Speaker of the House John Boehner comments on the latest efforts to increase the debt ceiling and the government shutdown, using the usual Republican mantra:
“We’ve been trying to have conversations with our Democrat colleagues. They don’t want to talk. The President doesn’t want to talk.”
Really? Are you kidding?
Bearing in mind that the Republican’s efforts, to date, seem to be focused solely on the idea of delaying – or destroying – the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare….
Dear Speaker of the House:
- I seem to recall that rather than proposing Medicare For All, and then perhaps compromising on a health care reform package with a strong public option, Obama began with a health care plan modeled on Republican proposals originally set out by Bob Dole and implemented by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.
- I seem to recall Obamacare being funded by the individual mandate, a plan created by the Republican Party back in 1993 as a response to President Clinton’s attempt to overhaul the existing healthcare system.
- I seem to recall over 190 Republican amendments to Obamacare.
- I seem to recall President Obama dropping his election year promise of a public single-payer option to appease Republicans – a concession other Democrats strenuously objected to.
- I seem to recall then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pulling together a majority consensus to pass the Affordable Care Act by a normal House vote of 219 to 212.
- I seem to recall President Obama reaffirming the Hyde Act by way of an executive order to facilitate that vote.
And if you want to go back even further,
- I seem to recall President Obama’s opening bid when taking office to be to move more than halfway in the direction of Republican principles. When Republicans refuse to consider Obama’s compromise proposals and took the economy hostage, Obama unilaterally offered up further compromises without getting anything back in return, which only encouraged further Republican intransigence – leading to the current government shutdown.
- I seem to recall when Obama first appointed his economic team, he did not appoint “a team of rivals” but a “team of Rubins,” drawing all of his principal economic advisors from Wall Street’s allies like Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Peter Orzag and Rahm Emanuel, rather than including some advisors with progressive views similar to those of Joe Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, or James Galbraith.
- I seem to recall that although Obama was advised that in order to bring unemployment under control, a stimulus package in the order of $1.2 trillion was needed, Obama’s opening bid was on the order of $700 billion dollars. He then negotiated a package that was made up nearly half of unstimulative tax cuts.
- I seem to recall a few weeks before the BP oil spill, Obama proposed expanding offshore drilling in the hopes of gaining Republican support for the previously Republican idea of cap-and-trade. He gained no Republican support and a few weeks later, BP began gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, with no Republican support for the Republican-originated cap-and-trade concept, it died a quiet death in the Senate.
- I seem to recall that rather than demanding that the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans expire at the end of 2010, Obama began his negotiations with Republicans by offering to extend the Bush tax cuts on everyone. Instead, he could have demanded the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans expire, and if Republicans failed to vote for this and allowed all the tax cuts to expire, gone to the American people and forced the Republicans to renew only the middle class tax cuts in the lame duck session.
- I seem to recall Obama’s past negotiations on the debt ceiling with Republican hostage-takers who threaten to blow up the economy if they don’t get their way. He offered up a plan made up of 75% spending cuts to 25% “revenue increases” (God forbid, not tax increases). When Republicans remained intransigent, he offered a plan with less than 10% revenue increases.
Watch Boehner’s latest disgraceful display below from Bloomberg: