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Posted by on Sep 17, 2011 in Economy, Politics, Society | 16 comments

Boehner vs. Tea Party Treason

At what point do stubborn blindness, knee-jerk resistance and blanket refusal to negotiate cross the line from ideological opposition to subversion of government?

In what has now become coded language for “The Tea party won’t let me,” House Speaker John Boehner, after lauding tax cuts and less regulation as the answers to job creation he learned working in his grandfather’s tavern, concludes that solutions “will require everyone coming to the table with their best ideas first and leaving politics at the door, with the courage to listen to each other’s critiques and questions.

“It means ending the name-calling, the yelling, and the questioning of others’ motives. Leadership is about ending that nonsense, buckling down, and getting to work…

“Getting it done will require a serious effort by both parties. There are some in both parties who would rather do nothing.

“They’d prefer to sit this one out, waiting to be dealt a better hand down the road, after the next election.”

Surely Boehner can’t be talking about Barack Obama and the battered Democrats who were brought to the brink of default and saw the nation’s credit rating lowered by the obstinacy (pace Michele Bachmann) of his own Tea Party Caucus.

Surely Boehner must have in mind the Grand Bargain that he and the President had fashioned in early July as the beginning of a long-term deficit solution, only to have it sabotaged by his own deputy, Eric Cantor, leading the House freshman in opposition.

Surely Boehner doesn’t mean by those “waiting to be dealt a better hand” in 2012 Democrats facing disaster in opinion polling about the White House and Congress.


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  • ejr1953

    I do not believe the government was the major player in the financial crisis and resulting “great recession”, the majority of the blame falls squarely at the “house of cards” built by the private sector. The Federal budget deficit IS a problem mostly created by our professional politicians, exacerbated by the stresses of reduced tax receipts and increased expenditures, the government’s attempt to rescue the private sector from itself. If we rewind back to the year 2000, Bill Clinton turned over to George W. Bush and the Republican Congress three years of Federal budget surplus; it seemed America was on the path of keeping it’s fiscal house in order. Instead of continuing to “live within our means”, in part to create a “permanent majority”, the Republicans executed a plan to significantly reduce taxes while they broke the bank, funding two undeclared wars, two rounds of tax increases and the largest increase in entitlement spending in 40 years, placing all the burden on our children and the unborn. The Congressman in my district, Roscoe Bartlett, is typical of those who created the problems with the Federal budget; though he rails about spending, he voted for over 90% of the bills Bush signed into office. As long as his constituents continue to listen to his false claims of being against spending, because it’s what they want to hear, and not call him on his repeated false statements to the people he represents, the games in Washington will continue. Now that they have the government “on the ropes”, those whose politics steer them to a “less government” position on the issues, will use this crisis that they’ve created to force their narrow political beliefs on others.

  • ShannonLeee

    I don’t understand how any conservative, especially christian conservatives, can support the idea of taking away from our poor and elderly in order to ensure that millionaires and billionaires don’t have to pay higher taxes. I don’t get how taking medicare from grandma is better than taxing the rich at Reagan era levels.

    I live in a socialized country that has less unemployment, a better economy, and a solid social system that protects the poor, sick and elderly. I don’t think Germans are better than Americans, but they care about each other a hell of a lot more.

  • Allen

    I honestly do not think that the President can compromise any further and not simply be capitulating to the minority party. He has already compromised fifty times more than the Republicans have and what thanks from them does he get for his efforts? They use it against him by calling him a “poor leader” for doing so.

    These Republicans not only are treasonous dogs, but lying basterds as well.

  • Jim Satterfield


    Republicans claim that if only the government would quit doing those things that are none of its business the private sector would magically start putting jobs in the U.S. and private charities, friends and families would be able to take care of those who need it. Unfortunately it is the 21st century, not the 19th and families are smaller and have fewer resources themselves, neighborhoods aren’t what they used to be since in any given neighborhood people scatter to jobs in different parts of a city and don’t necessarily attend the same church or have the same kinds of social bonds that used to exist and private charities are already stretched to their limits and beyond even with government programs providing some help. It is because of their completely ignoring these real world facts(Not to mention that things in “the good old days” weren’t really that good.) that I have lost my respect for conservatism in this country. The dominant form of what passes for conservatism in the U.S. today argues largely from ignorance and nostalgia for times that never were quite that good while ignoring the changes in society that have made the basis for their beliefs no longer relevant.

  • Cannonshop

    I’m going to push a counter-argument here.

    The U.S. has a national debt deep enough, and intractable enough, that downgrade of credit was inevitable-the ‘good credit’ prior to the debt-ceiling fight has more to do with a bunch of nuclear warheads in silos and our reputation for being remarkably good at violence, than our ability to generate real wealth to cover our bets.

    sooner or later, the credit-rating folks would come to realize that those bonds are toilet paper, as is the fiat currency they represent. Fact is, we have a government we can not afford to pay for, with long-term bills we’re not going to be able to pay without devaluing the currency FURTHER. That’s not the “Tea Party’s” fault-it’s EVERYONE’s fault in America-they just pushed things to the point that, for a brief moment, someone had to take their head out of the sand and realize that the party’s over, the bills WILL come due, and we’re broke.

  • Jim Satterfield

    Whenever I hear a reference to the evils of fiat currency I quit paying attention to the writer. I also take anything they ever write again with a salt mine.

  • Cannonshop

    So…you think debt is good, then? that it’s just fine to run the printing press until the numbers add up, and claim it has value beyond the printing cost? Fact: we’re BROKE. Production of real wealth is down, debt is up, debt is not an asset, it is a liability, we’re saddled with liability while the sectors that produce the wealth represented by dollars/federal reserve notes are contracting.

