In his speech to Wall Street yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner waved the same old crazy quilt of demagoguery, distortions and outright lies in which Republicans have shrouded economic issues for several years now. Most of it was standard fare, though there were a few lines that were especially galling.
For example, Boehner repeated the outrageous falsehood that Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan — which essentially ends Medicare — would give senior citizens the same benefits that members of Congress enjoy. Actually, seniors would get the reverse of what members of Congress currently enjoy. As Bloomberg points out, taxpayers subsidize as much as 75 percent of the health care costs of federal employees. But, according to the Congressional Budget Office, taxpayers would only pay 32 percent of the average Medicare recipient’s health care costs by the year 2030.
But that’s not my favorite example of Boehner’s dissembling. My favorite was a lie of omission — his failure to mention the tax hike passed in 1993, when Clinton was president. It was that tax hike that led to years of budget surpluses and a golden age of prosperity.
He mentioned George H.W. Bush’s tax increase and blamed it for the recession of the early ’90s. But he erased Clinton’s tax hike from the history books!
Of course, if Boehner talked about the prosperity of the Clinton years, he’d have to admit that the Republicans’ entire economic platform — keep taxes low and properity blossoms! — is one big fairy tale. So he just employs a little Whiteout to the history books, like bureaucrats in the old Soviet Union.