reductions without any new taxes or even any closing of loopholes for big oil, hedge fund managers and corporate jets is exactly how we ended up in this successive series of manufactured crises. Not only are cuts more likely to be harmful to the economy than tax increases on those who can afford to pay, it’s the opposite of the policy that Americans prefer.

A clearly decisive 76 percent of Americans support deficit reduction that combines spending cuts and tax increases, according to a new Pew poll.

Despite this, Boehner and Republicans seem resigned that the sequester will happen, though it will inflict economic damage while doing almost nothing to reduce the long-term deficit, which is America’s actual problem.

Instead of trying to compromise a solution to what they agree is destructive policy, they’ve decided to try to blame it on the president, as his popularity hits a three-year high and theirs hits a three-year low, according to a new poll from Bloomberg.

Of course, this is disingenuous. The sequester was simply a way to resolve a crisis that was created in 2011, when Republicans threatened default for the first time in U.S. history, demanding cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit. They agreed to the sequester, which the president proffered in hopes that the intractable Republican positions on raising taxes or ending tax breaks would eventually be broken by the voters’ will. Leading up to the election, Obama continued to threaten any sequester replacement that simply shifted the cuts to ones Republicans preferred without the “balanced” approach to deficit reduction that was a central aspect of his campaign.

Now, even after President Obama received nearly five million more votes than his Republican opponent and House Republicans received more than a million fewer votes than their Democratic opponents, Speaker Boehner’s approach hasn’t changed.

Except now, instead of selling cuts as being helpful to the American economy, as he did for the last two years, Boehner is admitting that cuts will punish workers and kill jobs

It’s a stand so baffling that even conservatives are confused by it.

“Why would Republicans support a measure that threatens national security and thousands of jobs?” asks the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York.

Republicans — by Speaker Boehner’s own admission — are threatening national security and hundreds of thousands of American jobs to protect tax breaks for corporations and the richest Americans who have benefited most from the recovery.

If that’s the lesson they learned from the 2012 election, 2014 could be a very good year for Democrats.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • My god, the money men must have Boehner’s balls in a bag they kick to each other in a game of hacky sack.

  • Has the country ever had such a poor Speaker in times as hard as these? His inability to provide leadership and control the nutballs in his caucas is reason enough for him to pass the torch to someone with a pair of stones to get the job done. Obviously his staff is way over paid for providing terrible advice and talking points for their boss. A house cleaning is desperately required in the Speakers office and Congress in general.

    • Diogenes67

      I thought Grover Norquist was the Speaker.

      • Now that made me laugh,thanks!

      • plc97477

        yes thank you for a hearty laugh

    • Tess

      He can’t control the nutballs in his caucus because they’re not controllable. No other Speaker would be able to control them either. Which is not to say that I think Boehner is doing a good job — clearly he’s not. It’s just that he’s in an unwinnable position right now.

      • When he took the Oath of Office, he swore allegiance to the United States, not the Tea Party. If he knows the sequester will compromise national security, his options do not include concerns over whether or not he will remain Speaker of the House if he proposes and insists on stopping the sequester until a less damaging approach is found to reduce spending. His only option is to do what is right for the USA. Period. To Hell with what the Tea Party, which is not evn a bonafide political party wants. The real options, for us, is whether or not the traitors should spend the rest of their lives in prison or face a firing squad.

        • Can I be on the firing squad? I will do it for free.

        • Sorry but, in reality, Boehner’s allegiance has alway been to the Republican party and now to the Tea Party as well, also big business. Just because a politician pledges his allegiance to America does not mean he or she will be looking out for America’s best interests once they are in office.

          • plc97477

            their own best interests are first and foremost in their minds the peoples takes a very distant second

      • countrybumpkin44

        Boehner may not be able to control his caucus, but it is up to him to bring bills up for a vote.

    • I agree with you! The other thing is that Boner (Boehner) is an arrogant SOB that does not like the President. He would not go along with anything the President wanted for the middle class, if the President agreed with him. Boehner would change his mind and do the opposite. He’s just a rich old white man that does not like Blacks or Dems. I think he believes THE RICH SHALL RULE! PS. I am white!

