Boehner’s Response Is Work of Political Fiction
Johnathan Alter, writing for Bloomberg, rips apart House Speaker John Boehner’s speech last night. A sample:
Speeches by politicians are usually full of spin, biased use of facts and appeals to emotion. President Barack Obama’s address to the nation last night on the debt ceiling was no exception. House Speaker John Boehner’s response was in a different league. It was chock full of statements that simply aren’t true.
Let’s go to the videotape.
Boehner: “Here’s what we got for that spending binge: a massive health-care bill that most Americans never asked for. A ‘stimulus’ bill that was more effective in producing material for late-night comedians than it was in producing jobs. And a national debt that has gotten so out of hand it has sparked a crisis without precedent in my lifetime or yours.”
Facts are stubborn things. Whatever one thinks of it, the Obama health-care law wasn’t part of the “spending binge.” The law has yet to significantly contribute to the budget deficit because most of it hasn’t been phased in yet.
According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus bill created millions of new jobs, which as a factual matter is at least as “effective” as a David Letterman monologue. And anyone with the most rudimentary knowledge of the 2008-09 economic meltdown knows that it was “sparked” by a crisis in private debt, not “the national debt.” The latter wasn’t a big problem when, say, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. went bust.
Emphasis is mine. The health care bill is being targeted simply because they don’t like it. The national debt sparking crisis is one of the GOP’s own creation, as Alter rightly observes:
Boehner: “You see, there is no stalemate in Congress.”
We do see, and our eyes tell us the plain truth: There is in fact a stalemate in Congress.
Boehner: “If the president signs it,” meaning the House bill, “the crisis atmosphere he created will simply disappear.”
Boehner is right that if Obama fully capitulated and signed the House bill, the crisis would end. But it’s simply untrue to suggest that the president “created” the “crisis atmosphere.” Saying so is Orwellian.
Conservatives can legitimately argue that they were right to turn the debt ceiling into a crisis to achieve their ends. But it’s unfair to blame someone else for creating something you created yourself - and, make no mistake, the Republican Party has turned what should be a standard procedural increase to the debt ceiling into a potential calamity.
Your move, Mr. Speaker.
This is a really important thing to reblog. The stunning lack of concern with making “factual statements” while firing people up with elevated rhetoric has taken over our government as we know it. These lies almost lost all of Planned Parenthood’s funding, and now they’re at it again, this time with even larger repercussions.
This post is not intended to be a factual statement.
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