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Thursday, March 21, 2013

And Boehner’s back to hostage taking

Talking Points Memo:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said Thursday that Republicans will require a dollar in spending cuts for every dollar that they agree to raise the debt ceiling, which the United States is expected to hit in August.

Dollar-for-dollar cuts would mean an insane slashing of federal spending during an economic recovery — i.e., a boneheaded and typical Republican assault on demand. What Boehner is actually say is, “Destroy the economy or I’ll destroy the economy.” What this looks like is that Boehner just wants his hostage dead, but he doesn’t want to be the guy who actually does the shooting. Which would mean it’s not actually a serious threat, so much as a bluff.

However, Boehner’s leadership in the House is pretty much theoretical at this point and the same guys who thought it would be a great idea to sink the economy through a debt default last time haven’t gotten any less stupid. Still, this means the choices are the same — destroy the economy or they’ll destroy the economy.

In which case the wisest thing to do would be to give them the gun and tell them to shoot their own damned hostage themselves. You want to go fullblown Hoover on the economy? Great, now let’s have everyone tune in and watch you do it. And when everything goes all to hell and the economy crashes again, everyone will know this is your economy and your economic policy.

Maybe they’ll back down or maybe they won’t. But we won’t have real economic recovery unless they do. Meaning the whole shebang is already in their hands. This would just be making them own it.

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