Mr. Speaker, America’s Debt is Not a Gambling Chip

This morning, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) published an op-ed in USA TODAY reminding President Obama that negotiating on the debt ceiling is a long-time Washington tradition. The Speaker’s words were strong rhetoric – but not much more.

First, he cited five different examples of Presidents “over the past 30 years” tying the debt ceiling to deficit reduction efforts. What his op-ed ignored is that only one of those Presidents – Bill Clinton – actually worked with Congress and temporarily eliminated the federal deficit.

Second, the Speaker stated the Budget Control Act “has actually reduced federal spending for the first time in decades.” This is not true. The Budget Control Act has merely reduced the growth in federal spending for the first time in decades.

Third, Speaker Boehner outlined zero specific cuts to federal spending in the op-ed. Not one.

Finally, and most importantly, the Speaker’s op-ed ignores how all of the budget deals it referenced failed to solve America’s fiscal crisis.

Since he won’t lead, here are some ideas for spending cuts from Tea Party Patriots:

1) Repeal Obamacare, including subsidies for government-run exchanges.
2) Corporate welfare totals $100 billion per year, and should be eliminated.
3) Several billion dollars are wasted every year on unused federal housing and properties. Selling these properties would bring in revenue that should go to deficit reduction, and save billions annually.
4) Every year, at least $200 billion is wasted on duplicated programs. Any duplication should be eliminated.

There was one point of agreement in the op-ed – the Speaker noted at least twice how the national debt is hurting our economy. We are glad his position has changed since March, when claimed on ABC’s “This Week” that the debt “is not an immediate problem.” Now that he recognizes the danger, it’s time to do something about it.

For the last two-and-a-half years, Speaker Boehner has offered little but tough-sounding soundbytes when it comes to budget deals. His most recent op-ed is another failure in leadership.

It’s simple, Mr. Speaker: Don’t raise the debt ceiling. America’s debt is not a gambling chip.