Tag Archives: John Boehner

Boehner vs. Reid – II

Nickgb commented that Boehner backed off of his claim that he would forgo the Hastert Rule and allow a straight vote on raising the debt ceiling.

I called Reid out for being he more political partisan on issues like this.  Well, it turns out that Boehner has backed away from his claim and will no longer the straight up and down vote:

(Reuters) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Sunday that there is “no way” Republican lawmakers will agree to a measure to raise the nation’s debt ceiling unless it includes conditions to rein in deficit spending.

I think that the government is too big.  And I think that our debt is a problem.  However, I agree that we cannot do normal business by threat of or actually shutting down the government.

The budget fight is one thing.  I think that a strong case can be  made that the budget comes before the individual programs that are in place.  If the budget isn’t big enough to contain those programs, then revenue needs to increase or expenditures need to decrease.

But the debt ceiling?  For some reason that seems different.

Boehner vs. Reid

Boehner wins.

At least for now:

Washington (CNN) — The federal government may not be hit with a double whammy on top of the ongoing shutdown, as House Speaker John Boehner told a group of fellow GOP legislators that he won’t let the nation default on its debt, according to a House Republican.

Boehner said that he’d set aside the “Hastert Rule” — that Republicans would only bring measures up for a vote if they are backed by a majority of their caucus — and rely on Democrats to pass a measure to raise the nation’s debt limit, said the House member.

Reid is a partisan warhorse.  If he would vote “no” on a bill, it doesn’t come before the Senate.


Time will tell if Boehner actually allows the vote, but he has history of being far more bipartisan than his counterpart in the Senate.

Approval Rating – About Right

I think that Boehner has done more work across the aisles than Reid has done.  The minority leaders are largely behind the scenes.  But it doesn’t surprise me that Reid has the worst approval while all four of them are negative:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) holds the lowest net approval rating among House and Senate leadership — but others are not far behind.

According to a Gallup poll released Friday, Reid’s approval rating is 33 percent with 53 percent disapproving of his job performance, leaving him with a net rating of negative 20 percent.

Speaker John Boehner (Ohio), who leads the Republican majority in the House, holds a net approval rating of negative 17 percent, with 37 percent of people approving while 54 percent disapprove.

Both minority leaders in the House and Senate hold a net approval rating of negative 12 percent.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has a 35 percent approval rating, while 37 percent disapprove of him. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has the approval of 39 percent of people, but 51 percent disapprove.

Harry Reid and Political Advice

Speaking on the floor of the Senate, Harry Reid felt it an important use of his time to provide some political advice to the Speaker of the House.

“As Speaker Boehner saw on New Year’s Day, when he allows every member of the House to vote – and not only the Republican members of the House to vote — Congress can enact bills into laws,” he said on the floor. “No major legislation can pass the Senate without the votes of both Democrats and Republicans. During the 113th Congress, the Speaker should strive to make that the rule in the House of Representatives, as well.”

Interesting advice to be sure.  And in some ways, Reid is right.  The idea of not voting on legislation that has been passed in one chamber and then been sent to the other for consideration is an idea that would garner significant support from the American public.  Heck, even from me.

However, I wonder if the majority leader would consider taking his own advice and allow House bills that he fears come for a vote in his Senate?

I suspect not.

Thelma And Louise

I’m guessing we go over.

John Boehner has said that he’ll give House members 48 hours to get back to Washington.  That means if he were to call them right now they wouldn’t get to their offices until Saturday.  Which leaves 2 days to pass legislation.

And that’s if he agrees to pass the Senate version of the bill.

As it stands right now, I think that the problem is this:

  • The President will not budge on his demand that the tax rate on wealthy Americans goes up.  That is a deal breaker for him.
  • The democrats will not agree to spending cuts other than defense.
  • The republicans will not raise the tax rate on anyone.

The fiscal cliff is made up of two parts.  The first is the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts.  Because these rates were pushed through using reconciliation, they were set to expire in 2011.  However, as part of a negotiation, the rates were extended for 1 year.  This agreement will end December 31st at midnight.  Failure to extend the Bush tax rates will result in a massive tax hike for every American.

