The political theater in Washington D.C. is currently featuring a hysterical standoff between the right and the left as the debt ceiling deadline approaches. The GOP rightfully accuses President Obama of having increased the National Debt while the left accuses the Republicans of being unwilling to increase taxes. Meanwhile neither party is capable of balancing the budget as Democrats and Republicans depend on trillions of deficit spending.
Fact remains that the United States doesn’t have a revenue problem. Tax revenues greatly increased over the past decades, drastically since the year 2000. Yet the Government didn’t balance the budget as both Democrats and Republicans voted for big government policies that grew the size and cost of the Government while increasing the National Debt to new records – both under President Bush and President Obama.
WTF Finance already wrote about the Paul Ryan hypocrisy. This Wisconsin Congressman blames the left and big government spending for the deficits yet conveniently fails to admit how he himself voted for massive increases in the size, role and cost of Government while having voted to approve of the budget deficits under President Bush. Paul Ryan also voted for No Child Left Behind, for increases in Government loan guarantees for Fannie and Freddie, the Wall Street and Auto bailouts, etc. etc.
Since the political theater in Washington has reached a new height with House Speaker Boehner discontinueing talks with Obama there are articles emerging that label Boehner as a strong conservative voice. Any politician can appear to be principled by opposing the other party for political gain. Let’s take a closer look at the voting record of Republican House Speaker Boehner and how his votes helped increase the size of government while contributing to our deficits and the National Debt.
On 5/1/2008 Republican Congressman John Boehner voted for the Student Loan Provision Changes. HR 5715 was a Democrat introduced Bill that significantly increased government loan guarantees for student debt, yet Boehner and most of the Republicans voted for this anti-free market big Government bill.
“Increases the total federal loan limit for undergraduate studies from $23,000 to $31,000 for dependent students and from $46,000 to $57,500 for independent students (Sec. 2)….Increases the loan limit above the determined financial need for graduate students enrolled in an eligible institution from $10,000 to $12,000, allows a limit of up to $2,000 for dependent undergraduate students, and increases the limit amounts for independent undergraduate students from $4,000 to $6,000 for the first two years of study and from $5,000 to $7,000 for the second two years of study (Sec. 2).”
With his Yes vote on HR 5715 Boehner not only voted to increase student loan guarantees but he also voted for increased government spending and put the Nation at greater risk of having those loans go bad and therefore costing taxpayers billions in the future. The increased borrowing ability of students also contributes to the artificial increase in tuition cost. Not exactly a vote that a limited Government, free market proponent would take.
On 2/7/2008 Congressman John Boehner voted with the majority of Congress (380-34) for HR 5140, the Economic Stimulus Plan. No fiscal conservative pro-free market politician would vote for this bill as it not only provides a certain demographic with a welfare check but in addition this bill increased the FHA loan limits. By increasing the FHA loan limits for certain real estate to $633,500 and the GSE loan limit to $729,750 the Federal Government guarantees more debt and therefore puts itself at even greater financial risk of loan defaults. Not only is this fiscally irresponsible but it is also anti-free market as the government guarantees non-sense loans that the private market would not even make without such guarantees in place. This type of market interference greatly contributed to the Real Estate Bubble.
Congressman and Presidential Candidate Ron Paul who warned about the Housing Bubble in 2002 was one of only 34 Congressman voting against the Economic Stimulus Plan.
On 06/28/2002 Congressman John Bohener voted to massively increase government spending with his Yes vote on the Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act which authorized $350 billion in spending for the Medicare program.
On 5/23/2001 Boehner sponsored the No Child Left Behind bill. This bill was passed 384-45 with the support of most of Congress. “Limited Government” Republican Boehner sponsored this bill that increased not only the size of the Federal Government but with that increased the cost of it by hundreds of billions of dollars.
“Vote to pass a bill that would implement testing to track students’ progress and authorize an increase in overall education spending to nearly $23 billion for fiscal year 2002, and about $135 billion over the 2002-2006 period.”
Throughout his political career in Washington D.C., John Boehner also voted for hundreds of billions in foreign aid. Being the “limited Government conservative” that he is, Congressman John Boehner also voted for billions of dollars for socialist programs. In 1997 Boehner voted for $54.42 billion in mostly socialist spending, with $25 billion going to the Food Stamp Program, $7.77 billion for Child Nutrition Programs, $3.92 billion for Nutrition programs for women and children. In 2002, with his Yes vote on HR 4743 John Boehner voted for an additional $16.6 billion in socialist spending through Temporary Aid for Needy Families and hundreds of millions of dollars to promote marriages. These are hardly votes that are fiscally conservative and in the interest of limited Government…
Not surprisingly, limited Government Hypocrite Boehner joined the GOP and many Democrats with their bailout for Wall Street with a Yes vote for HR 1424, the Financial Asset Purchase Authority and Tax Law Amendments which authorized $700 billion in bailout spending.
In summary, it’s hysterical that career politician and big government supporter Boehner argues with President Obama about the debt ceiling. President Obama criticized the Bush Administration for its increase in debt ceiling in the past while Boehner and the majority of the GOP that voted for the expansion of government and deficit spending while the Republicans occupied the White House are now barking at the left. Although a serious economic event, it’s hysterical given that both parties grow the size, role, and cost of government with any opportunity they get when their party is in the White House.
Fact remains that House Speaker Boehner is not part of the solution but part of the problem. With his many votes that increased the size and cost of Government he directly contributed to the budget deficits and the trillions of dollars the United States is in debt. There’s no doubt that the debt ceiling will be passed one way or another and that the Republicans will promise us limited Government, balanced budgets, and free markets for the upcoming election. It’s business as usual, politics as usual. Nothing will ever change and final destination is still hyperinflation.