During the tense final days leading up to the deal to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff," House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) had some sharp words for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Just steps outside the Oval Office, Boehner told Reid, "Go f@*k yourself." In the Speaker's defense, he was only following in the path blazed by Vice President Dick Cheney, who in 2004 similarly told Democratic Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont to "f@*k yourself." (Of course, Cheney never apologized for dropping the F-bomb on the Senate floor, explaining to Fox News, "I thought he merited it at the time.")
But with the Speaker of the House of Representatives once again threatening to trigger a U.S. sovereign default and a global economic crisis by refusing to raise the debt ceiling in October, it's time someone said to John Boehner the long overdue words he so richly deserves to hear.
Speaker Boehner, go f@*k yourself!
Now, why would any American have the gall and the temerity to poison our civil discourse by tastelessly lobbing such a vulgarity at our House Speaker? Simply because, as John Boehner made clear during an event in Idaho, "he merited it."
"I've made it clear that we're not going to increase the debt limit without cuts and reforms that are greater than the increase in the debt limit.
"The president doesn't think this is fair, thinks I'm being difficult to deal with. But I'll say this: It may be unfair but what I'm trying to do here is to leverage the political process to produce more change than what it would produce if left to its own devices. We're going to have a whale of a fight."
Now, raising the debt ceiling shouldn't produce a fight at all. After all, the United States has routinely boosted its borrowing authority 40 times, including 17 times while Ronald Reagan was tripling the national debt and seven more while George W. Bush nearly doubled it. John Boehner's GOP is the first political party with both the the intent and the votes to block a debt ceiling increase. But the list of reasons why John Boehner should violate himself is much longer still.
Here is just a handful.
John Boehner like House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan admitted in March that "we have no immediate debt crisis." Given that over the last two years the U.S. has already slashed $2.5 trillion from the next decade's debt forecast, Boehner was right. Due to new revenues, slowing growth in health care costs and the painful budget sequester, Paul Krugman explained, "the medium-term debt outlook is no longer remotely scary; indeed, even if you project out to 2030 it doesn't look too bad." The projected deficit for 2013 is now half what it was when Barack Obama took the oath of office on January 20, 2009.
John Boehner himself has been very clear about what would result if his House majority succeeded in block a debt limit increase. As Boehner put it in January 2011:
"That would be a financial disaster, not only for our country but for the worldwide economy."
(You don't have to listen to people like Barack Obama, Tim Geithner, Jacob Lew or even Ezra Klein for confirmation. "You can't not raise the debt ceiling," Paul Ryan agreed, because, as Lindsey Graham warned, "Let me tell you what's involved if we don't lift the debt ceiling: financial collapse and calamity throughout the world.")
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