Everyone in the room laughs under their breath when John Boehner claims he’s promoting robust job creation and opportunities for all Americans, but that’s not what this statement issued by the Speaker of the House today is all about.
“For the fourth time in five years this White House has proven it does not take trillion-dollar deficits seriously enough to submit a budget on time. In contrast, Republicans will meet our obligations and pass another budget in the coming weeks that addresses our spending problem, promotes robust job creation, and expands opportunity for all Americans. The president’s Senate now must pass a budget this year for the first time in nearly four years, or lose its pay. It’s long past time for the president to do his job. This week, the House will act on a measure requiring the president to submit a balanced budget, and we hope he uses this opportunity to offer the American people his plan to do that.”
At this point, countering these ridiculous statements from the likes of John Boehner and Paul Ryan is like shooting fish in a barrel, but here goes.
It’s not the president’s responsibility to write budgets. That is the responsibility of congress. And — this is the real catch — any budget that includes revenue must originate in the House of Representatives.
The Senate may also propose or concur with budgets that raise revenue, but the House has to pass them first. And as you may have guessed, both Senate Democrats and President Obama want more revenue.
It may not be obvious to average voters, so I’ll explain what John Boehner is fishing for with statements like this. He wants Democrats to introduce a budget that doesn’t include revenue. He wants Democrats to propose specific spending cuts so he doesn’t have to. He assures you that he’ll eat a shit sandwich with you, but he wants you to take the first bite.
It’s cowardly and dishonest. And it burns him up that Democrats aren’t biting.
And we’ve covered it here in the past, but I’ll let the Wonk Blog explain why mandating a balanced budget, which the House will vote on again this week, is “the worst idea in Washington.” Louisiana Governor Bobby “Party of Stupid” Jindal proposed passing a very similar bill as recently as December.