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Boehner’s Bone-Headed Remarks on Tax Cuts

Posted on September 16 2010 9:00 am
Scott Spiegel blogs at He can be reached at

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On the first season of “The Apprentice,” there was a character who got fired because of a comment she made to Donald Trump in explaining her team’s failure to win that week’s challenge, a remark that implied her team had been “duped” by the other side.  Everyone was mystified why she would make, as Trump put it, “so obnoxious” a statement.  Perhaps she was trying to throw her team’s project manager under the bus; perhaps she was trying to sound smart; perhaps she was simply being overly honest without recognizing the importance of appearances in business.

If House Minority Leader John Boehner were competing on “The Apprentice” for the position of Majority Leader in 2011, Trump would have fired him for the obnoxious comments he made this week.

To back up a bit, President Barack Obama has announced that he wants the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 extended at the end of this year for only those making under $250,000, and not for small business owners and two-income families—sorry, “the filthy, stinking rich.”

Republicans, including Boehner, want all of the tax cuts renewed.

Last June, Obama’s former economic advisor Christina Rohmer published an empirical paper demonstrating that tax cuts stimulate economic growth.

In July, Obama’s Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke observed that continuing all of the Bush tax cuts past 2010 would be a wise idea.

Recently, moderate Democrats and Independents in Congress including Senators Kent Conrad, Evan Bayh, Ben Nelson, Jim Webb, and Joe Lieberman, and a dozen Representatives, have stated that they are open to extending all of the Bush tax cuts.

Last week, Peter Orszag, Obama’s former Director of the Office of Management and Budget, wrote an editorial in the New York Times supporting both sets of tax cuts as preferable to neither.

On Monday, Rasmussen reported that a majority of Americans favor letting the Bush tax cuts continue for upper income brackets.

Naturally, in this environment of receptiveness to renewing the Bush tax cuts, Boehner has capitalized on the wave of bipartisan goodwill and public support by announcing that he is fine with… discontinuing the tax cuts for high earners.

The setup for Boehner’s bone-headed remark was foreseeable: it has happened to spineless Republicans too many times before.  During his speech last Wednesday in Cleveland, Obama did a nice little hit job on Boehner and his policies, claiming that Boehner had no new ideas and simply wanted to return to the Bush era.

Last week, The New York Times did its own hit job on Boehner.

On Sunday, Boehner did something to actually deserve one.

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