One of the standard-bearers of the asshole contingent of the Republican Party is John Boehner. On his best days, he looks like a pathetic little hack. On his worst days, he really has them rolling on the floor laughing their asses off.
This was Boehner yesterday, pretending to be a grown-up among politicians, attacking stimulus spending:
Thank you for being here. I know this is the beginning of another long day for you – trying to make heads or tails of this economy, trying to make decisions without knowing what the next week, or even the next day, will bring.
Right now, America’s employers are afraid to invest in an economy stalled by ‘stimulus’ spending and hamstrung by uncertainty. The prospect of higher taxes, stricter rules, and more regulations has employers sitting on their hands. And after the pummeling they’ve taken from Washington over the last 18 months, who can blame them?
I have had enough – and the American people have had enough – of Washington politicians talking about wanting to create jobs as a ploy to get themselves re-elected while doing everything possible to prevent jobs from being created.
Fourth, President Obama should submit to Congress for its immediate consideration an aggressive spending reduction package.
When Congress returns, we should force Washington to cut non-defense discretionary spending to 2008 levels – before the ‘stimulus’ was put into place. This would show Washington is ready to get serious about bringing down the deficits that threaten our economy.
All this ‘stimulus’ spending has gotten us nowhere…
President Obama should ask for – and accept – the resignations of the remaining members of his economic team, starting with Secretary Geithner and Larry Summers, the head of the National Economic Council.
Now, this is no substitute for a referendum on the president’s job-killing agenda. That question will be put before the American people in due time. But we do not have the luxury of waiting months for the president to pick scapegoats for his failing ‘stimulus’ policies.
We’ve tried 19 months of government-as-community organizer. It hasn’t worked. Our fresh start needs to begin now.
By trying to build a recovery on government ‘stimulus’ spending – and failing – Washington has kept the private sector in bust while manufacturing a boom for the public sector.
Republicans on the House Budget Committee, led by Congressman Paul Ryan, have already identified $1.3 trillion in specific spending cuts that could be implemented immediately.
These are common-sense steps – like canceling unspent ‘stimulus’ … funds – that put the brakes on Washington’s out-of-control spending spree.
It’s time to put grown-ups in charge. It’s time for people willing to accept responsibility.
There was a lot of absolutely world-class garbage in Boehner’s speech, but with great self-restraint I picked out only his attacks on stimulus spending.
With an exquisite sense of timing, the Congressional Budget Office released this assessment yesterday of the impact of stimulus spending on the economy in the second quarter:
• Raised the level of real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.7 percent and 4.5 percent,
• Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points,
• Increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million, and
• Increased the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs by 2.0 million to 4.8 million compared with what those amounts would have been otherwise. (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers.)
Marketwatch points out that, had it not been for the stimulus, the economy would probably have shrunk in the second quarter. The stimulus apparently changed a small contraction into a modest expansion:
In practice, that means the stimulus plan is the main reason the U.S. economy grew during the second quarter. The Commerce Department estimates the economy grew 2.4% in the second quarter, a figure most economists expect to be sharply revised lower in a report due Friday.
The CBO report is entitled “Estimated Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Employment and Economic Output From April 2010 Through June 2010“.
I looked at it closely from several different angles; it doesn’t appear to be subtitled: “Bitch-slapping Boehner”.