The second part is the agreement made that will mandate budgetary cuts; spending cuts.  Among the items set to be cut is the defense budget.  This is seen to be unappealing to republicans.

A guilty pleasure of mine would be to see us go over this cliff in full.  I want to see how American’s react to the tax hike that will impact them January 1.  This would include the extraordinarily large impact of the AMT that would impact millions of Americans.

However, my sick sense of cosmic justice aside, I really am looking for a permanent extension to the Bush tax cuts.  It not only is the right thing to do, but trying to raise the rates like Obama has been insisting is only a political ploy not meant to address any of the fiscal issues that we have right now.  With the rates made permanent, the economy will be able to remove the uncertainty and move forward in recovery.

As for the cuts.  I say let ’em come.  The impact will be short-term dramatic.  I suspect the economy will move into recession but it will be quick and short.  However, the long term benefit of the cuts will reduce the size of government spending and allow the economy to grow more quickly than it otherwise might.

My desire aside I feel that the ball is in the Senate’s court.  Financial bills originate in the House and move to the Senate for consideration.  The Senate should pass the bill or amend it and return it to the House.  Under Boenher, the House has passed two such bills that are simply waiting to be considered by Harry Reid.  For whatever reason, Reid will not hear those bills and allow the Senate to act.

Right now, the delay in passing a bill is squarely on Harry Reid and the democrats.

The Impact Of The Fiscal Cliff – CBO Analysis

Anyone who pays attention, and even a few of us who don’t, know that we are facing what the experts are calling “The Fiscal Cliff.”  This is in reference to the set of economic or fiscal policies set to be enacted if nothing changes.  That is, it is already law and will be implemented unless new laws are passed to change them.  Key among this cliff are two main components:

  1. Allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to expire.
  2. Sequestration – Mandatory budget cuts.

Recent headlines have cited a CBO report issued earlier this month.  In it, the CBO reports that tax hikes on the wealthy won’t really hurt the economy:

(Reuters) – Allowing income tax rates to rise for wealthy Americans, and maintaining rates for the less affluent, would not hurt U.S. economic growth much in 2013, the Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday, stepping into a dispute between Republicans and Democrats over how to resolve the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

The report by the authoritative non-partisan arm of Congress is expected to fuel President Barack Obama’s demand for higher taxes on the rich, part of his proposal to avoid the full impact of the expiring tax cuts and across-the-board spending reductions set to begin in early 2013 unless Congress acts.

The narrative is that allowing Obama to follow through on the class warfare rhetoric wouldn’t really be that harmful to the economy; almost saying that any negative impact is worth it in order to restore “fairness.”

This report, and other just like it, are using the individual analysis of each portion of the fiscal cliff:

Extending all expiring tax provisions other than the cut in the payroll tax and indexing the AMT for inflation— except for allowing the expiration of lower tax rates on income above $250,000 for couples and $200,000 for single taxpayers—would boost real GDP by about 1¼ percent by the end of 2013. That effect is nearly as large as the effect of making all of those changes in law and extending the lower tax rates on higher incomes as well (which CBO estimates to be a little less than 1½ percent, as noted above), primarily because the budgetary impact would be nearly as large (and secondarily because the extension of lower tax rates on higher incomes would have a relatively small effect on output per dollar of budgetary cost).

So, by keeping the tax cuts for everyone under 250k we grow by 1.25%.  But if we keep ALL tax cuts we grow by 1.5%.  And the analysis is that the 1/4 point in GDP isn’t significant.  Perhaps.  But it represents 16.67% more growth than if we raise the taxes on the wealthy.

16.67 percent seems like a pretty big “get,” especially when the President is struggling as is.

But how about jobs:

The CBO said the tax hikes for the wealthy would reduce job growth by around 200,000 jobs…

For a President that is interested in growing jobs, he has a funny way of showing it.

So, what happens if we avoid the cliff?