  • charleo1

    If in the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling, that led to the sequester, and John Boehner
    getting 98% of everything he wanted, as he himself reported to the Country. How is it then,
    that it becomes President Obama’s job to avoid the cuts Speaker Boehner accepted as a ransom
    to not tank the economy back in 2011? I would like to hear him provide the logic he is using.
    Because in one case, it would mean, Speaker Boehner was trying to tank the economy by making
    the terms so onerous President Obama could not accept them. The Government then lurched
    towards default, panicking world markets, causing a run on the T-Bill, and a world wide,
    depression, and Republicans running the table in the 2012 elections. That’s one explanation of how he got 98% of what he wanted, then. But, now realizes tanking the economy would not help his Party. And that’s one explanation. The second explanation is, that he actually did not get
    everything he wanted back in 2011. Because then, as now, he doesn’t control either his caucus,
    nor does he run the House of Representatives, and, his title of Speaker is only a figurehead post.
    And the real power behind the throne, is the hard core ultra conservatives, who by dominating the
    Republican Primaries, have effectively taken over the Republican Party. His calls to the President,
    to lead, are not the barbed rhetorical jousting in the give, and take process that precedes the
    actual deal making. But a sincere cry for help, for the President to accommodate a charade that
    has been taking place for the last couple of years now. Of course, letting the cuts go forward
    might silence, in a very brutal way, the incessant caterwauling by the Right Wing nihilists,
    that cutting billions of dollars, willy-nilly from the Federal budget, with no additional taxes,
    would calm the job creators fears about the crushing public debt, and spur investments, and
    job growth. Which is what they are still claiming. Although, with not nearly as much gusto,
    and confidence, and surety, as we’ve seen, pre-election.

    • docb

      Of course, the meme of it being the Presidents fault is just the lies the repub baggers are telling themselves…and their intellectually challenged ‘base’!

      Not for popular consumption… BS!

      • charleo1

        I honestly don’t see how the Country would expect Obama to deal with this
        unreasonable bunch. It is fact, Obama ask for a clean raising of the debt ceiling.
        Given the fragile state of the economy in 2011, and no additional help expected
        from the government after the 2010 elections. But, they would have none of it.
        They even wanted a Constitutional Amendment passed, requiring a balanced
        budget. It was a goofball demand. In that any Amendments to the Constitution
        involves a lengthy process of State approval, and Congressional approval. And,
        even that wasn’t enough for the drunk with power, Yahoos of the T-Party faction.
        I find it stupefying that Boehner writes an opinion piece in The Wall Street
        Journal, blaming Obama for the sequestration cuts, they themselves insisted on.
        Does facts still matter in this Country? Today the Republicans are predicting
        the awful sequester, Obama wanted, will take effect. Because, (Their story goes,)
        Obama won’t himself, take a meat ax to Medicare, and Social Security, and
        and make the deep cuts necessary to get their votes to stop the deep job killing
        cuts, of the sequester, Obama wanted. Now, figure that one out!

        • docb

          Agreed, charleo!

        • Republican’ts do not realize, just because, they spew out ignorant accusations, it does not make them true.

          • charleo1

            Exactly! One lie, or intentional misstatement of fact, always calls for another to cover
            the first. Ignorant accusations is a perfect description of newly elected, T-Party scum,
            Ted Cruz’s questioning of Chuck Hagel, at the confirmation hearings.

      • plc97477

        that’s one of the reasons it is not on my dinner table

    • The republican’ts had their turn, with Pres. Cheney. It ran us into a unfathomable financial & moral hole; which they seem to want to forget…They expected, Pres. Obama to deal with the crap they left behind ( Just like Daddy Bush did, for President Clinton.), and caused.
      They sent us into a oil war, for their gain. Our children paid the ultimate price, for their greed.
      Now, we have these indignant, low-bowed so-called conservatives; trying to blame our President, for their faults and actions.
      This attitude does not meet muster. Voters know; now you know, why the repubublican’ts had lost the house, for 50 years. People awakened to their lies, and lack of allegiance to the USA. This WILL happen again, in 2014.

  • Sand_Cat

    No problem will ever be solved if we haven’t even the courage to name it for what it is. As I said once before, “disingenuous” sounds like something that happened to the person – through no fault of his own – when his guard was down. I believe the dictionary defines it as “not frank.” What we’re talking about here goes way. way beyond lack of frankness.

