**UPDATE: Joe Scarborough explains a lot: Boehner’s a lazy bar-hopper.
Republican House minority leader John Boehner has a prescription for what ails America. And it sounds awfully familiar … Meanwhile, Marco Rubio wants the budget-busting Bush tax cuts for the rich made permanent, and Rick Santelli melts down over government spending on “teachers and firemen.”
Boehner told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review that healthcare reform should be repealed, called financial reform “killing an ant with a nuclear weapon,” said Obama “overreacted” both to the financial meltdown and the BP oil spill (hey, they weren’t so bad!) … and had this to say about Social Security:
Boehner had praise, however, for Obama’s troop surge in Afghanistan and stepped-up drone attacks in Pakistan. He declined to list any benchmarks he has for measuring progress in the nine-year war, at a time of increasing violence and Obama’s replacement of Gen. Stanley McChrystal with Gen. David Petraeus.
Ensuring there’s enough money to pay for the war will require reforming the country’s entitlement system, Boehner said. He said he’d favor increasing the Social Security retirement age to 70 for people who have at least 20 years until retirement, tying cost-of-living increases to the consumer price index rather than wage inflation and limiting payments to those who need them.
“We need to look at the American people and explain to them that we’re broke,” Boehner said. “If you have substantial non-Social Security income while you’re retired, why are we paying you at a time when we’re broke? We just need to be honest with people.”
So … screw the old people, we need more money for war? Boehner’s not alone. Lots of Republicans favor raising the retirement age as a first step to phasing out Social Security. Marco Rubio, who wants to join the U.S. Senate, is for both raising the retirement age to 70, a la Boehner, and privatizing it so that Wall Street can treat old people’s retirement with as much care as they treated the housing market. Yeah, that should work out well …
The good news is that the GOP is finally being honest about their plans for Social Security, which along with Medicare and Medicaid, they have been wanting to get rid of since they were enacted. The party was slow to embrace Paul Ryan’s attempt at honesty on this policy front, but now, with the pro-corporate, anti-entitlements Club for Growth running the GOP election cycle along with the corporate-backed tea party groups, the party feels more comfortable coming out into the open.
Read the whole piece for Boehner’s other comments, especially about Wall Street reform and healthcare. (Richard Shelby agrees with him on finreg, btw.) What we’re witnessing these days is the most brazen forward march by America’s oligarchs that we’ve seen since the Taft era, folks. The captains of industry have gone beyond just buying elections, they’re attempting to occupy the seats themselves (think Rick Scott, Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman…) and they’re looking to put their people in place, with the help of the poor shmucks int he tea parties, to ensure that, with the help of the Roberts Supreme Court, corporations extend unquestioned control over this country, free from government intervention (but fattened by tax dollars,) for years to come.
It would be impressive if the consequences weren’t so awful for ordinary people. By the way, I think the left underestimates just what it is that President Obama and his handful of true Democratic (small and large d) allies are up against. These corporations aren’t playing around. Getting that $20 billion out of BP is looking more and more amazing every day.
H/t to the Huffpo,
UPDATE: The original tea partier, Rick Santelli had another on-camera meltdown, this time demanding that the government stop spending money to “pay teachers and fireman” and cut the capital gains tax for big business. ThinkP has the video.
UPDATE 2: Rubio has other ideas in the hopper, including making the Bush tax cuts, which overwhelmingly benefited the nation’s wealthiest, made permanent:
Rubio has repeatedly called on President Obama to “stop spending money we don’t have.”
However, Rubio’s concern with the deficit seems to evaporate when it comes to tax cuts. Democrats in Congress want to allow the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to expire on schedule at the end of the year, but yesterday on Fox News, Rubio wholeheartedly endorsed making the cuts permanent and “doing it now”:
RUBIO: I would argue in favor of making permanent the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. And I would argue doing it now, before they recess, so that people have some level of certainty. [...]
VARNEY: You’re arguing economics. I put it to you that, if you suggested that we not increase taxes on the rich on January the 1st, you would be demagogued to death. You would be accused of giving money to the rich at a time of a nasty recession.
RUBIO: Well, the bottom line is that we need folks to create jobs in America. And jobs in America are created by people that have money or access to money.