Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 17, 2011

BOEHNER TRIES TO WALK BACK 'SO BE IT'.... House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) created some trouble for himself this week, talking about his caucus' plans to make unemployment worse on purpose.

Boehner was asked Tuesday about expected job losses as a result of Republican budget cuts, and he replied, "In the last two years, under President Obama, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs. If some of those jobs are lost, so be it."

As a factual matter, Boehner was simply wrong about the figure. But as a matter of basic decency, it was bizarre to hear Washington's most powerful Republican admit that Americans would lose their jobs as the result of the GOP plan.

Today, Boehner tried to walk it back, but his new line isn't much better than the old one.

After Democrats seized earlier this week on a comment by Boehner, in which he said that if Americans lose work because of spending cuts, "so be it," Boehner said he didn't want to see anyone lose their job.

"I don't want anyone to lose their job, whether they're a federal employee or not," Boehner said at his weekly press conference. "But come on, we're broke."

It's nice that the Speaker doesn't "want" to make unemployment worse, but personal motivations are really only a small part of the problem here.

Credible estimates suggest Boehner's own budget plan would force 800,000 to 1 million Americans from their jobs. Are we now expected to believe that the Speaker doesn't "want" this to happen, but he's willing to do it anyway?

As for the notion that "we're broke," it's curious that Boehner pushed a $3 billion earmark this week, intending to build an engine for the Defense Department doesn't want and doesn't need. If "we're broke," why does the Speaker think we have money to waste? For that matter, why did Boehner push expensive tax breaks, without paying for them, if "we're broke"?

And more to the point, are we likely to be less "broke" if we force a million American workers into unemployment?

Today's defense, such as it is, seems to be about making Boehner appear less callous. That's fine, as far as it goes. But the point here isn't the Speaker's emotional state -- the point is he supports a plan that would deliberately make unemployment worse, which sane people should consider problematic. I don't care what the Speaker prefers in some ideal scenario; I care that he wants to hand out a million pink slips in the midst of a jobs crisis.

Steve Benen 11:20 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (19)

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Comments

We're only broke because there is a Democrat in the White House.

Posted by: Barbara on February 17, 2011 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

I guess the prospect of a thousand Ohioans losing their jobs building an unnecessary jet engine might have caused him to rethink a little.

Posted by: wordtypist on February 17, 2011 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

"But come on, we're broke."

If we are, Orange Julius, then you can look in the mirror and see one of the great enablers of this financial fiasco!

NOW can everyone see how great a Speaker Pelosi was?

Posted by: c u n d gulag on February 17, 2011 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

When will we hear Mr. Boehner say, "I'd love to extend those tax cuts, but come on, we're broke!"?

Posted by: Chris on February 17, 2011 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Today's defense, such as it is, seems to be about making Boehner appear less callous.

But we know Boehner isn't callous. He cries at practically anything!

Just not lost jobs, apparently.

Posted by: David Bailey on February 17, 2011 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

This country elected these people. This country deserves everything it gets. People should get off their lazy asses and vote. Obama needs to do a better job of using the bully pulpit. He totally underestimated the degree of stupidity in this electorate. He figured if they collectively elected him then they must have some sort of moral barometer. NOT!

Posted by: stevio on February 17, 2011 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

It reminds me about Cheneys'"So?" comment when pressed on the false evidence we went to war on.

Authoritarian leaders are naturally sociopathic, they really don't care for humanity, it is only when their actions or comments get exposed, and they feel it neccessary to keep their grip of power that they back track, and "appear" to be compassionate in any form.

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

Posted by: Al B Tross on February 17, 2011 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

"I've sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn't want to do it. I felt I owed it to them."
- Judge Smails

Posted by: caddyshack on February 17, 2011 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

If we are broke, layoff some of YOUR staffers!

Posted by: Tigershark on February 17, 2011 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

"We're Broke!"
But we still need those billionaire's tax cuts and war machine financing chop, chop.

--Dishonest, orange fucker.

Posted by: ckelly on February 17, 2011 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

When will we hear Mr. Boehner say, "I'd love to extend those tax cuts, but come on, we're broke!"?
Posted by: Chris

NAILED IT!!!

Posted by: Hmmmmm on February 17, 2011 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

As observed by Michael O'Hare over @ RBC, we (meaning astute voters and our loved ones who believe in a decent society moving forward) need to hone in on the sloppy use of pronouns.

As such, note Boehner's use of "we" and try to pinpoint the antecedent of his "we." Yes, I'm broke, but my cousin isn't. The federal government should never be broke unless that's the way Boehner and his cohorts (the 2000 lb. elephants he hangs out with) want it!

Our democratically elected government is capable of providing needed services and help American citizens of all stripes make ends meet a bit better, but our currently elected majority sees it differently.

The "we" I truly believe John was alluding to (if indeed he is an honest man) was the "we" of the Republican brand that is broken when it comes to ideas that can protect the American Middle Class and help our nation grow jobs!

Join with the good citizens of Wisconsin and show these Republicans their proposals are indecent!

Our current Republican leadership has forgotten that they can do something courageous - raise taxes on the top two percent income earners by 4%, but John and his buddies are all cowards! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on February 17, 2011 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Orange Julias, lolz..

Keep digging your graves R-tards. The fat, lazy, sleeping giant will awaken and squash your stupid orange ass all over the road.

Posted by: Trollop on February 17, 2011 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

...why did Boehner push expensive tax breaks, without paying for them, if "we're broke"?

Because tax cuts pay for themselves. Somehow.

Posted by: Grumpy on February 17, 2011 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

someone should ask boehner why it was more important to earmark an engine the dod didn't want when that money could protect the (arguable) salary + benefit equivalent of 25,000 federal workers? odd priorities for a guy who kept asking where the jobs were in 2010.

Posted by: me on February 17, 2011 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

the quickest, easiest way to stop this "we're broke" craziness is to elect a Republican, any Republican, president in 2012. Overnight, the "deficit" problem would disappear...like it did when Bush was pres.

Posted by: T2 on February 17, 2011 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

This "we're broke" crap kills me. You're never broke when you can > RAISE TAXES.

Posted by: SusanP on February 17, 2011 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

He can always work for free. Or quit.

Posted by: Julene on February 17, 2011 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

I think what he meant to say is, "The system is broke, so my friends and I are looting it!"

Posted by: acontra on February 18, 2011 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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