Speaker John Boehner gave his response, such as it is, to President Barack Obama’s call for a jobs bill.
Boehner’s response consisted mostly of the repetition of GOP mythologies about “job killing tax cuts.” Yes, even though we are now in the eleventh year of the Bush tax cuts, and we are still experiencing high unemployment, the myth endures. Even though large corporations are sitting atop record amounts of cash, and still not hiring, somehow, a tax increase would make them unable to hire new workers.
But, what was most galling about the Speaker’s comments was his dismissal of what he characterized as President Obama’s “all or nothing” approach to the autumn legislative agenda. Boehner went on to say that he could never, under any circumstances, support tax cuts. So, who has the problem with “all or nothing” approaches to the negotiations? Boehner is willing to consider tax cuts. He is willing to slash spending. He is willing to cripple entitlements. His “all” is permitted.
It will be curious to see if President Obama finds a way to put the Speaker’s hypocrisy a liability. Obama was completely routed in the negotiations over the debt ceiling increase, but that vote was the equivalent of a Sword of Damcles, hanging over the head of the national economy. No such Sword exists now – except, of course, the on-going lack of jobs. Still, we have to worry. Admit it, would you rather play poker with Boehner or with Obama?