Boehner takes his debt posturing to Wall Street

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is well aware of the fact that his chamber — and his party — have to raise the debt ceiling fairly soon. He knows the risks; he’s aware of the consequences; and he’s acknowledged many times, in public, that this isn’t optional.

But Boehner has also started to see the debt ceiling in a Blagojevich sort of way: an extension is “f**king golden” and a “f**king valuable thing.” He’s not just going to do the right thing “for nothing.” The Speaker wants “something real good.”

For those of us who care about the health of the country, this isn’t encouraging. Boehner has already reached out to financial industry leaders, asking how much time he has to screw around before doing lasting damage. He was told that “even pushing close to the deadline — or talking about it — could have grave consequences in the marketplace,” and top Wall Street executives and lobbyists have already urged Republicans to end this reckless nonsense.

Today, however, Boehner will head to Midtown Manhattan to announce the recklessness will continue.

House Speaker John Boehner will step up his efforts Monday to lay out a strategy for raising the debt ceiling to a crowd heavy on Wall Street players who are anxiously watching the fierce debate over the debt ceiling unfold.

In a speech to the Economic Club of New York in Midtown Manhattan, the Ohio Republican is set to reiterate to leading financial executives that he believes that reforming Medicare should be part of negotiations in raising the debt ceiling, saying that there needs to be “an honest conversation,” because the program is on an “unsustainable path if changes are not made,” according to sources familiar with the speech. Boehner also is expected to advocate for immediate cuts rather than deficit and debt targets preferred by some Democrats.

Boehner, the report added, is not expected to “say specifically that Medicare reforms must be part of any deal.”

Of course not. And Blagojevich didn’t say what he wanted in exchange for a vacant Senate seat, either. But Blagojevich said he wanted “something real good,” and Boehner is saying he wants
something really big.”

At this point, Boehner has already backed away from his party’s Medicare privatization/voucher scheme, though he apparently still expects some kind of Medicare cuts as a debt-ceiling ransom — one that Democrats aren’t willing to pay.