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John Boehner Admits He’s Completely Clueless About The Republican Sequester
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told David Gregory in an exclusive interview on Meet the Press today, “I don’t know whether it’s going to hurt the econonmy or not. I don’t think anyone quite understands how the sequester is really going to work.”
Watch here from NBC:
Boehner continued, “I don’t think anyone quite understands how it gets resolved.”
So, Republicans like Paul Ryan have been pushing for this thing they don’t understand. John Boehner announced that he got 98% of what he wanted when the Budget Control Act of 2011 was signed into law, which included sequester, as a direct result of Republicans threatening to fail to pay off the debt they’d already aquired by raising the debt ceiling.
Boehner scoffed at the idea that sequester would be bad (after warning us earlier that it would be very, very bad), suggesting that since air traffic controllers weren’t laid off yet, all was well. The full impact of the cuts won’t kick in for a month, and Boehner should understand at least this much about his party’s idea. That didn’t stop Boehner from insinuating that the President wasn’t being truthful about the impact of sequester.
Boehner should have a chat with his colleague Eric Cantor (R-VA) (who happily took responsibility for this mess before it was an actual mess) after the hits make themselves apparent in Virginia, where the economy is largely dependent upon the Department of Defense and military contractors. Experts predict Virginia sliding into a recession as a result of sequestration.
Boehner then tried to sell Republicans refusing to raise revenue by comparing it to average Americans making things work in a tough economy, “Every American, in these tough economic times, has to find a way to balance their budget. They’ve got to make choices. They expect Washington to live within its means and to make choices as well.”
Yes, indeed, Speaker, they do. But average Americans aren’t refusing to work for a living and expecting to pay for their living expenses via cuts to movies and dinners out alone. You see, most of us have to do this thing called work. We do that in order to make this thing called revenue. Revenue is used to pay the mortgage and buy food. Most of us can’t cut our way out of trouble without revenue and you’d be hard pressed to find an American who would turn down additional revenue (pay).
But that’s exactly what House Republicans are doing. They don’t want to ask corporations to pay a little or cut tax subsidies to oil companies and they refuse to entertain the idea of taking away tax breaks for corproate jets. Those things are off the table because they somehow lead to job creation in Republican fantasy.
Boehner claimed that Republicans are refusing to hit corporate taxes because they love the middle class. “American family’s wages aren’t growing. They’re being squeezed. And as a result, we’ve got to find a way through our tax code to promote more economic growth in our country.” Boehner then suggested Republicans are willing to close loopholes, but if this is so, then why don’t they do it, ” We can do this by closing loopholes, bringing the (tax) rates down for all Americans, making the tax code fairer. It will promote more economic growth.”
Tax rates are already very low for most Americans and lower tax rates does not equal more revenue. Increasing tax rates for all Americans is not on the table; rather, closing corporate loopholes and subsidies to oil companies is on the table (from the Democrats).
Without revenue we can’t pay down the debt. Allegedly, this entire debacle was started over Republican concern for the debt. It makes you wonder why they refuse to do the one thing that even Ronald Reagan knew had to happen in order to pay our bills.
Then we got this gem of soothing wisdom from the Speaker, “I don’t know whether it’s going to hurt the economy or not. I don’t think anyone quite understands how the sequester is really going to work.”
As I’ve been pointing out for weeks now, the notion of using the trigger of sequester in order to force compromise is a Republican idea. They’ve been holding it up as the holy grail of budget discipline for years. Paul Ryan has been touting it as great governance since 2004. That is, until it looked like it might actually happen. Republicans cheered it on as the great solution. Sequester is supposed to be so awful it forces both sides to the table, yet the Republicans refuse to raise any revenue.
Now that they’ve finally got it, now that it has gone into effect because Republicans refused to compromise on any loopholes or revenue, Speaker John Boehner admitted that he doesn’t know how to resolve it. In fact, he doesn’t think anyone understands how sequester is going to really work. Well done, Republicans.