Third Party & Independents Archives

Boehner's Big Regret As Speaker

As Boehner gets set to wrap up his career on the hill having handed the gavel to Ryan, his big regret is the famous, the show-stopping-had-it-been-a-show, the marvelous, the amazing debt deal. The one from 2011 that almost was except for the other guy. And the other guy - Boehner or Obama - really means the Democrats or the Republicans in Congress who just wouldn’t give Boehner or Obama what was needed to seal the deal.

A NY Times article written about a year later in 2012 reads like a detective novel trying to piece together the heart-stopping moments that lead to the deal-that-never-was. Boehner and Obama having a drink, more than one apparently, at the clubhouse of the golf course at Andrews Air Force Base. Yes, there is a golf course at Andrews, for those of us truly outside the beltway. And at this top-secret meeting with what must have been a cabalistic clutch of only a few dozen security staff, a reduced team of advisors, and at least a dozen servers and bartenders, the negotiations began in earnest.

After suspending the negotiations over how much would get trimmed from entitlements and how much new spending would be allowed, Boehner opened up the conversation again in mid-July of 2011. And with a change in some of the key negotiators, progress was made. Then the Senate held what was supposed to be a sparsely attended session and which instead turned into national news as the gang of six publicly endorsed their own deal. But as even the NY Times had to admit: "unsustainable government spending was a kind of apostasy" for many Democratic legislators. Don't even mention the problem. No changes to any entitlements, never ever!

So as the House GOP crazies and radicals insisted no new spending was a good way to start to slowly work down a debt that at that point was a mere 16 trillion dollars, the honorable Dems said no way to spending cuts. In fact, Boehner apparently offered Obama 800 billion in new spending by a sleight-of-hand between what is known as current law and what is known as current policy. But the gang of six were talking about up to 2 trillion in additional spending. A great way to start reducing the deficit and the debt. Unless of course, you raise taxes. The last numbers that Obama's team sent to Boehner's essentially said that for each dollar of cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, we want a dollar more of revenue. No deal.

So here we are 4 years later and counting. 18 trillion in debt and temporary measures and quick deals done in the face of impending debt ceilings, again. And again. And again. Entitlements are unsustainable as they are now. But untouchable even with a GOP-controlled House. And grand deals - if they are even possible - will have to wait until a new president is in the White House.

Posted by AllardK at November 2, 2015 7:54 PM
Comment #400234

Allard, continuing resolutions to fund government doesn’t require legislatures. A robot could do the same.

We need to sunset most spending provisions and start over.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 3, 2015 3:41 PM
Comment #400255

Good news for the nation.

Republican gets rare win in Kentucky’s governor’s race

“Kentucky voters elected just the second Republican in four decades to hold the governor’s office, in a race Tuesday that hinged largely on President Obama’s signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

The result was a potentially troubling sign for Democrats ahead of next year’s presidential election and represented a big win for the GOP as it continues to consolidate political power across the South. Democrats also were thumped in Virginia, where they made a costly push to win a majority in one chamber of the state Legislature.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 4, 2015 2:27 PM
Comment #400256

More good news for the nation.

“WASHINGTON — Speaker Paul D. Ryan said Tuesday he would demonstrate his commitment to a more inclusive style of legislating by allowing unlimited amendments on an important highway bill that will be debated on the House floor this week.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 4, 2015 2:29 PM
Comment #400280

Unlimited amendments mean unlimited pork. And there is no way, shape, or form that allowing that will be good for the nation. Of course, you never really cared about the national debt in the first place. This just makes it obvious.

The election in KY did NOT hinge on Obamacare. The GOP candidate soft-pedaled the issue, and most likely will institute an approach similar to the one used in Indiana. Of course, he may do otherwise once in office. Thing is, taking away health care from 400,000 people, including 100,000 children, would be a disaster.

Posted by: phx8 at November 5, 2015 1:26 AM
Comment #400341

All I can say,Allard, is thank god the crazies who want to destroy the “entitlements” we pay for failed with their starve the beast strategy so far. Cut the military budget, bring the military home seeings these rightist crazies don’t honor the service of these men and women as much as they honor tax cuts for the wealthy. Feed the SS and Mediaid/Medicare systems and insist on living wages to get the working poor off the welfare rolls. Feel the Bern.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 7, 2015 2:33 PM
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