John Boehner, failure

The collapse of his "Plan B" reveals that the GOP just isn't serious about reducing the deficit

Topics: RobertReich.org, Republican Party, Grover Norquist, John Boehner, Fiscal cliff, Paul Ryan, Business, ,

John Boehner, failureHouse Speaker John Boehner (Credit: Reuters/Jason Reed)
This originally appeared on Robert Reich's blog.

Remarkably, John Boehner couldn’t get enough House Republicans to vote in favor of his proposal to keep the Bush tax cuts in place on the first million dollars of everyone’s income and apply the old Clinton rates only to dollars over and above a million.

What? Even Grover Norquist blessed Boehner’s proposal, saying it wasn’t really a tax increase. Even Paul Ryan supported it.

What does Boehner’s failure tell us about the modern Republican Party?

That it has become a party of hypocrisy masquerading as principled ideology. The GOP talks endlessly about the importance of reducing the budget deficit. But it isn’t even willing to raise revenues from the richest three-tenths of 1 percent of Americans to help with the task. We’re talking about 400,000 people, for crying out loud.



It has become a party that routinely shills for its super-wealthy patrons at a time in our nation’s history when the middle class is shrinking, the median wage is dropping, and the share of Americans in poverty is rising.

It has become a party of spineless legislators more afraid of facing primary challenges from right-wing kooks than of standing up for what’s right for America.

For all these reasons it has become irrelevant to the problems America faces.

The Republican Party in the process of marginalizing itself out of existence. I am tempted to say good riddance, but that would be premature.

Robert Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written 13 books, including his latest best-seller, “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future;” “The Work of Nations,” which has been translated into 22 languages; and his newest, an e-book, “Beyond Outrage.” His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His new movie "Inequality for All" is in Theaters. His widely-read blog can be found at www.robertreich.org.

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