House Speaker John Boehner was asked this morning about the perception that Republicans are “servants of the rich.” Not surprisingly, he disagrees.
“That’s very unfair,” Boehner said in an interview aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “Listen, I come from a family of 12. My dad owned a bar. I’ve got brothers and sisters on every rung of the economic ladder.”
I’m tempted to respond that this argument is foolish, but in reality, it’s not even an argument. The charge, backed by years of unyielding evidence, is that he and his caucus fight for policies that almost exclusively benefit the wealthy. The Speaker’s response is, well, that he has an economically diverse immediate family. That’s about as compelling as a bigot who says some of his best friends are members of a minority group.
“What our job here in Congress is to do — and the reason I came here 21 years ago — was to make sure that the American dream that was available to us is available for our kids and our grandkids. That — most people don’t believe that’s the case today. And, frankly, I’ve got concerns that it may not be the case,” the Ohio Republican went on. “We can’t have government debt that’s snuffing out the future for our kids and grandkids….”
Oh good, Boehner’s imitating a deficit hawk again.
Look, it’s a simple matter of credibility. Boehner voted for the Bush tax cuts, and added the costs to the national debt. Boehner then voted to finance the war in Afghanistan by adding the costs to the national debt. He then voted to put the costs of the war in Iraq onto the national debt. Boehner supported a massive expansion of the government’s role in health care, Medicare Part D, and voted to pile all of its costs right onto the national debt. He then backed the financial industry bailout, and added the bill to the national debt.
Last December, Boehner demanded an extension of Bush-era tax rates, didn’t even try to pay for them, and insisted the costs be added to the national debt.
This year, the Speaker has been offered a variety of Democratic debt-reduction plans, including President Obama’s Grand Bargain, and Boehner has turned them all down.
The debt is “snuffing out the future for our kids and grandkids”? Does Boehner really think anyone should take him seriously on this?