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Boehner: Cut Trillions For Debt Limit Hike

From an outraged New York Times:

Boehner Outlines Demands on Debt Limit Fight

By CARL HULSE
May 9, 2011

WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner said Monday that Republicans would insist on trillions of dollars in federal spending cuts in exchange for their support of an increase in the federal debt limit sought by the Obama administration to prevent a government default later this year.

In his most specific statement to date on what Republicans will demand in the debt ceiling fight, Mr. Boehner told the Economic Club of New York that the level of spending reductions should exceed the amount of the increase in borrowing power.

“Without significant spending cuts and changes to the way we spend the American people’s money, there will be no debt limit increase,” Mr. Boehner told members of New York’s business and finance community. “And cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given.” Mr. Boehner said those cuts should be in the trillions of dollars, not billions

Let’s hope Mr. Boehner was not just pandering to his audience there.

His address came after a leading Senate Democrat, Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, accused Mr. Boehner of “playing with fire” by holding the debt limit increase hostage to a push for spending cuts and budget restrictions.

Will Mr. Schumer be chastised for his inflammatory rhetoric?

“The idea of refusing to raise the debt ceiling should be taken off the table,” Mr. Schumer said in a conference call with reporters before the speech

Naturally, Mr. Schumer would want the GOP to foreswear the only leverage they have over spending at the moment.

In his remarks, the speaker expressed strong resistance to the effort by some Senate Democrats and President Obama for an alternative to enacting specific spending cuts as the price for increasing the debt limit: “triggers” that prompt automatic spending reductions and perhaps tax increases if Congress and the White House do not meet targets for lowering the deficit in coming years. That idea has emerged as providing the potential for compromise over the debt increase.

Naturally, Mr. Obama and the Democrats will fight tooth and nail any effort to curb spending. All of their feigned concern over the deficit is simply a ruse to get higher taxes – in order to increase spending. Which will just hasten our country’s economic death spiral.

Mr. Boehner said the reductions should be “actual cuts and program reforms, not broad deficit or debt targets that punt the tough questions to the future. And with the exception of tax hikes — which will destroy jobs — everything is on the table.”

This all sounds great. But we have heard it all before.

Acknowledging that many in the financial world are uneasy about the prospect that the government might not be able to make good on its financial obligations, Mr. Boehner said it would be more damaging to the nation if Congress granted the administration’s request without taking steps to curb deficit spending and bring down the federal debt.

“It would send a signal to investors and entrepreneurs everywhere that America still is not serious about dealing with our spending addiction,” Mr. Boehner said. “It would erode confidence in our economy and reduce the certainty for small businesses. And frankly I think it would kill even more American jobs.”

He is right you know. (In fact, we have been saying this for weeks.) In fact, refusing to raise the limit might be just the thing to convince them that we are finally getting serious about doing something about our runaway spending.

Mr. Boehner also said the debt talks should include “honest conversations” about how to rein in the costs of the Medicare program, and he advocated fundamental changes. Other senior Republicans acknowledged last week that any changes to the health insurance program for older Americans are unlikely to incorporate the party’s proposal to begin providing private insurance subsidies for future retirees.

It isn’t clear from this whether Mr. Boehner is still backing the Ryan Plan as far as Medicare goes, or not. Let’s hope that he isn’t.

The speaker managed his party’s negotiations with the White House and Senate Democrats this year over current spending and pushed his demands for cuts to the final hours, when a last-minute deal for about $38 billion in cuts avoided a federal government shutdown shortly before midnight on April 8.

The less said about that "deal," the better.

Mr. Schumer and Roger C. Altman, an investment banker and former Clinton administration Treasury official, said the consequences for the nation’s economy could be dire if the government defaulted for the first time in its history or if the debt-ceiling talks were pushed to the brink.

“If America were to default, even for 24 hours, that would have an unprecedented and a catastrophic impact on global financial markets and on American markets,” Mr. Altman said.

What a pant load. The US is not in any danger of defaulting.

But Mr. Boehner said the debt limit fight provided a unique opportunity. “I don’t want to allow this moment that we have in our history to pass without real action to solve our long-term economic problems,” he said.

Again, let’s hope he means it. This time.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

14 Responses to “Boehner: Cut Trillions For Debt Limit Hike”

  1. U NO HOO

    John Boehner, et als, “Just Say No!”

    If the Yes’ win so be it.

    If not here where?

    If not now when?

  2. proreason

    Boner will settle for a grilled cheese sandwich. He won’t want to upset the rubes prior to an election.

    • He’ll probably hold out for a fruity drink with an umbrella to go with his cheese sandwich. Then he’ll break into tears and totally wuss out. “I’ll hold out for trillions… what, something shiny? Where???… Oooooo…

  3. tranquil.night

    Boehner’s favorite sound-bite line is “as irresponsible as it would be not to raise the debt ceiling, it would be even more so to raise it without substantial/meaningful cuts/reforms.”