Output would be greater and unemployment lower in the
next few years if some or all of the fiscal tightening scheduled
under current law—sometimes called the fiscal
cliff—was removed.


But is that all?

However, CBO expects that even if
all of the fiscal tightening was eliminated, the economy would remain below its potential and the unemployment rate would remain higher than usual for some time.  Moreover, if the fiscal tightening was removed and the policies that are currently in effect were kept in place indefinitely, a continued surge in federal debt during the rest of this decade and beyond would raise the risk of a fiscal crisis (in which the government would lose the ability to borrow money at affordable interest rates) …

Yeah….that’s interesting, but what happens if we do nothing and just fall over the cliff?

…Moreover, if the fiscal tightening was removed and the policies that are currently in effect were kept in place indefinitely, a continued surge in federal debt during the rest of this decade and beyond would raise the risk of a fiscal crisis (in which the government would lose the ability to borrow money at affordable interest rates) and would eventually reduce the nation’s output and income below what would occur if the fiscal tightening was
allowed to take place as currently set by law.

Not for nothing, but I think that reading ALL THE WAY to the second paragraph and reporting on the part of the report that kinda isn’t friendly to Obama is somewhat important.

Be that as it is, if it were me and I was the Speaker, I’d tell the Barackness Monster to go to hell, hold on and jump.  We’d be better off.


Why Democrats Favor A Tax Cut

In the last few days and weeks we’ve been hearing a lot about the payroll tax hike/cut.  Lately the pitch has ramped up for two reasons.  One, the Senate was ale to negotiate a bipartisan agreement to extend the tax cuts.

For 2 months.

Now, most recently, the House Republicans have declined to accept that compromise.  They voted Tuesday to reject the Senate deal and are asking for the two bodies to meet in committee.  We’ll see who blinks.

However, for me, what has been lost in all of this is why the Democrats are fighting for a tax cut to begin with?  I certainly understand the whole “We-They” thing, after all, the whole payroll tax cut idea was the Democrats brain child.  But why, at all, do the tax more, big state liberals want ANY tax cut?  Especially one that funds their most precious social program, Social Security?

Why?  Because Social Security is SO broken, so in debt and so “no chance of survival” that the Democrats feel they have little to lose.  In fact, they KNOW the government will “bail out” Social Security.  So, in some perverse way, the payroll tax cut can be seen to be a stimulus program.  Albeit not a perfect one.  For starters the more you make the more it benefits you.  And, you have to actually be working to benefit.  But other than that, any money not sent to Social Security is just added to the bill that Congress will eventually pay.

Rascally Rabbits!

Comments On Obama And Boehner

All of this has caveats like crazy. All of this has elements of the “crazy”. All of it. And all of the people.

The Republicans are in the process of picking their nominee. Some are crazy, some are moderate, some are forceful and others are meek. All of that’s true and just because it IS true doesn’t make the process invalid. The primary is a key process in the larger process we loosely call “Democracy”. And THAT process should be respected.

The President wants to deliver a speech. And when the President wants to do that, in front of Congress or not, we should listen and pay attention. And if we are Congress, all the more so. However, with power comes responsibility. Recently I requested meeting with…my boss’s boss’s boss. He found time on his schedule and it was set. As the day to that meeting got closer, HIS boss requested time; the same time that he had blocked for me. He could have simply told me that we had to reschedule, he didn’t. He asked.

With power comes responsibility.

Obama shouldn’t have scheduled this speech on a date that conflicted with the debate. After all, he picked a day more than a week away after, AFTER returning from a 10 day vacation. The time clearly wasn’t crucial. But Obama didn’t do the reasonable thing-he did the partisan thing. And when he did that, he forced the Republican’s hand. And they pushed back.

Now, back to my example. My vice president asked me if we could reschedule. Even if I hadn’t been okay with it, I was, I would’ve agreed; he’s the boss and he gets to do things, even if I don’t like those things. Boehner should have called his Congress and told them to get to DC and be in their seats at the appointed hour.

