Outside of the Republican media bubble, I don't think there has been any doubt that Republicans, not President Obama, are the ones insisting on implementing the sequester's automatic spending cuts. Yet to hear House Speaker John Boehner tell it, you'd never know that. Boehner even went so far as to hold a press conference with the phrase "#Obamaquester" on a placard on his podium, and a "#Countdown to Obamaquester" clock in the background.(See photo below)
Wednesday, however, the unexpected happened -- Boehner admitted his lie. He came clean during an an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on Tapper's new show, "The Lead." Boehner initially tried to blame President Obama for the sequester, saying that "he forced this process to occur." Then Tapper pointed out that President Obama didn't want the sequester cuts ... and Boehner actually conceded the point:
"Well, no, he didn't want the cuts. But, uh, we have the sequester as a result of his demands. And I've told my colleagues in the House that the sequester will stay in effect until there's an agreement that will include cuts and reforms that will balance the budget over the next ten years."
Let there now be no doubt, this is the #Boehnerquester. Obama doesn't want the sequester cuts, John Boehner does -- and he'll insist on keeping them in place until even harsher budget cuts are enacted.
Oh, teh stupid...it burns us. Here's what John Boehner said at a press conference on Monday afternoon:
REPORTER QUESTION: "Do you have a sense of how many jobs will be lost as a result of the sequester?"
HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: "Uh, I do not. But I can tell you this: If we don't solve the spending problem here in Washington, there'll be tens of millions of jobs in the future that won't happen because of the debt load that's being laid on the backs of our kids and our grandkids."
So the Speaker of the House of Representatives is now insisting that we must endure the sequester, yet he doesn't have the slightest idea how many jobs will be cut if the automatic spending cuts are allowed to kick in. I guess it's time to fill him in. In Speaker Boehner's home state of Ohio, there will be nearly 30,000 furloughs. But, hey, he does know that tens of millions of imaginary jobs that have yet to be created are on the line if we don't cut spending starting right now.
Here are some detailed examples of the impact on Ohio this year alone if the sequester takes effect:
-Teachers and Schools: Ohio will lose approximately $25.1 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 350 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 34,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 100 fewer schools would receive funding.
-Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Ohio will lose approximately $22 million in funds for about 270 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
-Work-Study Jobs: Around 3,320 fewer low income students in Ohio would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 1,450 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.
-Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 2,500 children in Ohio, reducing access to critical early education. 2
-Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Ohio would lose about $6,865,000 in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Ohio could lose another $981,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
-Military Readiness: In Ohio, approximately 26,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $161.4 million in total.
-Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $1.9 million in Ohio.
-Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Ohio would be cut by about $3 million.
-Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Ohio will lose about $455,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
-Job Search Assistance to Help those in Ohio find Employment and Training: Ohio will lose about $1,786,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 57,100 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.
-Child Care: Up to 800 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.
-Vaccines for Children: In Ohio around 5,040 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $344,000.
-Public Health: Ohio will lose approximately $1,102,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Ohio will lose about $3,310,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 4200 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Ohio
-State Department of Health will lose about $302,000 resulting in around 7,600 fewer HIV tests.
-STOP Violence Against Women Program: Ohio could lose up to $245,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 900 fewer victims being served.
-Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Ohio would lose approximately $823,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.
At least if Speaker Boehner runs into a furloughed defense worker, or an elementary school kid whose teacher just got laid off, a young mother whose children just got kicked out of Head Start, or an elderly person who lost their one hot meal a day from Meals on Wheels, he has his sequester defense all worked out. Your children's grandchildren's great-grandchildren will thank him, no doubt.
In a revealing interview with The Wall Street Journal, House Speaker John Boehner discussed the conversations he had with President Obama during closed-door fiscal-cliff negotiations. Appearing to have a case of battle fatigue after weeks of negotiations, at one point in the interview Boehner said "I need this job like I need a hole in the head." He says he was most shocked by Obama saying that Washington doesn’t have a spending problem. The speaker, just entering his second term, also explained his notorious “Go f--k yourself” snap at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “I was in Ohio, and Harry’s on the Senate floor calling me a dictator and all kinds of nasty things. You know, I don’t lose my temper. I never do. But I was shocked at what Harry was saying about me,” he said. Boehner also discussed his decision to vote for the Senate tax package, saying a "no" vote would do "serious damage to the economy.”
"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.' "
"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."'
"With the two sides so far from agreeing even on the nature of the country's fiscal challenge, making progress on how to address it was difficult. Mr. Boehner became so agitated with the lack of progress that he cursed at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "Those days after Christmas," he explains, "I was in Ohio, and Harry's on the Senate floor calling me a dictator and all kinds of nasty things. You know, I don't lose my temper. I never do. But I was shocked at what Harry was saying about me. I came back to town. Saw Harry at the White House. And that was when that was said," he says, referring to a pointed "go [blank] yourself" addressed to Mr. Reid."
"Mr. Boehner confirms that at one critical juncture he asked Mr. Obama, after conceding on $800 billion in new taxes, "What am I getting?" and the president replied: "You don't get anything for it. I'm taking that anyway."'