In today’s Cincinnati Enquirer a guest column by John Boehner (a frequent occurrence) the House Minority Leader complains about the stimulus bill and lays out the Republican strategy to come over the next two years. In part Boehner writes:
..........so many have called the "stimulus" plan the very worst kind of "generational theft." We are literally stealing from future generations in order to pay for a spending spree now that we cannot afford.
Make no mistake, my Republican colleagues and I believe that Washington needs to act in order to pull our economy from a recession and help families and small businesses feeling financial pain. And while I hope the bill President Obama recently signed into law will help, I do not believe it is the right prescription. Instead, letting families, small businesses, job-seekers and home-buyers keep more of what they earn will spur savings, investment, and most importantly, job creation to help get our economy back on track.
More on the flip:
Were I to respond to the Enquirer, the likelihood my response would be published is very small. So I’ll publish it here. The battle lines are being drawn.
A Rebuke of Boehnerism
So the good "Dr." Boehner offers his prescription. Stay the course, more of the same; tax cuts and deregulation, the siren song he and his Republican colleagues have been singing now for decades. He’s like the old time "physicians" who thought bleeding with leeches could cure cancer or anything else that ailed you.
He neglects to mention it has in part been this very prescription that has brought us to the sad state of affairs we find today. It is well understood that the business cycle will happen regardless of who or which party occupies the White House. From that standpoint, blaming George Bush for a recession is a bit unfair.
But what is fair is to recognize that our current economic woes are far worse because deregulation and lax enforcement allowed the Bernie Maddofs of the world to loot the pocketbooks of unsuspecting investors. Deregulation allowed the banking industry to create the house of cards that is now tumbling down before our very eyes. And the enormous mountain of debt left behind by George Bush and his cohorts in Congress (like Boehner) make responding to the crises that much more difficult.
So disaster is looming. What to do about it? Economists almost uniformly say that federal investment to create jobs and jump start demand is the only solution that will work. But that doesn’t conform to John Boehner’s dogma. He complains loudly about the lack of "bi-partisanship," but when you look closely, what he really means is that the only acceptable policy Obama could have followed was to continue the Republican policies he inherited. We’ve seen how that worked out.
To cover his tracks Dr. Boehner throws around loaded words like "pork," his cronies go farther with "socialist" and "communist," but again if you look closely, almost anything that involves spending is "pork" by his definition. For him tax cuts are the answer. The hypocrisy of this given that Boehner and his Republican friends presided over the doubling of the national debt in less than eight years is breathtaking, they spent like drunken sailors for years and now there is little to show for it.
John Boehner is shamelessly gambling with the national welfare. His gamble is that in 2010, this recession will still be with us and he can then claim that Obama’s solution didn’t work, and seek to reclaim the majority in Congress based on that argument. Most serious observers agree that this mess is so bad it will take more than two years to correct. So get ready, it’s coming, the new contract on America.