By David Apgar, the founder of ApgarPartners LLC, a firm that helps companies and development organizations learn by treating goals as assumptions to be tested by performance results. He blogs at www.relevancegap.blogspot.com.
Speaker Boehner made three points in his surprisingly combative reply to President Obama on debt ceiling legislation Monday night. Readers of this blog can help determine whether, as I believe, all three were lies despite the seriousness of the impasse on federal authority to continue borrowing.
First, the Speaker declared that government spending was the reason for joblessness. Until this year no one believed that government spending decreases jobs. There has never been any public debate on this point because it flies in the face of common sense. Does anyone out there think government spending — on a net basis, if you like — reduces employment?
Second, Boehner described Republican conditions for an increase in the debt limit in terms of what Americans demanded — namely reduced spending and reforms. Several White House proposals have now offered deeper cuts than the Republicans dared propose, however. In his convoluted trope, Speaker Boehner thus managed to hide the fact that the key condition Republicans have imposed is no tax increases and, astonishingly, no reduction in tax loopholes. In other words, the Republican leader hid from view a key demand leading to an impasse that could cost American families thousands of dollars — and one, namely no reduction in tax loopholes, for which there is no public support.
Third, the Speaker declared that the vote for the House Republicans’ Cut, Cap and Balance bill was bipartisan — but hid the detail that only 5 of 234 votes for the bill were Democratic ones.
This appears to be a level of public duplicity on a par with what got the U.S. into the Iraq War.