John Boehner left work early to go on a seven-week paid vacation, but the Speaker felt compelled to call the unemployed lazy while Congress is set to pass the fewest pieces of legislation in sixty years.
During his speech at the American Enterprise Institute, Speaker Boehner said,
We’ve got a record number of Americans not working. We’ve got a record number of Americans stuck, if you will. And I think it’s our obligation to help provide the tools for them to use to bring them into the mainstream of American society. I think this idea that’s been born over the last – maybe out of the economy, over the last couple of years that, you know, I really don’t have to work. You know, I don’t really want to do this; I think I’d just rather sit around. This is a very sick idea for our country.
I grew up – most of you know, I grew up in a family with 11 brothers and sisters. My dad owned a bar. And if you wanted something, you worked for it. Now, I don’t know that was any moment my entire bringing up that I didn’t have some kind of a job, whether throwing newspapers, cutting grass, mopping floors at the bar, tending the bar, dealing with those characters that are walking every day. Trust me, I did it all. But I do think that his idea on the Earned Income Tax Credit has an awful lot of merit.
The problem is that Boehner made these remarks as the House left work early to go on a seven week taxpayer paid for vacation. The House left town last week and will not come back into session until after the November elections. This is the earliest departure for the House since 1960.
Roll Call reported that Boehner’s Congress is on pace to pass the fewest pieces of legislation in 60 years,
The 113th Congress, which passed a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through Dec. 11 before heading out of town, has seen just 163 pieces of legislation enacted.
That total, from the House Clerk, tracks only through August, but it’s more than 100 pieces of legislation below the 283 measures enacted in the 112th Congress and well below the 383 in the 111th Congress.
Another handful of bills, including the continuing resolution, have been sent to the president, but unless the 113th has an unprecedented burst of productivity when members return for the lame duck, the die is cast.
Before John Boehner states that the millions of Americans who are unemployed don’t want to work, it would be nice if he did the job that the taxpayers are paying him to do. The myth that the unemployed lack jobs because they are lazy is a crutch that Republicans have been using for decades in order to justify their refusal to help grow the economy and create jobs.
The life of an unemployed person is not easy or fun. Economic hardship is not something that millions of Americans aspire to. Boehner loves to toss the buzzwords jobs and the middle class into his public remarks, but he obviously doesn’t care about creating jobs and helping the middle class.
The level of entitled arrogance behind Boehner’s remarks is astounding. John Boehner should walk a mile in an unemployed person’s shoes before he judges them. Even better, voters should take away his job and then we’ll see what John Boehner has to say about the unemployed.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association