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Is John Boehner's economic policy 'functionally illiterate'?
Boehner delivers a much-hyped speech on the economy — and comes under fire for making some very questionable claims
House Speaker John Boehner at a Capitol Hill press conference in February: Critics argue that Boehner's diagnosis of America's economic problems are contradicted by studies and market indicators.
House Speaker John Boehner at a Capitol Hill press conference in February: Critics argue that Boehner's diagnosis of America's economic problems are contradicted by studies and market indicators.
Jeff Malet/maletphoto.com
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ouse Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) threw "down the gauntlet" in the debate over the federal debt ceiling this week, insisting in a speech to financial leaders that any deal to increase the government limit on borrowing must be accompanied by "trillions, not just billions," in budget cuts. But Boehner "built his case on several assertions that are contradicted by market indicators and government reports," say James Rowley and Mike Dorning at Bloomberg News — such as his claim that government spending is "crowding out private investment and threatening the availability of capital." A Boehner spokesman dismissed the criticisms, but was Boehner really off base?

Yes, his ignorance is "alarming": Boehner "made a terrible error" by sharing his "conspicuously unintelligent" views on the economy, says Steve Benen at Washington Monthly. This isn't about partisan policy disagreements. It's about "Boehner vs. reality." The speaker laid out "an economic vision based on fantasy, confusion, and lies." The "striking" list of factual errors he made in his speech shows that, on these economic matters, he is "functionally illiterate." It makes me uncomfortable to think about, but "the man simply has no idea what he’s talking about."
"Boehner's functionally illiterate on economic policy"

No, Boehner gets the big picture: Boehner's line in the sand on spending cuts may have "freaked out" the "big spenders" on the Left, says The Washington Times in an editorial. But Republicans are justified in delaying a vote on the debt ceiling until "major budget reforms put an end to the current, unsustainable spending spree in Washington." Boehner is just "looking for the best way" to limit the government's deficit spending "over the long haul."
"Editorial: Use the Constitution to cut spending"

Let's all just stop playing politics: The financial conditions Boehner and the GOP are laying out are "unrealistic" at best, and "pandering to the Tea Party" at worst, says The Cleveland Plain Dealer in an editorial. The nation's "debt has been rising for a decade under presidents and congressional leaders of both parties." The debt limit issue "is not a political football," and both parties need to quit pointing fingers at each other, and simply "act responsibly."
"No time for political games on debt ceiling: editorial"

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