John Boehner Still Not Ready For Primetime
House Minority Leader John Boehner has been on the attack against President Barack Obama's stimulus package. Boehner offer Republicans own alternative budget; which is a 35 to 25 percent for anyone making over $100,000. Those under that tax bracket would pay 10 percent.
"Two nights ago, the president said, 'We haven't seen a budget yet out of Republicans.' Well, it's just not true, because here it is, Mr. President," said House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), waving a blue document in the air.
"Today we're introducing a detailed road-to-recovery plan," he told the reporters. Other than the tax proposal, however, the plan was absent any details. Instead, it hammered the Democratic budget as too expensive.
Boehner then demonstrated why he is a horrible party leader. He couldn't handle the heat in the kitchen. Reporters noticed they were given nothing more than a piece of paper. They wanted to see the actual House GOP budget.
Reporters -- mainstream, liberal and conservative -- greeted the Republican document with a collective scoff.
"Are you going to have any further details on this today?" the first asked.
"On what?" asked Boehner.
"There's no detail in here," noted the reporter.
Answered Boehner: "This is a blueprint for where we're going. Are you asking about some other document?"
A second reporter followed up: "What about some numbers? What about the out-year deficit? What about balancing the budget? How are you going to do it?"
"We'll have the alternative budget details next week," promised Boehner. Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) had wisely departed the room after offering his opening remarks. ("Today's Republican road-to-recovery is the latest in a series of GOP initiatives, solutions and plans," he had offered.)
Boehner held a press conference to introduce an alternative budget. Boehner actually thought no Beltway reporter was going to ask to see a budget. Hilarity ensues when the media ask Boehner about the GOP's plan to reduce the deficit.
A third reporter asked Boehner about the Republican goal for deficit reduction, noting President Obama aimed to cut it in half in five years. "What's your goal?"
"To do better," said Boehner.
"How? How much?"
"You'll see next week."
"Wait. Why not today? Because he asked you to present a budget."
The best moment is when a journalist informed Boehner of his criticism of the speed the Democrats put together the stimulus package.
Another reporter reminded Boehner that he has "criticized Democrats for throwing together a stimulus quickly and nobody knew what they were voting on. Are you saying that your budget will be unveiled on the same day that the House is expected to vote on it?"
"No, I expect it'll be out next week," he said, though the House is expected to vote on the budget next week. "But understand that a budget really is a one-page document. It's just a bunch of numbers."
Boehner is the best thing to ever happen to Nancy Pelosi.
Update: MSNBC's Contessa Brewer notes the GOP budget lacks details. White House Press Sec. Robert Gibbs notes there is one picture of a windmill but no numbers.
Update: The House GOP budget proposal ""The Republican Road to Recovery" is online. There is no economic policy meat. This is series of talking pointss. Not policy proposals. Example:
Who are the recipients of such largesse? International organizations and foreign aid recipients, including millions for reconstruction in the Hamas-controlled Gaza
Strip. Labor union bosses participating in a new “green jobs” program. The National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Americorps, Title X Family Planning, and a host of spending programs that will do nothing to help our economy recover. And even community organizers, such as ACORN, performing “neighborhood stabilization.” Hundreds of programs deemed ineffective by prior Administrations are funded, despite promises from the President to go “line by line” to examine each program’s effectiveness.
The ACORN bashing and false smear that Democrats support Hamas is offense. Republicans sell tax cuts as universal health care. There is absolutely no numbers on how the Republicans will lower the budget or pay for programs.