BOEHNER THINKS ‘WE’RE BROKE,’ BUT CAN AFFORD WASTEFUL SPENDING IN OHIO…. In justifying his support for putting up to a million Americans out of work, on purpose, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said yesterday, “We’re broke.”

It was an odd defense for deliberately-higher unemployment. We’re facing a budget crunch, but it won’t be solved by forcing hundreds of thousands of workers from their jobs, and it was Boehner who demanded the fiscal problems get worse just two months ago with additional tax breaks.

But there’s an even more obvious problem. Boehner may be under the impression “we’re broke,” but the Speaker nevertheless believes there’s enough money left to spend it on a pointless defense project that will benefit his home state.

Among the savings proposed by the Obama administration (and before that, the Bush administration) is to end the wasteful effort to develop a second engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The Pentagon is satisfied with the engine it has, made by Pratt & Whitney, and it doesn’t want the second engine, made by General Electric and others. Eliminating the second engine would save $450 million this year and some $3 billion over 10 years.

But it just so happens that a GE plant that develops the second engine employs 7,000 people in Evendale, Ohio, near Boehner’s district. Rather than take a so-be-it attitude toward jobs his constituents may hold, he’s backing an earmark-like provision in the spending legislation to keep funding the unneeded GE engine.

So, let me get this straight. John Boehner doesn’t care if his agenda puts hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work, on purpose. He doesn’t care if his cuts undermine education, law enforcement, infrastructure, and public safety. He doesn’t care if his budget plan undermines economic growth, competitiveness, and innovation.

But if the Obama administration wants to cut wasteful spending on a military project the Pentagon doesn’t want, all of a sudden, Boehner not only cares, but he’s pushing unnecessary spending that “looks, feels, and smells very much like an earmark.”

Rachel Maddow’s right — Boehner just isn’t good at his job.

A House vote on whether to waste nearly $3 billion over the next few years on an engine the Pentagon doesn’t want is expected later today.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.