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John Boehner
(Reuters/Larry Downing)
 
Yesterday, John Boehner outlined his list of demands for raising the debt ceiling, saying that unless the Obama administration and Senate Democrats accept trillions of dollars in Republican spending cuts, the House GOP would not increase the federal debt limit, even if that leads government default, a collapse of global financial markets, and another severe recession.

Today, the White House compared his proposal to economic terrorism:

White House spokesman Jay Carney said both Democrats and Republicans agree on the need for deficit reduction. But it would be tantamount to holding the U.S. economy "hostage" by tying the debate over the debt limit to budget cuts, he said.

"To hold one hostage to the other remains extremely unwise," Carney told reporters on Air Force One as Obama flew to Texas.

It's important to remember that the President Obama has already proposed a responsible fiscal plan. So has the House Progressive Caucus. Their plans would reduce the deficit by more than the GOP plan, and they would do so in a balanced fashion consistent with the values of most Americans.

The GOP plan, on the other hand, pays for massive tax cuts for the wealthy by slashing health care for the poor and ending Medicare as we know it.

The amazing thing here is that the GOP is making this threat despite having passed a funding bill that adds $1.6 trillion to the the national debt and they've passed a budget resolution that would add $6 trillion to the national debt.

And now Boehner is saying that unless House Republicans get their way on fiscal policy, they will intentionally tank the economy by refusing to lift the debt ceiling. It's one thing to negotiate in good faith, but that's economic terrorism. Republicans need to find a way to walk back from the ledge. They don't realize how close they are to letting this get out of control.

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