"We do not have an immediate debt crisis"
-- Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) on ABC's "This Week"
I was going to write something about this yesterday, but I was only able to unclench my typing fingers just now.
I almost got them relaxed enough when Mr. Boehner, the Republican leader in the House, went on in his next sentences to talk about "looming" crises -- which, honestly, may or may not be "looming" at all since it turns out this is the same fellow who's been crying for years about our "immediate" crisis, which he now explains he wasn't really quite telling the truth about. However, after he finished, and just as I was able to get my fingers moving again, the host of the show, Martha Raddatz, asked the Republican leader how long we have therefore to resolve this once-immediate, now looming crisis. To which Speaker Boehner answered --
"Nobody knows where this is. It could be a year or two years, three years, four years. The-- it's not an immediate problem."
Okay, so there went the clenched fingers again. Just when I had a grasp back in my grasp. So, it's not really an "immediate" crisis, but a "looming" crisis. Except that -- nobody know how looming it is. It could be three years or even four years. But the thing is, if "nobody knows," that means it could be five years. Or 10 years. Or 10,000 years. It probably isn't the latter, but -- "nobody knows where it is"! And the truth is, if Mr. Obama's actions keep bringing the budget deficit down, as all studies show he has, then maybe...maybe when those four Boehner Years are up, there won't even be a "looming" crisis. Maybe there won't ever be a crisis. For those 10,000 years. "Nobody knows." In fact, according to Mr. Boehner, the top Republican, the only thing anyone knows -- The Only Thing -- is: "It's not an immediate problem."
Something he's been saying it is for years.
And then, I didn't get a chance to even try and get my fingers wiggling again, because the very next thing that Ms. Raddatz asked, the very next was -- "So, you agree with the president on that?"
And John Boehner, Republican Speaker of the House, answered, "The Amer-- yes."
He agrees with President Obama. He agrees with President Obama saying that it's not an immediate crisis, which is why we shouldn't treat it like an immediate crisis, and make budget cuts like it's an immediate crisis. Because it's not an immediate crisis. Just like President Obama has said. And he agrees with.
For all the outraged (outraged! "You lie!" It's time to lead!), vitriolic, hyperbolic Republican charges against how President Obama has been trying to get the economy moving by slowly, carefully, responsibly bringing down the deficit over time and focusing on job growth, rather than slashing, harmful budget cuts, and then as a united Republican party blocking his efforts on their insistence that we have an "immediate" budget crisis, Republican Boehner, who has been leading the GOP charge against President Obama, now says that, well, gee, in fact, y'know he actually does agree with the president all along.
I'm not even going to attempt to describe how harmful Republican actions have been about all this for years. What I'll do is link to an article I wrote on August 3, 2011, "'My Country, Far Right or Wrong'", in which I explain why Republican actions blocking economic growth for pure political gain have bordered just on the good side of treasonous.
(I'm linking to the Open Salon version of the piece because the Huffington Post editors required that I tone down a couple of the harsher criticisms.)
By ginning up false hysteria in their party about a debt crisis that's so monumental and so immediate that it must be addressed at once, first, now, before anything, it has forced real economic growth into the back seat. There is certainly a deficit issue that must be faced -- but there are ways of doing it properly, that promote recovery, with judicious cuts and revenue increases and proper stimulus as the President has been proposing, and there are ways that only achieve a political goal and hinder growth. After all, when you force budget cuts out of what you now acknowledge is a fake-crisis, it is, in fact, jobs that are getting cut. And it is national economic recovery that takes it in the kneecaps.
The point of all this Republican hypocrisy that has hurt the United States is something else I wrote about, two months earlier. It was an article called -- "What 'Cutting the Debt' is Really About." That GOP whining about "the budget deficit" has nothing to do with the budget deficit at all, but their hope on the far right to cut Social Security, Medicare and as many social programs as they could.
And John Boehner, Republican Speaker of the House, who should know, just told you that it's so.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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