Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Boehner calls for another debt ceiling fight, prepared once again to take country to brink of economic apocalypse


"We shouldn't dread the debt limit," said Speaker Boehner yesterday at the (right-wing) 2012 Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit in Washington. "We should welcome it. It’s an action-forcing event in a town that has become infamous for inaction." 

Translation: My ass is on the line as speaker. I'm already dangling by a thread after trying to make a deal with the president last year, a really great deal for Republicans but never mind, and much of the party wants me out simply because I'm not an ideological extremist, even if I had the president agreeing to some major concessions and know a lot about getting shit done. That idiot Cantor's just waiting for me to fall. But I'm not going to go without a fight! You want another debt ceiling battle. Bring... it... on. So what if it will once again take the country to the edge of the abyss? So what if we're risking economic suicide. It's my ass we're talking about, for Christ's sake! I'm just giving the Tea Party, and my Tea Party-dominated party, what it wants. Besides, you don't think Obama will cave once again? Of course he will. I'll hold out for max concessions from him. No tax increases, no sacrifices for the wealthy, just massive cuts across the board, especially to programs that aid the disadvantaged. Who don't vote Republican anyway, so screw 'em. See, it's totally win-win for me. I've learned my lesson. My ass comes first, my party comes second... and the country? Well, it's fucked anyway, so who gives a fuck?

Thanks, Boehner.



You can find the full text of Boehner's speech here.

According to The Hill, Obama and Boehner "clashed" over the debt ceiling during a meeting at the White House yesterday. "As long as I'm around here," he told the president, "I'm not going to allow a debt-ceiling increase without doing something serious about the debt."

But of course the president has shown time and time again that he's willing to tackle the debt, including by putting significant cuts to key entitlement programs on the table. Republicans want those cuts and more but refuse to compromise on tax increases.

If anyone's not "serious about the debt," it's Boehner, and he's actually one of the more sensible Republicans in the House. Indeed, pretty much the entire Republican Party refuses to accept a deal that would give them much of what they want in terms of historic cuts to government spending. All they'd need to do is agree to a moderate revenue increase on the other side -- in other words, to a decidedly center-right deal that involves Obama and the Democrats selling out some core liberal-progressive principles.

But... no. The Republicans are so ideologically extreme, so entrenched in their anti-tax abolutism, that they can't even accept a deal that is almost entirely in their favor.

Which means that once again Republican are going to hold the country hostage over the debt ceiling, making completely unreasonable demands and seriously endangering the economy -- not just the national one but the global one as well.

Needless to say, the president will need to try to drive public opinion on this, reinforcing the narrative that the Republicans are acting irresponsibly by blocking a debt ceiling increase (something both Democratic and Republican presidents have regularly requested and received) and that it is the extremism and obstructionism of the Republicans that is paralyzing American democracy and hindering economic recovery.

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