In a meeting with several reporters this afternoon, House Minority Leader John Boehner outlined the top three measures he’d pursue if he becomes Speaker of the House next Congress to create new jobs. But, those who thought he’d outline specific programs and how they would create jobs were disappointed with a familiar litany of wish-list items: repeal health care reform, eschew climate legislation, and renew the Bush tax cuts.
In other words, repeal a program that largely hasn’t yet taken effect; prevent new legislation that is also not in effect; and keep a current tax structure in place. Step four: profit. Or jobs.
“The first thing I would do is repeal Obamacare,” Boehner said at the Christian Science Monitor luncheon. “It is a giant impediment for employment. Not only will it ruin the best health care system in the world, it will bankrupt our country.
“Secondly, no cap and trade,” Boehner added. “You raise the cost of energy, you raise the cost of doing business.”
“Thirdly, not raise people’s taxes,” he concluded. “You want to get the economy going, give some people certainty about what the tax rates are going to be.” Democrats hope to let the Bush tax cuts on wealthy Americans expire before the end of the year — Boehner wants the tax cuts to continue across the board.
He also argued that any unspent stimulus funds ought to be reclaimed.
So lets take stock. Republicans will create jobs by:
1). Rolling back comprehensive health care legislation. (Notably, Boehner also supports repealing financial reform).
2). Simply promising not to do something. An anti-initiative, if you will.
3). Keeping current tax rates in place.
Doing all of these things, which technically represent the status quo pre-Obama, would apparently inspire companies to start hiring.
Boehner was unusually confident of Republicans chances of retaking the House — what he described as “the greatest deliberative body in the history of the world.” (FYI.)
He boasted that Republicans might well run candidates in all 435 Congressional districts) and made no secret of his desire to be Speaker of the House — a feat he says he can accomplish with the help of Tea Partiers, whom he described, perhaps accidentally, in a less than flattering light.
“Seventy-five percent of these people who show up at these events are the most average, every day Americans you’ve ever met. None of whom have ever been involved in political process, and I’d guess half of them have never voted,” Boehner said. “These people have been driven off their couch, they’ve been driven off their EZ-chair, driven away from their TV, and into the streets of America to demonstrate against their own government.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.