Steve Benen, on John Boehner’s instant freeze-dried coffee reaction to the reports of Barack Obama’s new $50 billion infrastructure public works plan:
I really wish I could understand the way John Boehner’s mind works.
House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio Monday criticized President Barack Obama’s proposal to boost infrastructure investment as more stimulus spending doomed to fail. “As the American people, facing near double-digit unemployment, mark Labor Day by asking, where are the jobs, the White House has chosen to double-down on more of the same failed ‘stimulus’ spending,” Boehner said in a prepared statement.
Republicans have targeted an unemployment rate that continues to hover above 9 percent despite last year’s economic stimulus plan. “If we’ve learned anything from the past 18 months, it’s that we can’t spend our way to prosperity,” Boehner said.
Now, I realize that Boehner’s depth of policy knowledge is frighteningly limited, and that the poll-tested buzz words of his press releases might resonate, even if the conservative Ohioan doesn’t understand what he’s saying.
But it’d be fascinating to see Boehner think this through. Indeed, he’s already shown some inkling of thought on the subject — a year ago, when the stimulus boosted construction projects in Ohio, Boehner said the money was responsible for creating “much-needed jobs.”
Is it really so hard for him to comprehend the notion of creating a lot more “much-needed jobs?
No, of course, it isn’t. Sure, Boehner is no scholar, but he’s smart enough to know that “a lot more ‘much-needed jobs’ ” is the last thing he should be cheering, if it’s Pres. Obama, or any other Democrat, proposing it.
Of course, “GOP leaders instantly assailed Obama’s proposal” because it requires deficit spending. What else would anyone expect? Everyone knows that cutting off people’s unemployment checks, repealing health care reform, and cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans (so as to be absolutely certain that that extra cash will go into savings accounts and not be spent, because spending is the LAST thing you want folks to do in a deep recession) is the best way to help those 15 million jobless Americans and 45-50 million Americans who don’t have health insurance.