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Boehner's Billion Dollar Boner

by Michael R. Burch, an editor
and publisher of Holocaust poetry

I believe many Americans would agree with House Representative Jim Cooper that if there is a default for the first time in U.S. history, the very first people to feel financial pain should be the congressmen and senators who helped create the crisis, then refused to work together to fix it. If government checks must bounce, why not help elected officials understand the peopleís pain by starting with their paychecks?

And even if there isnít a default, considering the current sad state of affairs we ought to ask ourselves if taxpayers have been getting our moneyís worth. Why do we pay senators and congressmen such handsome salaries, only to get such ugly results in return? Take, for instance, what might be called "Boehner's Billion Dollar Boner."

President Obama has been advocating a balanced solution that involves revenue increases along with spending cuts. In his rebuttal of the presidentís recent speech about the debt ceiling stalemate, Speaker of the House John Boehner said, "The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago and he wants a blank check today. This is just not going to happen."

Strong words from a strong-minded man? Hardly. Boehner tries to come across as a tough-talking, no-nonsense realist whoís ready to cut spending to the bone while holding the line on higher taxes. But when his own budget proposal was analyzed by experts, according the Associated Press, it fell wildly short of tea party expectations: "Of particular embarrassment was a Congressional Budget Office finding that Boehner's measure would cut the deficit by just $1 billion next year." It only takes our government around five hours to spend a billion dollars, so why all the machismo, political posturing and grandstanding? If the best Boehner can come up with is a measly billion dollars in savings for an entire year, when the deficit is at $14.3 trillion and still climbing, he has no call to berate President Obama and other Democrats. They didnít ask for a "blank check," nor did Boehner improve on their more balanced solution. All he did was stick his foot in his oversized mouth, at a time when Republicans need to admit that a real-world solution to the national debt is going to require the rich to suffer along with other Americans, for a change.
Can Boehner survive his Billion Dollar Boner? Will the tea party types ever let him live it down? Only time will tell the outcome of this latest Tempest in a Teapot.

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