At this stage of the game it really is hard not to launch another white hot philippic against Speaker John Boehner. It really is. Judging by the current flow of events I’ll have time for one — or a hundred — later so today I will try to be helpful.
We manifestly do not have a revenue problem. The U.S. Treasury received over $2.4T in taxes for the past fiscal year. The government spent all of that incredible sum plus another $1.1T. Profligacy on that scale makes drunken sailor metaphors inoperable and insufficient for the rest of time.
Yet, Speaker Boehner, in negotiations that should have began and ended with real reductions in spending is working doggedly to dig more money from the pockets of taxpayers. Obama’s opening gambit which asked for $1.6T in tax increases with unspecified spending cuts to occur at a future date should have been met with a demand for an immediate $2T reduction in spending and no plan for a tax increase.
But that tact would require a man with a philosophical core and a plan of action to match. That is not the case before us. Speaker Boehner is too, uh, let’s say gentlemanly, to draw attention to the massive amount of money the government currently drains from the public.
Instead of wasting time with President Obama on the phone or shuffling off to be part of an Obama photo op at the White House, Speaker Boehner should (daily) be explaining the financial facts of life to the American public. How hard is it to communicate the concept of living within your means? Use a Big Bird lookalike if necessary. “Boys and girls we take in X and we spend X plus a trillion. Can you say ‘broke’, boys and girls?” Most Americans care about their credit bureau scores. Some obsess over them. Explain the United States is currently on its way from possessing an 800 FICO score to a 500 FICO score. People making 40 grand a year understand they cannot live as though they make 60 grand a year and there are consequences if they do. Ask President Obama how is it that the average American can budget a life on $42,000 a year but the federal government can’t on $2,400,000,000,000. Use all of the zeroes. Loudly point out that when the president goes on vacation he is doing so on borrowed money. Use any photos of the Obamas body surfing or enjoying luaus to remind voters that Mr. Obama’s party is being sponsored by them, their children and their children’s children. Mr. Obama likes to employ the imagery of class warfare. Join him but make sure the classes you outline are the government class versus the taxpayer class. In short, be the adult to President Obama’s teenager with his first credit card act.
Some of the above may seem rude but it will concentrate the public’s attention on the real possibility of the complete pauperization of our nation.
Speaker Boehner fails as a negotiator because he does not have victory as a goal. President Obama’s stated objective, and the animating factor in his tactics, is the fundamental transformation of the United States. It seems Mr. Boehner’s aim is to help him manage the transition.
Author Wendell Talley
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