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by Jules Witcover
House Minority Leader John Boehner, a chief spokesman in the Republican drive to take control of one or both houses of
In a speech to the
In the meantime, Boehner said, President Obama should fire Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, chief economic adviser Larry Summers, and the rest of his economic advisory team. It was a catnip gesture to an audience of businessmen from the perpetually tanned poster boy for country club America.
Boehner offered little explanation, however, of how life would be different from what it was under Bush if he and his band of merry obstructionists were back in the saddle on
Without direct reference to the principal beneficiaries of the Bush tax cuts -- the best-heeled 5 percent of Americans -- Boehner continued his party's line of casting ending the preferential cuts as imposing "job-killing tax hikes on families and small business."
At a time many large corporations are hoarding huge profits as they squeeze higher productivity out of reduced work forces, Boehner blamed the failure to resume hiring on the Obama economic recovery stimulus.
"Right now," he said, "American employers are afraid to invest in an economy stalled by 'stimulus' spending and hamstrung by uncertainty. The prospect of higher taxes, stricter rules, and more regulations has employers sitting on their hands. And after the pummeling they've taken from Washington over the last 18 months, who can blame them?"
While he was at it, Boehner took a whack at the
One of the chief congressional obstructionists also said Obama "should call on Democratic leaders in
This from a
While thus reciting from the Republican handbook, Boehner assured his audience if he became speaker "I would run the House differently. And I don't just mean differently than the way Democrats are running it now. I mean differently than it's been run in the past under Democrats or Republicans. That means challenging the old ways in Washington, getting to the bottom of what drives people crazy, and then fixing it once and for all."
For a minute there, Boehner sounded like presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008, promising "change you can believe in," including breaking the partisan stalemate and bickering in Washington. But what he was talking about, Boehner quickly added, was government spending.
"We don't just need to stop spending so much, we need to stop spending so irrationally," said the man whose party, after winning the
That, to be sure, was before John Boehner became the House minority leader. At the time, he was lower in the House GOP hierarchy but preaching against government spending even then.
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John Boehner's Economic Prescription | Politics