    Fewer rich people means fewer middle-class people, and more poor people, so that’s not a stone you can squeeze liquidity out of forever, government is fundamentally a non-producing element economically-it is a consumer ONLY.

    and we can’t afford ours, it takes up too much of the present GDP (actually, debt exceeds GDP…like Zimbabwe.)

    So, take your salt-mine, but run the numbers and ask if this situation’s sustainable, when the ‘cuts’ to our liability are less than a percentage point annually, but debt continues to rack up at a much, much, higher rate.

    Flat fact is, Uncle Sam’s a bad debtor.

  • @Jim
    Part of reason that families have fewer resources is because the government has either taken them, or weighted the markets against them. In other words, a large part of the reason that charities and social institutions are weak is because the government largely supplanted them and weakened their contributors.

  • Allen


    It’s not the amount of debt that caused Moody to make their downgrade. It’s was, for the first time in history, the Republican party’s willingness to default on repaying that debt if they did not get their way, that caused Moody to downgrade our Bonds.

  • Allen


    That is not true.

    The government didn’t take the people’s money, the capitalists did. They were supposed to re-circulate that money into business expansion and project implementation, but they didn’t. Rather they just sit on our money collecting interests on it while they ignore the suffering of our people.

  • Allen


    Yes they do care about their citizenry more than we do, and they don’t have to go around trying make the world believe it either. We could learn a lot from the Germans.

    I would much prefer the Germans be the contender for world dominance rather than the Communist Chinese, but unfortunately the Germans are hamstrung far to tightly to us for them to do so. Hopefully they will break free on their own.

  • @Allen:”the government didn’t take the people’s money, the capitalists did”

    The government is the only entity that can “take” money legally. The only way that capitalists have to take money, is to have the government do it for them. Of course, they do that a lot, but it’s still the government doing the work.

    If the government is, in general, an anti-poverty tool, then its growth should correspond to a reduction in poverty. We have quite the opposite.

  • Cannonshop

    Generally, Allen, when you’re trying to get out of debt, you don’t go out and register for another credit-card, or worse, get a payday loan to pay off your credit card. The Debt Ceiling is a payday loan. The Government wouldn’t be ‘forced’ to default, if it cut discretionary spending-we DO bring in enough to pay off the interest, plus a percentage of principle, as long as we don’t rack up additional high-expense long-term debts.

    This, of course, goes against the grain for both Republicans, and Democrats, both of whom engage in their own unique forms of vote-buying and rent-seeking. The fundamental problem you seem to not understand, is that the number of millionaires hasn’t been going up-it’s been doing the opposite, and doing it for more than a decade. Which means squeezing “The rich” isn’t going to net you the kind of tax revenues you want-because there just aren’t enough of them, and not enough of the ones that there are happen to be in a position where they can’t walk out the borders to their summer house and wait out the political winds, immune from taxation and an IRS that is restricted by the U.S. territorial border.

    the same problem exists with most of your multinational corporations, they don’t have to do business here to stay in business, they can do it overseas, with MFN countries, and get a nice cheque from Uncle Sam for doing so, and it won’t even burble THEIR bottom-lines, and again, a net loss of revenue is created-in this case, more severely thanks to Bi-Partisan belief in “Free Trade” agreements that go on back to the GATT Treaty of 1972.

    The Merger-Mania of the 1990’s makes this condition even WORSE, as does “Public/Private partnerships” (effectively repaying campaign contributions as in the case of that Solar panel outfit in California that just went under), since such arrangements inevitably suit the huge businesses or the small crooks, but freezes out the medium-sized outfits that actually have a product that the public might…y’know, want to buy and stuff.

    More Regulations help stifle domestic competition as well-because only BIG business can afford to select between paying the fines for noncompliance, or the cost of compliance. This is intentional, it’s why Big Businesses like BP contribute to both parties and disproportionally to the winners-because they want those winners to do them a ‘solid’-writing in exemptions only they can comply with, or regulations that cripple their potential competitors.

    Big Business, and Big Government have the same internal problems, caused by people with the same educational, cultural, philosophical, and political backgrounds. Bush and Clinton learned government from the same professors, and there was very little difference between HOW they governed, other than the level of venom frm their detractors might’ve varied a few percentage points. Most of the ‘establishment’ in D.C. went to the same schools that the ‘establishment’ in Chicago, or Wall Street went to. They think the same, manage the same…

    and mismanage the same.

  • Cannonshop

    Credit’s dangerous, when it’s overused, it’s about as good for you, as cancer.

  • Robert Stein wrote:

    Boehner vs. Tea Party Treason

    I seem to remember Ann Coulter writing a book in which she purported that Democrats were guilty of treason. After being pressed by Chris Matthews on Hardball to defend her assertion, she couldn’t really defend it other than to argue that the Democratic Party itself was guilty of treason. After Chris Matthews reminded Ms. Coulter that treason is a capital crime that can be prosecuted, he asked her name specific Democrats were actually guilty of treason. Coulter spent a good while attempting to dodge Matthews’ question and never did answer it.

    In other words, the title of this post resorts to using the same kind of ad hominem attacks–the exact same ad hominem attack, in fact–as Ann Coulter employed.

    Ms. Coulter was unable to back up her accusation. Perhaps Mr. Stein will be more successful.

  • Allen


    …well there are many ways to “Take” money or haven’t you noticed? Capitalism IS the business of taking money and the more they do it the more they like themselves for it. Unfortunately others have to suffer because of their overblown ego, and their lack of unity with the rest of out nation’s people. Whom they obviously consider sheep for the slaughter in their lack of appreciation for those whom put them on their thrones.

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