Boehner makes his case

BOEHNER MAKES HIS CASE…. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) delivered the Republicans’ weekly address this morning, and with less than a week before a shutdown deadline, Boehner did his best to present a compelling pitch.

“Despite some recent signs of life, our economy still isn’t creating enough jobs. And one of the reasons for that is the spending binge that’s been going on here in Washington.”

Um, no, that doesn’t make any sense. Government spending helped create jobs and prevent the economy from falling off a cliff. To say that spending is preventing job creation is gibberish. (Has he not seen my chart?)

“Washington’s inability to get spending under control is creating uncertainty for our job creators.”

Are we still talking about “uncertainty”? Because it’s always been a transparent sham, and it’s not getting better with age.

“Last year, when the President tried to put forward another big-spending budget on top of his ‘stimulus,’ Americans rose up and demanded we stop the spending binge and start working together to create a better environment for job creation. They put a new majority in charge of the House with clear orders: crash the spending party in Washington so our economy can get back to creating jobs.”

Nice try, but, no. All of the available evidence suggests Americans voted for Republicans because the economy was lousy, but the demand for sweeping spending cuts exists only in the creative GOP imagination. Just the opposite is true — polls show the public opposed to the cuts Republicans are so eager to make.

“Now, you’ve heard Democratic leaders claim an agreement has been reached on this issue, but let me be clear. There is no agreement. Republicans continue to fight for the largest spending cuts possible to help end Washington’s job-crushing spending binge.”

I actually like the line about the “largest” cuts “possible,” because it points to GOP flexibility. Boehner isn’t demanding all of his caucus’ cuts, only the most he can get.

“To support job creation in America, we need to keep the cuts coming, and we need to do much, much more. That’s why it’s important for Congress to get moving and pass a final bill that resolves last year’s budget mess while making real spending cuts — so we can tackle the bigger challenges facing job creation.”

I also like the “get moving and pass a final bill” line, which is almost certainly directed at his own party. Boehner doesn’t actually want a shutdown.

“The president has also asked Congress to increase the national debt limit — without any commitment to stopping the runaway spending that got us into this mess in the first place.”

Right, like the “runaway spending” on two wars, No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, and the financial industry bailout, not one penny of which was paid for. Hey John, who voted for all of these, insisting that the costs be thrown onto the debt? If memory serves, that’d be you.

Boehner ultimately concluded that his party’s jobs agenda would be built around deregulation, oil drilling, tax cuts, and taking public investment out of the economy.

The more things change….

Update: I’m reminded in comments that the notion that spending “got us into this mess in the first place” is also absurd. The principal “mess” is the economy, which spending helped improve, and if Boehner is referring to the deficit, the driving factor in the budget shortfall is tax cuts. It’s interesting the Speaker didn’t think to get his facts straight before recording the address.