A Reminder Of Why You Can't Take The GOP Seriously On The Deficit

John Boehner Republican

Photo: AP

There aren’t too many Democrats eager to do something serious about the deficit, and… the exact same can be said about Republicans.They just like to talk about it.

Case in point.


Asked by host David Gregory how he could support cutting the deficit and slashing taxes, Boehner said: “You can’t raise taxes in the middle of a weak economy without risking a double dip in this recession.”

Gregory asked if Boehner believed that the costs of the tax cuts should be offset, prompting the GOP leader to say: “I’m not for raising taxes on the American people in a soft economy.”

Now, it’s possible that John Boehner has some ideas in his head for programs he’d like to cut in order to offset the effect of ongoing tax cuts. Maybe he’d like to see less aid to the states. Who knows?

But if he can’t go on TV and say something that’s not standard-issue political rhetoric, or answer a question about deficit offsets without some warmed over line like “I’m not for raising taxes,” then what chance is there ever of actually doing? None.

So let’s hope for one of two things. The first would be shockingly strong growth, and a surge in tax collections that makes the point moot. The second (and this is actually a more likely outcome) would be for us to have our view of deficits totally wrong, and that in fact they really don’t matter at all.

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