The education of John Boehner. . .

at The Wall Street Journal.

"Mr. Boehner says, 'the president said to me, 'We don't have a spending problem.' '

I am talking to Mr. Boehner in his office on the second floor of the Capitol, 72 hours after the historic House vote to take America off the so-called fiscal cliff by making permanent the Bush tax cuts on most Americans, but also to raise taxes on high earners. In the interim, Mr. Boehner had been elected to serve his second term as speaker of the House. Throughout our hourlong conversation, as is his custom, he takes long drags on one cigarette after another.

Mr. Boehner looks battle weary from five weeks of grappling with the White House. He's frustrated that the final deal failed to make progress toward his primary goal of 'making a down payment on solving the debt crisis and setting a path to get real entitlement reform.' At one point he grimly says: 'I need this job like I need a hole in the head.'

The president's insistence that Washington doesn't have a spending problem, Mr. Boehner says, is predicated on the belief that massive federal deficits stem from what Mr. Obama called 'a health-care problem.' Mr. Boehner says that after he recovered from his astonishment—'They blame all of the fiscal woes on our health-care system'—he replied: 'Clearly we have a health-care problem, which is about to get worse with ObamaCare. But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem.' He repeated this message so often, he says, that toward the end of the negotiations, the president became irritated and said: 'I'm getting tired of hearing you say that.'"


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  • 1/8/2013 11:56 AM David wrote:
    "What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: 'At one point several weeks ago,' Mr. Boehner says, 'the president said to me, "We don't have a spending problem."'"

    Hard to believe that any Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives could be such a babe in the woods as that.
    Reply to this
    1. 1/8/2013 2:11 PM Cultural Offering wrote:
      The political babes in the woods are Republicans and business men and women.  They are regularly "shocked" and "stunned".  I just wish they would learn that they are dealing with people who want political power and control.  Give it to them and they want more.  Offer hope for fixing something and they will choose a broken option which gives them power over a solution which disperses power.  Simple.

      Reply to this
      1. 1/8/2013 10:06 PM David wrote:
        Someone must be hiding their newspapers.
        Reply to this
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