We just saw President Barack Obama go to Cleveland, where he engaged in some verbal slapping around of Republican opponents of his budget. He took a shot at Speaker of the House John Boehner, pointing out that the evidence – not ideology – shows that trickle-down economics doesn’t work. He touted the success of his own economic policies, which are undeniable.
John Boehner wasn’t sitting idly by, but was also on the attack. Cory Fritz wrote at Speaker.gov yesterday:
His own budget plan is a disaster. His ‘middle-class economics’ are a bust. Democrats are bailing on his priorities. So what is President Obama going to do? He’s going to Cleveland to try and start a partisan political brawl.
It’s almost as though Boehner is living in an alternate reality. Of course he is, and it is one of his own making. Fritz cites USA TODAY, which reported “White House officials from President Obama on down are using a series of events to trash the GOP…”
Sorry, Cory Fritz, but the GOP has trashed itself. Obama is just drawing attention to the fact.
Hypocritically, after six years of relentless race- and politically-based Republican attacks on the president, and six years of Republican refusal to govern, Fritz claims,
Sadly this is just the latest example of President Obama putting campaign-style events and partisan politics above governing. And it’s all a ruse designed to distract from the president’s own problems, including:
- His budget, which includes $2.1 trillion in new tax hikes, a spending increase of 65 percent over 10 years, $8.5 trillion in new debt and never balances…. ever.
- His inability to win over his own party on priorities like an AUMF, cybersecurity and trade (see Sherrod Brown).
- And his economic plan that “doesn’t actually help the average middle-class taxpayer.”
To the first point, the president doesn’t have any problems except for a House that has refused to participate in the parliamentary process since the day he was elected. From the very beginning, when they announced their plan to make his presidency a failure and render him a one-term president, they have played partisan-politics while ignoring their duty to govern.
In the process, they have become the paid goons of the Koch brothers, and betrayed their sacred duty to the American people and the United States Constitution. If greater infamy than this is to be found in Congress, it is among 47 Republicans in the United States Senate.
To the second point, the Republicans pretend to care about a balanced budget, but for some reason, a balanced budget is only an issue now (like executive orders) that we have a black president. You can look at the last 60 years, and as Boehner himself pointed out the other day, we’ve had a balanced budget in only seven of those years, four of them by a Democrat. They pound the myth of tax and spend liberals, but it is only a myth.
The funny thing about trying to present NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act NAFTA Worker Security Act) as an Obama policy is that in 1993, when it was passed, more Democrats in Congress voted NO than voted YES, while almost three-quarters of Republicans voted YES (34-10 in the Senate and 132-43 in the House).
In fact, negotiations for NAFTA began in 1990, under the presidency of George H.W. Bush and the treaty was duly signed by Bush on December 17, 1992, leaving ratification as the next step.
NAFTA was ratified only after President Bill Clinton added to it the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC) and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) which protect workers and the environment respectively.
Just to be clear: Yes, Obama supports NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – I am personally opposed to both – but at this time, Barack Obama was teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. He was no more president when NAFTA came about than he was when the Twin Towers were attacked, Republican lies notwithstanding. Let’s not pretend NAFTA is an Obama problem exclusively.
Bill O’Reilly, as he has about so much else, has lied about Republican support for NAFTA, claiming in 2006 that “[m]ost Republicans didn’t want” NAFTA. Obviously, that’s a lie. Again, the facts disprove it. Here too, Frtiz makes it sound as though Brown opposes Obama solely, but if you look at the actual article cited, it says,
Sen. Sherrod Brown made it clear yesterday that he will oppose Republican efforts next year to provide President Barack Obama with the same broad authority past presidents have used to negotiate trade agreements.
Fritz descends to comedy gold when he refers to Obama’s failure to help middle class taxpayers, linking to another article full of lies on speaker.gov, as though linking to one set of lies turns another set of lies into facts.
It is a sad commentary on a GOP that stands for nothing beyond opposition to Obama that, while openly and repeatedly lying about the facts, Fritz points to an article that claims it is Obama’s message that “doesn’t line up with the facts.”
“Meanwhile,” Fritz claims, “in the House, Republicans will be using today to move forward with markup and debate on our budget, which balances within 10 years and paves the way to job creation and new opportunities for all Americans”:
Republicans have passed bill after bill this year to help make a difference for middle-class families – including bipartisan proposals to expand 529 plans to help make college more affordable, approve the Keystone XL pipeline and create at least 42,000 jobs, and restore the 40-hour work week to help Americans hit hardest by the president’s health care law.
Right. Anti-abortion bill after anti-abortion bill is a big help to Americans, and those 35 jobs from the Keystone XL pipeline will make all the difference.
It is a lie that Boehner is restoring the 40-hour work week, because that is just a thinly disguised attempt to take away healthcare from the workers affected by it, in the same way as the much-touted human-trafficking bill is just a thinly disguised anti-abortion bill.
And again – and not least – there is the little matter of taking healthcare away from 20 million Americans.
And letting them sicken and die.
Good stuff, Boehner. The Kochs bless you and keep you. Because we won’t.
Eviscerated by President Obama in Cleveland, Speaker Boehner had no option but to try to bury Obama’s budget in well-tried but obvious lies.
“It’s quite the contrast in leadership,” Fritz tells us, and he is right about that, at least. It is quite the contrast in leadership: A president who genuinely wants to help the middle class and make the 1 percent and corporations pay their fair share, and a House Speaker who wants to further enrich his corporate owners at the expense of hard-working American families, fast-tracking them on the road to servitude.
Pick the one you prefer, America.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.