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House Republicans are playing with fire and their Tea Party constituents are supplying them with the matches. Yesterday, House Speaker, John Boehner found himself between a Tea Bag and a hard place. Boehner chose the Tea Bag.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Monday laid down an aggressive new marker in the debt limit fight, calling for spending cuts that exceed any additional borrowing authority that Congress approves.
His tough talk drew a cool reception from an audience of Wall Street executives.
“It’s true that allowing America to default would be irresponsible,” Boehner told the Economic Club of New York on Monday evening. “But it would be more irresponsible to raise the debt ceiling without simultaneously taking dramatic steps to reduce spending and reform the budget process.
“To increase the debt limit without simultaneously addressing the drivers of our debt -- in defiance of the will of our people -- would be monumentally arrogant and massively irresponsible,” he said.
It would be very embarrassing for John Boehner to be primaried out by angry Tea Partiers next spring....but that's exactly what the radically extreme GOP base has threatened to do if Boehner doesn't shred Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
On the other hand, Boehner was reminded by the cool reception he received by Wall Streeters over his TeaBag-laced remarks yesterday....that if the U.S. debt ceiling is not raised, all national and international financial hell will break loose.
What's a prone-to-crying Speaker to do?
Make stuff up.
“Today some seem intent on recycling the 1990 budget deal, only this time with much larger tax increases,” he said. “This is not going to happen, and I’ve told that to the president. A tax hike would wreak havoc not only on our economy and its ability to create private-sector jobs, but also on our ability to tackle the national debt.”
Boehner was talking to a group of financial sharks. The same people who were responsible for sucking the equity out of America's economy and blowing it all on mortgage derivative gambling games during the 00's. The same people who are responsible for today's 9% unemployment, millions of foreclosures and a rollback to the 90's of our standard of living.
The Speaker tried to tell those financial parasites.....his golf buddies....the same guys he promised he would fight for during the financial industry reregulation legislation debates.....what they wanted to hear. No new taxes....read my quivering lips.
Every non-wingnut economist agrees that tax increases must be a part of the nation's deficit solution....but both TeaBaggers and Parasites alike....don't want to hear that. So, the Tanned One tried to comfort both constituents by assuring them he would fight to shred Medicaid for the elderly poor and the disabled.....and Medicare for the greedy geezer group, while tax rates remain low.
However, Wall Street sharks know that the immediate crisis could be a failure by House Republicans to increase the debt ceiling. A failure to lift the ceiling.....necessary by May 16, but absolutely essential before August 2.....would result in a downward spiraling financial sh*tstorm unlike anything Wall Streeters have ever witnessed. There's no TARP big enough to cover the mess.
Thus the cool, golf clap reception Boehner received yesterday. Boehner's bold and brash threats about forcing spending cuts of equal value to any debt ceiling increase was ridiculously simplistic and naive....and the financial sharks knew it. Boehner has little power, really...as witnessed in his 2011 budget tantrum which didn't result in much of anything that the TeaBaggers wanted.
And Boehner has little power now to control the debt ceiling debate. If he fails to rally his caucus to increase the debt ceiling, he will personally be responsible for the bloody financial mess of a national default on our debt. If he doesn't please the Baggers by "shutting it down" and blowing it up....he may not be re-elected next November.
Break out the boxes of Kleenex, JohnBoy....you're gonna need 'em.