While watching John Boehner discuss the debt ceiling crisis on Fox News Sunday it became clear that the GOP plan never was cut, cap, and balance, but bitch, bail, and flail.
Here is Boehner on Fox News Sunday:
What started out on Boehner’s two step process turned into a remarkable exchange between the Speaker and Chris Wallace:
BOEHNER: Well, there will be a two-stage process, it’s just not physically possible to do all of this in one step. Having said that, Chris, I know the president is worried about his next election. But my God, shouldn’t he be worried about the country? We have got a budget deficit of $1.5 trillion. We’re borrowing 42 cents on every dollar we spend, we have $14.5 trillion national debt. It is time to get serious about stopping the spending here in Washington, D.C.
WALLACE: So are you suggesting you might pass a short-term plan in the House and in effect, dare the Senate, dare the White House to block it?
BOEHNER: Chris, this is about what is doable at the 11th hour. Remember this, you mentioned this to Secretary Geithner. The House has done its work. We passed a budget, we passed a plan.
WALLACE: I know but they have been defeated.
BOEHNER: We passed cut, cap and balance.
WALLACE: But they have been defeated, sir.
The above demonstrates exactly how Boehner and GOP’s bitch, bail, and flail plan works. First comes the complaint about the size of the national debt. The complaint is followed by bailing on doing anything serious by touting a House plan that was DOA the millisecond it was passed. The process is then concluded by flailing anytime reality is injected into the conversation. (For example, Chris Wallace pointing out that the Senate rejected the House plan).
The same interview gave us another example of bitch, bail, and flail:
BOEHNER: I think it is important that we deal with our long-term problem. It’s serious. Washington spending has been out of control. And what has happened over the last two years really shows how much out of control it got. Trillion-dollar stimulus plan, a health care plan that we can’t afford, all of this extra spending that has not worked. And the spending binge has to stop. And our efforts all year have focused on trying to stop it.
And as I look at trying to put together a plan with my colleagues, I am going to work with them in the framework of cut, cap and balance, because those are the three things that have to happen if we are going to instill confidence in our economy.
WALLACE: But when you say cut, cap and balance, the Senate resoundingly tabled the idea of a balanced budget amendment. You are not going to insist on that again. Whether it’s a good plan or not.
BOEHNER: I continue to believe that a balanced budget amendment is the greatest enforcement mechanism to bring Washington spending under control.
WALLACE: But you are not going to make that a condition.
BOEHNER: I am going to continue to develop a framework within the principles of cut, cap and balance.
It is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Again, Boehner starts with the size of the debt, bails on a real solution by talking about the deader than dead House plan, and then he flails when confronted reality.
Earlier on the same program Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner talked about the real motivations behind the House plan:
The Republican plan that passed the House of Representatives and the Republican brought forth in the Senate would, in the estimate of the CBO, require beneficiaries of Medicare to pay $6,500 a year more, $6,500 a year more for Medicare benefits that they do today.
And why are they doing that? They are doing that because they want to preserve — I don’t think the speaker does say this — but they want to preserve tax cuts that benefit the top 2 percent of Americans that we simply cannot afford.
And what they did and they demonstrated in their plans — and I give them credit for this — that if you try to our budget without revenues, with tax reforms that raises revenues, then you are forced to put in place exceptional harsh cuts not just for Medicare beneficiaries but for Medicaid. And remember this country, this great nation with our great resources today, one in eight Americans are eligible for food stamps today. Forty percent of Americans born today are born to families eligible for Medicaid.
The idea that you can ask the American people to balance this budget on the backs of the elderly and the most vulnerable with no burden through tax reforms on the most fortunate Americans is fundamentally unacceptable. It’s not going to happen. They knew it. It’s not going to become law.
When Wallace asked Boehner about Geithner’s point, the Speaker ran for cover, “I’m not going to get involved in all that political sniping. I am interested in a solution to the problem we face. I don’t want to see default. I don’t frankly want to get anywhere close to it.”
The Republican talking point is Democrats don’t have a plan. This is based on the faulty premise that that the country needs a plan in order to raise the debt ceiling. We need one line of legislation, not a plan. What is happening here is that Republicans are trying to use the debt ceiling crisis as a backdoor means of killing Social Security and Medicare. That’s what cut, cap, and balance is really about.
After the first Republican plan (Operation: Debt Ceiling Hostage) ran smack into a brick wall named Barack Obama, Boehner came up with bitch, bail, and flail. Of course this plan won’t lower the debt, or raise the debt ceiling. By this point, Boehner and the GOP are doing damage control.
Bitch, bail, and fail is all about trying to win back the favor of the tea party. Republicans have already lost the debt ceiling battle. All that is left to be seen is whether they are foolish enough to nuke the US economy by pushing the big red default button.