    • charleo1

      That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to figure. We both know these Baggers, a lot of them
      are not playing with a full deck to begin with. Many of them were low level school board
      members, and Mayors of backwater Alaskan towns, like Wasilla. Before the Republican
      scouts were sent out to find these peckerwoods, and knocked the dust off of them, and paid for a real nice campaign. Of course, the idea was probably out of a Koch financed think tank. So suddenly the result is these complete idiots are now real Congress people, with
      real power. And, grade A certified lunatics, that probably do believe a lot of the crap that
      they were saying. I dealt with a lot of people in my lifetime. And these Goobers sound a lot
      like a lot of people I’ve run into over the years. Now, the big wig Republicans thought
      they could manage these guys. But, hey! They are elected now! So, they believe Obama is
      a plant. Or illegal. Hell, they don’t know. He’s something, (Black probably,) and they
      don’t like him. They also don’t know economics, or budgeting for the largest economy
      in the world. I blame the GOP, big time! There are some very responsible, very serious
      people within the Right Wing. And, they knew better. Hell, they knew the Country deserved
      better. And allowed it to happen anyway. And you’re exactly right! No one should be
      pulling their punches over this ridiculousness.

    • What we are talking about here is deliberately compromising our national security, which in plain English means TREASON.

      • Sand_Cat

        I understand your passion, but our Constitution defines “treason” precisely to avoid its being bandied about casually to describe strong disagreements or to be enforced against the political minority. This may sound like a hair-splitting, legalistic argument, but it is an important one. How many other crimes did the founders see fit to define in the Constitution?

        While I regard these actions as despicable and cowardly, they are not treasonous as thus defined. Let’s not sink to the “conservative” level where those of us who opposed the Vietnam War and other abuses and sometimes real crimes were called “traitors.”

  • option31

    This is so ridiculous. Run the numbers. The budget for 2013 is 3.8 Trillion dollars they are talking 85 billion in cuts. That is around a 2.3% cut. Comparatively speaking you have 100 dollar bills and lose 2.3 of them is that devastating for most of us? When you go to the store and spend $100.00 did you spend $2.30 frivilously? Sorry this is a rounding error and BOTH SIDES are demogauging the issue. Nobody can possibly believe these agencies don’t have 2.3% of waste.

    • The problem is that just as big business does their answer will be to lay off workers rather than address the real problems that are at the crux of the issues of waste. It is as if you have 10 workers and you rank them from best to worst and then lay off the worst one, now you have 9 workers and you still have one at the bottom and you again fire that one and then you have 8 and so on and so on until you end with only one worker who can not possible do the work of 10 so eventually you move the work off shore because you have now fired all 10 incompetent workers. The problem is not that you have too many worker but that you failed to LEAD and MOTIVATE the 10 workers you had to want to excel for the common good. It is why sports always does better because they recognize where the real problem lies. In business incompetence rises. Weak management always hires and promotes weak management because they are no threat to upper management to take their jobs. Weak management is insecure and always cuts workers as the road to higher profits.

    • Steve Wykle

      Hell….the Defense Department could easily absorb the whole 85 billion by eliminating waste and frivolous spending alone. The y make it sound like our National Security would be compromised, when in fact they are just trying to keep their military contractor’s pockets lined. Wasn’t the military budget increased this year by at least 85 billion over last year?

  • If Boehner and the rest of the Republican congressmen know the sequester will compromise national security, and they continue to push for it, that makes them traitors and they should be prosecuted accordingly.

  • We should do to John Boehner and others of his stripe what Barry Goldwater, a decent Republican, said we should do to Jerry Falwell, being: “give him and those like him, a good
    swift kick in the ass.”

    • plc97477

      may I help, please

      • Your alright plc97477. Yes, you may certainly help. Normally I advocate hitting an idiot on the forehead with a baseball bat to wake the brains up, but in Boehner’s
        case, we’d be wiser kicking him where his brains (?) really are.
        Have a great day my friend.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Boehner, in case anyone has forgotten, is 3rd in line for the presidency should anything happen to the president or VP that would make their ability to fulfill their duties impossible. This is the man you’d want?

    His statement reeks of his unconsious desire to accede to the presidency by neutralizing our national security measures. Think about this seriously folks. If a result of the sequester is reduction in national security and terrorists manage to take out Obama and Biden, Boehner becomes president pro tem. A more dangerous situation I can’t imagine.

    • plc97477

      the worse nightmare of all time.

  • empiremed

    Congressional Republicans are simultaneously united, divided and confused about the $85 billion of cuts in defense and domestic discretionary spending that begin on March 1 when the budget sequester takes effect.

    Republicans are united in their dislike of across-the-board cuts but understand that this is the only way now to restrain federal spending. The GOP-controlled House twice passed bills, in May and December of 2012, that replaced the sequester with targeted reductions to less essential programs. Both measures were ignored by the White House and Democratic Senate. This led to the current impasse.

