If We’re Broke, Who Broke Us?

In the amazing statements department of my mind, there is a special place for Representative John Boehner of Ohio. He’s the chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee in that august body, the House of Representatives.

RepjohnboehnerThe name of the committee sounds like something we ought to be aware of, something to keep on the front-burner of political action as American jobs fly out the national window and re-education becomes a primary issue. Not on your life.  Particularly, not on John’s watch as chairman. 

He’s doing his part to deconstruct anything that might help the less-wealthy, so the most-wealthy can take a pass on present, future and forever-more tax obligations.  In his own small way, that means Boehner has come up with $18 billion over five years that can be slashed and burned in both pension protection and student loan programs.

“Listen, we’re broke. Let’s face it,” the defender of fiscal conservatism (after five years of uncontrolled deficit-spending) said yesterday. Over the past five years the guys who run the administration as well as both houses of the congress haven’t faced

  • Funding an expensive war
  • Stripping delivery costs of an out-of control Medicare and Medicaid
  • Funding elemental corporate research and development
  • Capping runaway costs of higher education
  • The ludicrous and distasteful tax giveaways to the rich and super-rich
  • Wasteful and ineffective boondoggling on supposed national security

What we do have to face, in Boehner’s strangely compartmentalized mind, is the fact that we are now broke . . . nationally in the poorhouse . . . and he and his buddies have broke us.

RepbilthomasBill Thomas, a California contribution to the House, is chairman of the Ways and Means committee and is trying his best to find ways to be mean in this race to gut what’s left of programs for those who live on Wal-Mart wages.  He proposes to cut back payments to foster-care families and add policies that will cut child-support payments to single mothers who already struggle to provide for their kids.

Hey, it’s a tough world out there and President Bush only noticed you poor people for a New York minute.  Time to move on.  This is a country that moves on.

The last administration, the one that began with a ‘C’ that no one dares mention anymore, left town with egg on its face over sexual impropriety, having narrowly escaped impeachment.  But they also left behind them

  • Money in the bank
  • The prioritized beginnings of long-term repayment of the national debt
  • A sense of concern and help for those who were truly below poverty levels
  • A balanced budget, with a surplus

No one in that faraway administration that began with a ‘C’ ever had to stand before the American people and admit that its political party had absolutely pissed-away the fortunes of the nation.  Down the tubes to the extent that we find ourselves broke, helpless and, for many people, hopeless. Out of control to the point where they’re unwilling to stop runaway wars, runaway lies, runaway deficits, runaway civic failures and runaway ethical (non-sexual for the moment) lapses.

But they do stand in front of the American people, these neocons from California and Ohio, to say none of this is in any way the fault of the administration that begins with a ‘B.’  Oh, and by the way, these guys are going to ask for your vote next year.


1 thought on “If We’re Broke, Who Broke Us?

  1. Not following your point, Jim. You say that the Education & the Workforce Committee sounds like something that should be front row center in our minds — and then go on to display your ignorance of the committee and its successes on behalf of workers and students these last few years.
    In fact, Boehner is right — "we're broke," and it's because of – agreed – runaway spending on pork and then, the big one, runaway entitlement spending. Entitlements eat up most of the budget and are the cause of the deficit — nothing else, no matter how you spin it.
    Boehner, however, has consistently striven to find savings without jeopardizing programs that benefit children, students, workers, and taxpayers. Education spending on his watch is through the roof, having grown more in the first two years of the Bush administration than during 8 years of President Clinton. Even in the recent reconciliation package which "cut" money from Ed & Workforce, Boehner put forward a plan that found savings without cutting a penny from what will ultimately go to college kids in the way of loans.
    Clinton didn't leave us in town with money in the bank; Republicans in Congress and a hot economy got us there. Sadly, and like I said I agree, they've by and large lost their way on spending restraint. But let's not forget, the only guys to vote against these extravagant spending bills were Republicans — Democrats have gladly joined in the pork-filled budget-busting fun too.
    In short, you're knocking the wrong guy if you're knocking Boehner. There's no question that the guy's a fiscal conservative, but he's also busted his ass making the Ed & Workforce committee a functional committee that's actually gotten things done. You might not like his "amazing statement" — but that doesn't change the truth of it, or the record he stands on.
    Thanks. Keep up the great work on the blog.

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