Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Taking a Second Look at Speaker Boehner as Fighter Against Big Government

A friend, who also happens to be a long-term acquaintance of House Speaker John Boehner, emails:

Lots for you to like in this speech I hope.

“When the economy grows, it's not because of a new government program or spending initiative. It's because a lot of people in the private sector worked hard, and were successful in overcoming the obstacles thrown in their path."

“The rash of ‘stimulus’ legislation passed by Congress in recent years has been one of those obstacles."

The recent stimulus spending binge hurt our economy and hampered private sector job creation in America."

“The effect of adding nearly a trillion dollars to our national debt -- money borrowed mostly from foreign investors -- caused a further erosion of economic confidence in America, and increased uncertainty for millions of private-sector job creators."

“The massive borrowing and spending by the Treasury Department crowded out private investment by American businesses of all sizes."

“Americans were told the stimulus would create millions of new jobs, and that most of them would be private sector jobs. It didn't happen."

“Job creators were looking for certainty. You don't get long-term certainty from short-term government programs."

“The lesson of the stimulus era is that short-term government intervention is no substitute for long-term economic investment, private initiative, and freedom."

“I believe it's time to leave that era behind."

“We've also seen the arrogance of government recently in the skyrocketing gas prices our citizens and businesses are dealing with.

“There's a clear connection between high gas prices and the weak dollar that some in Washington have quietly welcomed over the past couple of years.

"It's well known that when you print tons of money, the dollar sinks, and the price of food and energy rises -- significantly. Yet the American people are told there is nothing that can be done about it. This is simply untrue."
The quotes come from yesterday's address made by Speaker Boehner before the Economic Club of New York. And yes, there is a lot to like in the quotes above, but one must ask, "Will Speaker Boehner actually craft and support legislation in line with this rhetoric?"

Boehner's track record is not promising. Senator Rand Paul voted against the deficit agreement that Boehner negotiated and explained why he did so:
I voted against this short-term continuing resolution for the same reason I voted against the last one and the one before that – because it does not set us on a path to fixing the spending and debt problems our country is facing.
As I have said before, there is not much of a difference between a $1.5 trillion deficit and a $1.6 trillion deficit – both will lead us to a debt crisis that we may not recover from.
This was the view from National Review on Boehner's deficit deal:

And Politico identifies the problem with the speech Boehner made yesterday, when it is examined in its totality:

In sum, Boehner’s plan here was bold in broad strokes, but safe enough that it offered no true specifics that will hamstring him in the future. For example, he didn’t vow to let the debt ceiling lapse if doesn’t get the hike offset. He didn’t box himself in on any plan, including a plan favored by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to let U.S. coporations bring corporate profits back home at a lower rate — Boehner said it can only come with fundamental tax reform.
And don't get me started about "tax reform". There is another guy running on that platform. We don't need tax reform. We need tax reductions.

While Boehner's rhetoric is positive, it is much like a ship Captain who talks a lot about avoiding icebergs in the Arctic and makes promises about heading to the warmer Caribbean climate, but then spends all the day rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

The first clue is that Boehner speech is deck chair talk is the fact that it is all about negotiations to raise  the debt ceiling. That in itself means more spending not less. As Bob Murphy recently pointed out on Freedom Watch with Judge Napolitano, there is plenty of money coming in now to make the interest payments on the debt. The debt ceiling needs to be raised only because out of control spending continues, cut the spending and the debt ceiling doesn't need to be raised.

I will be pleasantly surprised if Boehner does push through serious cuts in government spending, but I don't see it. Despite the rhetoric, he is a part of the system that is the problem. His deficit deal is evidence enough of that. The posing and posturing on raising the debt ceiling will continue, but in the end it will be raised and spending will advance. Boehner is much to much a believer in government solutions for many, many things that should be left to private enterprise.The proof of this is that he simply doesn't come up with vast swaths of where government can be cut. It can be argued that maybe he is not doing so for strategic reasons. But the proof will be laid out for all when the debt ceiling is ultimately raised, with minimal in spending cuts in the here and now, and long in cuts in the forever land of years down the road, when they will be monkeyed with at that time to unlock the key for more spending.

I am looking to be proved wrong, but in Texas, the way I see things, they would call Boehner an all hat, and no cattle, cowboy.


  1. Do we really need to take a second look at one of the main backers of "No Child Left Behind" ?
    I think the first look tells you all you need to know.

  2. Speeches are easy.

    Being a clown is hard.

    Boehner makes being a clown look easy.

  3. Boehner must be defeated in the next election. He has been in D.C. too long. He is not part of the problem, he is the problem.

  4. Boehner is a dishonest idiot. In his speech he did not mention Social Security and he claims he will not allow tax increases. He did not mention SS because he knows if he tells the truth and states his desire to dismantle it, the people will dismantle him the way they did to Bush. Anyone who thinks the deficit problem can be solved without tax increases is a moron.

    Stop farting around: 20% across the board cuts immediately. Next year do it again. Do not waste time bickering over which program to cut or eliminate - that will get nowhere. No layoffs, just pay cuts with no reduced work hours and no overtime to make up the difference. Existing contracts will be cut 20% and scope reduced to match the new budget.


  5. In his speech to the Economic Club of NY, Boner says No New Taxes. Balancing the budget without higher taxes is impossible. There will have to be huge spending cuts AND higher taxes - that's OK - better than total collapse and the resulting anarchy. Boner thinks cutting a few Trillions over the next decade is a big accomplishment. All that will accomplish is the demise of the USA - we need a trillion cut this year, and another trillion the year after that. Plus higher taxes to start paying down the insane debt. People around the world will gain confidence in the dollar, they'll be willing to spend in the USA, the economy will grow, gold and silver prices will drop (and I'll buy more), and things will start to look good after about 5 or 10 years of paying on the debt. Boner needs to wake up, quit wet-dreaming about eliminating Social Security and do something that will help this nation. But he won't he's an idiot bought and paid for by the big money boys.