Friday, September 24, 2010

Pledge to the same ole

Did it look to you -- like it did to me -- in  the pictures of John Boehner giving his "Pledge to America" that the goof ball may be losing a little of his oft-mentioned tan?

I looked for a picture of Boehner to illustrate this contention, but found only that I am not the only one who writes about his tan. There's a whole page of references on Google to "John Boehner tan," so you can look it up yourself if you don't believe me.

To me, though, it looks like Boehner's work on the empty pledge took a little color out of him.

According to the New York Times version of Boehner's presentation yesterday, the pledge is about as empty-headed as the Republicans' two years of opposition to anything Democratic that has been introduced in Congress, or anything at all Obama, for that matter.

So, this from the Times' David M. Herszenhorn: "The approach Boehner set out is based on a belief that smaller government, lower taxes and less regulation will fuel economic growth, create jobs and ultimately lead to a more prosperous nation. It deviated little from the tenets of mainstream conservatism over the last generation."

Now, for a minute here, I'm going to sound like a Democratic politician facing a tough mid-term election battle or a lot like other Democrats including former President Bill Clinton who are taking up this cudgel in response to Tea Party invective: Were not the "tenets of mainstream conservatism over the last generation" what got us into this whole mess in the first place?

Free-market capitalism and less regulation led to greedy real-estate mortgage brokers and exceedingly rich Wall Street bankers.

Lower taxes led to a let-the-rich-get-richer recovery from the Internet recession of 2000-2001 that, if you recall, remained remarkably "jobless," resulting in more jobs lost during the first four years of George W. Bush's reign than his second-term administration was ever able to regain.

In effect, the 2001-2008 recovery showed only that a president could allow an economic downturn to have its way with the American middle class while he also waged two wars and turned a national budget surplus into a withering record deficit. And don't let it be forgotten that it was George W. Bush and the Republican majority in Congress who grew the government to the size that now Republicans want to butcher.

Herszenhorn also quotes conservative analysts as saying the $100 billion Boehner promises to cut from federal spending would hardly make a dent in the current $1.3 trillion deficit. 

So a much paler-than-normal Boehner made a pretty pale pledge to America. He was promising more of the same ole, same ole Reagan/Bush conservatism that history has shown does no favors for America's middle incomes.

The sooner Americans -- and perhaps even Ohioans -- reject John Boehner's empty promises, the sooner  the good-ole-boy congressman can get back on the golf course to burnish up that trademark tan.

1 comment:

  1. I will agree with you that Boehner is a classic politician who's main concern is what can promote his self image. The notion that he is more or less guilty than a democratic politician may be a huge misstep. Buying into the bipartisanship that sculpts the american political system by laying blame on one side or the other is what destroys real debate and real solutions. If we have a problem with the way U.S. economic system has come to be we should question the economic philosophy that guides it. Keynsian economics can bring prosperity but not with out consequence hence the debt we are in. This Philosophy bridges both parties and receives no debate between the aisles. The false partnership is prevalent in the most important issues that decides the fate of the U.S. and those are economics and foreign policy decisions.