Boehner’s ‘not an economist’

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was asked today if it would hurt the U.S. economy if the payroll tax cut expires at the end of the month. He replied:

“I’m not an economist. I don’t know what kind of an impact it’s going to have on the economy.”

Is that so. Here’s a follow-up question: would it hurt the U.S. economy if Bush-era tax rates expire at the end of 2012? I have a hard time believing that Boehner would respond, “I’m not an economist. I don’t know what kind of an impact it’s going to have on the economy.” Call it a hunch.

For that matter, since when does Boehner care what economists think anyway? Economists begged him not to hold the debt ceiling hostage, have urged him not to pursue an austerity agenda, and pleaded with him to invest in job creation. In each instance, the Speaker blew off the concerns of those who know exactly what kind of an impact those policies would have on the economy.

For the record, the consensus among economists is that the domestic economy would take a significant hit if Republicans killed the payroll break extension.

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Steve Benen

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.