    Well you’re dealing with a Senate and President that intends to do just that, sir, and as you love to tell us you are ‘only 1/2 of 1/3..’

    So whacha gonna do about it? Hope for this mythical adult conversation? Talk, talk, talk until you cave completely? Or the more likely and even more cynical option – cut some grand compromise that we find out after a week of spin is more gimmickry, except this time with tax increase riders too.

    /spit

    You are still Fallen after that last failure and we are immune to your LieCraft. Should you desire Redemption, show us the money, or shut up and get out of the way.

  4. Freedom615

    Well said, tranquil. Needless to say I am not holding my breath waiting for Boehner to step up and really stand his ground. It’s sad to see what our country has become…

  5. oldpuppydixie

    Oh please, Johnnie. Who are you trying to kid? You limp-wrists haven’t the guts to stand up to the left and we all know it.

  6. Right of the People

    So this is what Nancy Pelosi looks like in a man’s suit. They ought to put a dress on this sissy. He’ll cave for sure then whine about it.

  7. Rusty Shackleford

    Boner’s resume’ contains the following remarks:

    Personal: I like to consistently set low goals and fail to meet them.

    My personal greatest accomplishment: Snatching defeat from the clutches of victory against all odds that should result otherwise.

    Favorite color: Plaid.

  8. BigOil

    Words. Just words.

    We already know how Boner’s one act play ends. His only card to play against the Marxists is his ability to shut down the government – and he has stated he won’t do it.

    Like most battles, this one was lost before it began.

  9. bobdog

    This may not be something y’all want to hear, but it should be remembered that Boehner speaks for only the Republican House. He does not have the legislative power to do anything except block the massive spending excesses by the wild-eyed liberals in the Senate or the White House, and the Democrats know it.

    Harry Reid is still pining for his Cowboy Poetry Festival and will not permit any serious spending cuts passed by the House to be enacted into law. He would rather die than admit that we can’t spend our way to prosperity and social justice. He would never permit his fellow Democrats to agree to any meaningful spending cuts, and he has the power to enforce it. Senate Republicans don’t have the votes.

    And even if Senate Republicans could eke out a few Democrat votes and squeeze out a narrow vote, Obama would never sign it into law.

    So, let’s get real about what Boehner can and cannot do and get off his case. The best he can do is attempt to find some small areas of agreement with Senate Democrats and make what little progress he can until the November 2012 elections. And you know that the Senate Democrats and Obama will do everything they can think of to frustrate any attempts at compromise — for no other reason than to screw over the Republicans at any cost. It’s an election year, and that takes precedent over the needs of the country.

    You tell me what I got wrong.

    • tranquil.night

      Boehner has the biggest potential Microphone in the country right now other than Spike’s and Rush’s, and yet he’s spent the time since we delivered the Shellacking to him as a background player who’s let others carry the weight of the heavy rhetorical lifting on which he mostly glomps ’till the last minute that he can weasel himself a deal. Then after the deal, he and his cronies attack the criticism of their ‘rigid’ base more disrespectfully then they go after the people who want to destroy the country.

      Political power is drawn off of more than just legislative assets. The Republicans controlled not one house of Congress in the first two years of the supermajority. Yet with unity of cause and message, the Republicans combined with an active and engaged electorate became more powerful than a party in complete control of the system.

      Since that point, it’s been the Republican leadership and they alone who has squandered it. If they do so again this time, especially because Boehner is REALLY leaving himself no wiggle room now, then they will lose that energy completely. It will leave them and take the matters into control that it can.

  10. bobdog

    My point was that the House can pass any legislation they want, and it will go nowhere as long as the Democrats control the Senate and the White House. Congress is deadlocked, and that in itself is an improvement.

    The good news is that there haven’t been any crackpot big government liberal spending bills since last January. The only thing Obama can do to get his way is sneak things through by regulation and by Executive Order, and in that capacity, he’s Rollo Thomasi, the guy that gets away with it.

    It all gets decided next November, one way or the other. Until then, we’re playing small ball.

    • tranquil.night

      There’s a difference between the ability to pass legislation and the ability to have a political strategy that reflects an understanding of your opponent. This will be settled in 2012, yes, but It is precisely because the Marxist caucus is holding so firm and the circumstances are so dire that we must do more than just pass symbolic legislation but fight to ensure that 2012 is a total victory by not compromising on those few points of leverage we do have.

      Our leadership is still waiting for an ‘adult conversation’ that you even recognize is never going to materialize. It is this passivity that keeps us from gaining the initiative and having a chance at breaking this impasse. A stalemate is a win for the Marxists.

  11. Not so fast

    Boehner is going to use his stomach and face against the Democrats fist. So much for Nancy Pelosi in a man’s suit!


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