    Nevertheless, there are philosophical and tactical divisions in the party. While most House Republicans worry that defense cuts will harm national security, a minority welcomes them. GOP Congressmen are also split over whether the House should approve a continuing resolution (or “CR,” to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year) before or after the sequester begins.

    As things now stand, cabinet departments will have to cut equally from programs important and insignificant, efficient and inefficient. But Republicans are confused over how to provide federal agencies with the flexibility to adjust their budgets under the sequester. Flexibility means giving the executive branch, e.g., President Obama, greater authority. Republicans are loath to do this, but many fear that without this authority the sequester will be especially damaging to military readiness.

    And so Republicans don’t know whether they should pass a separate flexibility measure next week, incorporate flexibility language in the continuing resolution, or simply paste the Department of Defense and Military Construction appropriations bills language into the CR.

    Forward motion shows the GOP acting responsibly while inactivity allows Mr. Obama to keep the public spotlight on him. My own recommendation is that House Republicans should pass a continuing resolution next week to fund the government for the balance of the fiscal year at the lower level dictated by the sequester—with language granting the executive branch the flexibility to move funds from less vital activities to more important ones.

    True, Mr. Obama may use that flexibility to cut spending that Republicans favor. Still, the GOP will be acting responsibly, and perhaps by doing so will put the president and Congressional Democrats a bit on the defensive.

    Above all, the GOP must also keep setting the record straight for the public. It was Mr. Obama, not the Republicans, who came up with the sequester in the summer of 2011. In November of that year the White House said that the president “will not accept any measure that attempts to turn off part of the sequester.” Now Mr. Obama describes his own sequester cuts as “sudden, harsh, arbitrary” and “brutal.”

    On Tuesday he paraded first responders onto a stage to demand that Republicans “protect . . . education and health care and national security and all the jobs that depend on them” by passing his “balanced approach to deficit reduction that would prevent these harmful cuts.”

    Yet Mr. Obama has never offered a specific plan for deficit reduction. Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the Congressional Budget Office, acknowledged this recently when Sen. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.) asked if he could score the president’s speeches.

    Last week, some Senate Democrats did suggest $55 billion in cuts (half from defense and half from the farm program), coupled with $55 billion in new taxes—mostly from a proposal that already failed to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate last year. But this was a halfhearted public-relations gesture.

    The Senate Democratic proposal also violates Mr. Obama’s campaign pledge of a “balanced” deficit reduction that consists of $2.50 in spending cuts for every $1 of new revenue. In December, the president received $600 billion in new taxes, which should now be matched with $1.5 trillion in spending cuts, according to his definition of balance. That hasn’t happened.

    Mr. Obama is a once-in-a-generation demagogue with a compliant press corps. So in coming weeks, we will be subjected to a slew of presidential photo-ops with those whom he claims will lose jobs because of a 2.3% cut in future federal spending.

    The looming sequester is perilous for both political parties. The Feb. 4 Quinnipiac poll reported that only 22% of Americans believe the sequester should take effect. Yet a Feb. 6 Fox poll says 73% believe cutting spending now would help strengthen the economy, and in a Jan. 18 Fox poll, 83% said spending is out of control.

    To win public opinion to their side, Republicans will need a proactive strategy that shows the GOP is committed to restrain spending, make cuts as smartly as possible, and keep the government running.

    It won’t be easy, given the president’s intrinsic advantages and bigger megaphone. The Republicans only have the facts on their side. Sometimes that’s enough.

    • Replying to empiremed –


      And, like all good TURD PARTY advocates, you fall right in line with the hogwash they pass off as soup.

      There are many sources of information out there. Most lean left or right. Faux Snooze does not lean left or right. It jumps head first to the EXTREME right.

      You have some valid points. However, they are poisoned by the crap you added from Faux Snooze.

      Unfortunately, anyone who quotes Faux Snooze becomes suspect, particularly on this blog.

      Welcome to The National Memo.

