John Boehner is at it again. During his press conference this morning, Boehner threatened to take the debt ceiling hostage to try to force President Obama to embrace spending cuts. From Huffington Post:
“We’re not going to raise the debt ceiling without real cuts in spending. It’s as simple as that,” he said at a press conference.
“I believe the so-called Boehner Rule is the right formula for getting that done,” he said, referring to the notion that any increase in the statutory debt limit should be accompanied by an equivalent amount of spending cuts.
No one should take Boehner’s threat seriously after House Republicans folded during the previous debt ceiling showdown. Boehner has already proved he is unwilling to have Republican blamed for destroying the economy if President Obama holds firm to his position not to negotiate.
The only way this threat can work is if Obama wants it to work. The Obama team is currently trying again to revive the grand bargain. This debt ceiling hostage-taking may only “work” if Obama wants to use it as an excuse to say he was “forced” to cut a deal he wanted anyway. It was because Obama was hoping an artificial deadline would force all sides to accept a grand bargain back in 2011 that this whole debt ceiling hostage idea was allowed to get out of control in the first place.
Photo by Gage Skidmore under Creative Commons license