But he didn’t. He declined to meet with the President of the United States of America. And instead, offered his own new date.

The whole nation was holding its breath, waiting to ee why Obama would do. We all knew it was chumpy of Obama to schedule the speech over the debate, but that Boehner pushed back was remarkable. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not fully comfortable with power. I’m not skilled in the proper use of it. But I’m a low-level manager still learning.

Obama isn’t. He’s the ‘effin President. And he got schooled in about as bad a way as I’ve seen in a long long time.

I don’t know what leaves me more saddened. The fact that we have a Speaker of the House who doesn’t respect the office of the President or that we have a low-level administrator sitting in the White House who doesn’t respect the office of the President.

Either way, today was the day that demonstrated, more than any other day, that Obama is in over his head. That he doesn’t know how to lead, to manage, to drive change, to innovate to take command. He simply doesn’t have the life experience to be the President.

To any reasonable American, today should have removed any doubt that this man does not deserve another term.

Boehner’s Speech: What He Did Say – July 25, 2011

Well, just finished watching and listening to John Boehner.

Yeah, any good will established by Obama in trying to give the Speaker of the House props for being willing to work with the Democrats is out the window.  John Boehner came out swinging and he didn’t let up.  Almost with a vengeance the Speaker took Obama to task going back to January and the President’s request for more money.  And this after sending America on the largest spending binge of all time.  While I think he’s right, I’m not sure that the approach the Republicans just took is the wise one.

Where Obama made the case that we all need to agree to get along, Boehner went right at the President.  Where Obama looked to build a coalition with the Speaker, Mr. Boehner attacked the President for his priorities and his tactics in the debt talks to date.  Further, by appearing so dug in, the Republican may have set himself up for a situation that he can’t win.  A long time ago I learned that to be successful, you have to create a situation where your opponent can retreat or compromise in honor.  I’m afraid that Mr. Speaker has removed that option from the table.  I can see many things being thrown at the TV in the Democrat Head Quarters.

This is not to say That I don’t agree with the Republicans.  We DO spend too much.  We DO waste money.  Obama DOES negotiate in bad faith.  I know Obama is not a centrist but rather an over-matched Leftist Statist.  However, tonight, America was watching, not just us political junkies.  And America wants compromise more than they want ideology.

Either way, tonight set the die.  How it impacts the debate and the 2012 elections will, of course, remain to be seen.

Boehner and Obama Debt Limit Negotiations

The Hill is reporting that Boehner has ended negotiations with the White House over raising the debt limit ceiling:

House Republican leaders have called off negotiations with the White House over a broad deficit-reduction deal tied to an increase in the federal debt limit and will begin exclusive talks with Senate leaders to avert a government default on Aug. 2, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Friday.

Boehner told House Republicans in a letter that President Obama is “adamant” about raising taxes and would not agree to “fundamental changes” to entitlement programs.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.  Obama’s time in the Oval office to date is nothing but speeches that say one thing followed by policy that does another.  To have thought that Obama was serious when he claimed he was willing to cut spending, reform medicare and social security is wishful thinking at best

There isn’t a bone in Barack’s body that’s willing to reduce government spending.  The whole of his life has been spent enlarging government for the benefit of the “less fortunate”.  I’m convinced Obama can’t envision a world where government shrinks.  And reforming the entitlement programs?  HA!  If he speaks about reforming ’em, he isn’t talking about it in the way that you and I would reform ’em.  In his mind those reforms take the shape of ADDING to the revenue side to reduce the deficit of the programs.  Again, there is simply no way this man will shrink that aspect of government either.

There is no way that Obama means “spending cut” in any way that resembles reality as it relates to the common everyday American.

So, the fact that Boehner walked on him is the most positive thing that’s happened in a week.  Or weeks, for that matter.

With only 1 week before the government shuts down, it looks like we’re facing exactly that; a shutdown.  And judging by the reaction in Minnesota, namely — who cares? — and the fact that the Democrat gave in and accepted the Republican’s deal, I say let ‘er go.

America is fed up with the spending and it’s time we address it.