Senate Democrats

Reviews Are In on Boehner’s Debt Ceiling Speech… (And They Aren’t Pretty)

‘Incoherent’ … ‘Impervious to Facts’… ‘Devoid’ of ‘Accurate Diagnosis’ of Debt Problem …’Makes No Economic Sense’

STATEMENT FROM SENATOR CHARLES E. SCHUMER:

“The Speaker is entitled to his own opinions about how to reduce our debt, but not his own facts. We will never cure what ails our economy

if the Republicans keep misdiagnosing the problem because of their ideological blinders.”

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT BOEHNER SPEECH …

Washington Post: Boehner’s Remarks Undergirded By a “Incoherent, Impervious-to-Fact Economic Philosophy.” “Even more alarming, because it has consequences beyond the debt-ceiling debate, is the incoherent, impervious-to-facts economic philosophy undergirding Boehner’s remarks…Listening to Boehner, I began to think the country suffers from two deficits: the gap between spending and revenue, and the one between reality and ideology. The first cannot be solved unless we find some way of at least narrowing the second.”  [Washington Post, Marcus Column, 5/10/11]

New York Times: Boehner Speech Devoid of Accurate Diagnosis or Rigorous Prescriptions for the Debt Issue. “Even before the White House and the Republicans began talks on the debt limit, John Boehner made clear that he was looking for a political fight, not a compromise. There is no way to solve the country’s fiscal ills without an accurate diagnosis and rigorous prescriptions for a cure. Mr. Boehner’s speech was devoid of both… [Boehner’s argument] makes no economic sense.” [New York Times, Editorial, 5/10/11]

Bloomberg: Boehner’s Views on Economy Contradicted by Studies.  “House Speaker John Boehner, giving Wall Street leaders his prescriptions for growing the U.S. economy and reducing the nation’s debt, built his case on several assertions that are contradicted by market indicators and government reports.”  [Bloomberg, 5/11/11]

BOEHNER’S RHETORIC VS. REALITY

Boehner Rhetoric:

“We’re calling for an end to the government spending binge that is crowding out private investment and threatening the availability of capital needed for job creation.” [Boehner Speech, 5/9/11]

Reality:

Business Investment Up Over 15 Percent in 2010 and up over 11 Percent in First Quarter of 2011. [Bloomberg, 5/11/11]

Economist: Very Hard to Come to a Conclusion That There’s Any Kind of Crowding Out. Nariman Behravesh, chief economist of IHS Inc., a research firm based in Englewood, Colorado  said, “Look at interest rates. Look at capital spending.  It’s very hard to come to a conclusion that there’s any kind of crowding out.”  [Bloomberg, 5/11/11]

Boehner Rhetoric:

“The recent stimulus spending binge hurt our economy and hampered private sector job creation in America.”  [Boehner Speech, 5/9/11]

Reality:

Non Partisan Congressional Budget Office: The Bipartisan American Recovery and Reinvestment Act…

·         Raised GDP by up to 3.5 Percent.

·         Decreased Unemployment Rate by up to 1.9 Percentage Points.

·         Increased the Number of Employed People by up to 3.5 million.

·         Increased the Number of Jobs by up to 5 Million Than Otherwise Would Have Been Created. [CBO, 2/23/11]]

BLS 2.1 million Jobs Created Since February 2009. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5/6/11]

Boehner Rhetoric:

“It’s possible to make changes in a way that will ensure future beneficiaries will have access to the same kinds of options as Members of Congress currently have.  The budget put forth by our Budget Committee Chairman, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, accomplishes this.” [Boehner Speech, 5/9/11]

Reality: CBO Projection: GOP Plan Covers Seniors’ Health Benefits at Less Than Half the Amount They Cover for Members of Congress. “The CBO projected in an April 5 report that under the Republican plan, by 2030 the government would pay 32 percent of the health-care costs of a typical 65-year-old. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s benefit handbook says the government pays as much as 75 percent of the health-care costs of federal workers, including members of Congress.”  [Bloomberg, 5/11/11; CBO, 4/5/11]

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