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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Boehner Promises a Do-Nothing Congress

BoehnerYesterday, a congressional commie hated America by saying that some of the fine patriots in the Tea Party movement were "anarchists who want to kill all of us in public office." Michelle Malkin went insaner. Andrew Breitbart tore out all his hair. Hannity, Limbaugh, and Beck took to the airwaves to expose how this congress critter's great aunt once met Joseph Stalin's valet's second cousin and that this proved said critter was a lifelong Marxist mole out to destroy America from within! All the cable news channels had heated talking head battles over the statement.

That's what would've happened if the person who said it was a Democrat, anyway. But it was House minority leader John Boehner, speaking to reporters with the Christian Science Monitor, so it's OK. See, when a Democrat says that there are some crazy teabaggers out there, it's an attack on fundamental American principles. But when a Republican does it, it's just stating the obvious. No media firestorm, no public displays of forced outrage -- in fact, hardly anyone noticed at all.

Less lost on the media was Boehner's Big Plan to create jobs. It's brilliant in its simplicity -- or it would be anyway, if there were any chance at all of it working. Boehner's Big Plan is to do nothing.

Boehner's Big Plan to create jobs in a nutshell:

Talking Points Memo:

In a meeting with several reporters this afternoon, House Minority Leader John Boehner outlined the top three measures he'd pursue if he becomes Speaker of the House next Congress to create new jobs. But, those who thought he'd outline specific programs and how they would create jobs were disappointed with a familiar litany of wish-list items: repeal health care reform, eschew climate legislation, and renew the Bush tax cuts.

In other words, repeal a program that largely hasn't yet taken effect; prevent new legislation that is also not in effect; and keep a current tax structure in place. Step four: profit. Or jobs.

Of course, the little hitch in Boehner's plan is that if it were going to create jobs, it'd be doing it right now. There are no healthcare reform measures up and running, climate legislation is nowhere near passing, and Bush's top-heavy tax cuts are still in place. Boehner's cure for joblessness is the current status quo. One CSM reporter noticed a little problem here.

Saying no to cap-and-trade would not create jobs. It would prevent potential future job loss from a Democratic House bill that is unlikely to be enacted any time soon. But here's the thing: We've had general energy bills such as the one Boehner suggests. They don't solve the carbon emissions problem, which must be addressed. As the Monitor has argued before, the simplest, cleanest way to reduce greenhouse gases is a carbon tax. There's a short-term cost, yes, but the long-term cost of doing nothing is higher.

In fact, none of these things would create jobs. The job losses from climate legislation aren't real anyway -- it's rightwing BS. Forecasts show it creating 200,000 new jobs between 2011 and 2020. In fact, we already have a cap-and-trade progran for sulphur dioxide and it has failed to destroy America.

But to return to the math, Boehner flunks. Limiting job losses is not the same as "creating jobs." It's really starting to look like Republicans have no idea what they'd do with the House of Representatives. The nation's leading Orange-American is just throwing crap out there to counter a growing suspicion that Republicans literally have no real ideas.

And that growing narrative may be hurting them. Gallup recently released a poll showing that Democrats now hold a six-point lead in the generic congressional ballot. Sure, this may be a bump from passing financial reform, but it may also be because of the GOP's unpopular stance on extending unemployment benefits. Without some sort of plan for 2011, Republicans leave people imagining the present as the future -- only with even more GOP votes. Apparently, would-be speaker Boehner thinks saying out loud that the status quo will be the future will compensate for their lack of vision.


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