    • The largest problem with your thinking and “facts” fro, recent polls is not to identify exactly what it is the American Populace wants cut if reference to spending cuts and what it does not want cut. If you paid attention to the European Market where only austerity is being used to try to control government debt you would see it is not working and is being soundly rejected by the masses. As with many of your Alec based solutions fostered by the Koch Bros. (Libertarians by the way) they do the opposite of what it is they propose to do. You claim it is up to President Obama to “propose a plan” specifically targeting debit reduction and if this is so then of what use is the House of Representatives? The House and the House alone must initiate spending bills therefore it would appear to me and others that Speaker Boehner needs to be the lead on that front. The President is only there to sign or veto what the House passes. You also want to deny what the majority wants relative to where these cuts are to come from. The last election showed over 5 million more Americans wanted what the President has proposed Congress do to help solve this problem and you would ignore this fact to push your own agenda (T-Party I believe). American does not have a spending problem as much as a revenue problem. It is like the House re-introducing 33 bills to stop Obamacare rather than any jobs bills or all the anti-abortion bills rather than any jobs bills and requiring Government to in fact fire workers instead of finding funding to hire more workers thereby easing the effects of the disastrous Bush policies. I could go on and on shooting holes in your argument but I am tired and your Fox News talking points bore me.

    • charleo1

      Did President Obama ask for a clean raising of the debt ceiling? The answer is yes.
      Since authorizing the ability of the Federal Government to borrow the funds to pay
      for bills it has already made. Services it, (the government,) has already received.
      Wouldn’t it in hindsight, have been smarter, to deal with expenditures in the budget
      process, and not by threatening to muck up the bond market? Which did wind up
      needlessly costing the Country, that could ill afford it, some 18 billion dollars in lost
      economic activity. So, a lot of us now, do not hold the President, nor do we hold the
      Democratic minority in the House, responsible for the ultimate outcome of a fight,
      over the debt ceiling, the Democrats didn’t pick, and now Republicans want to
      distance themselves from it’s eventual results. Namely the Sequester. Which, if you
      want to be honest about it, could have been avoided, by Executive Order, that the
      debts of the Country be paid, and let the Courts settle it. If the President was anything
      like the wild eyed radical, the Right continues to characterize him as, that’s exactly
      what would have happened. So, when are Republicans going to get honest with
      Americans, and state their position in regards to protecting loopholes, while cutting
      public healthcare, education, government research, and nutrition and child care for
      the working poor? They seem literally beside themselves, that the President won’t do
      it for them. What normally happens when a Party is so opposed to the policies of a
      President, and his Party, they go out, make their case, win elections, and enact their
      policies. The will of the People being the wind at their back. I’ll ask you, you’re bright.
      Who won the last election? Running on what? The wealthy, and corporations pay more.
      And Americans want their government help with their health insurance. If they didn’t,
      who would have won the last election? See, Republicans are wrong on this from the
      start. Since when is it acceptable to threaten harm to anyone, or anything, if you don’t
      get your way? I have a real problem with that. And I’m not alone. So, well, they made
      their juice, the Republicans did. They could stop it. If they had any sense they would.
      But who still expects sense out of the Republicans?

  • If Boehner remains as Speaker, I think the Democrats will be able to use that to their advantage during the 2014 elections.

    Just imagine telling your constituents that voting Republican will help Boehner retain his office.

    If that doesn’t scare the crap out of you, you just haven’t been paying attention.

    • tobewan

      That is, that voting Republican will help Boehner retain/restain his office. And that’d be just the tip of the iceberg (that sank the Titanic).

  • imabrummie

    Somehow Boehner and thinking don’t really go together!

  • They wonder what Boner is thinking when thinking doesn’t enter into it. Clearly the health of the Nation is not his priority.He could have done the right thing a long time ago,but he would rather remain employed.

  • Why do the republican’ts think, that compromise is doing things their way. What a crock…indignant mental midgets, with their balls in their eyes.

  • Why do the republican’ts think, that compromise is doing things their way. What a crock…indignant mental midgets, with their balls in their eyes.

  • Boehner is nothing more than a puppet for the extremists in the Republican party as well as the Tea Party. He has no control whatsoever over them. Even though they were handily defeated in last year’s national election, they don’t care one iota about carrying out the will of the American people. They seek to carry out their agenda by “hook-or-by-crook.” Boehner and his party, for so long, have had a political agenda and ideas that they want to force on Americans. They remain as intransigent as ever in opposing President Obama at every turn, no matter if they supported in the past anything he currently proposes. Boehner, Republicans, and the Tea Party are evil and destructive forces that have invaded our society and seek to destroy it for political gain. They are like a malignant tumor on the soul of America. All of these evil and antichrist factions need to be annihilated and obliterated!

  • countrybumpkin44

    He is the THINKER and Boehner is the SPEAKER.