Boehner: 'No automatic clawbacks' 

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, appeared on CBS Face the Nation today with a message that wasn't necessarily anything new, but which put the correct emphasis on opposing "triggers" in any spending reform deal.

“I’ve talked to the President all year, privately-- about the fact that we were not going to increase the debt limit without serious changes.  I mean, this conversation has been going on for quite a while.  I’ve offered to the President,  I’ve said, ‘Mr. President, come on, you and I, let’s lock arms and we’ll jump out of the boat together.’  I’m serious about dealing with this, and I hope he’s just as serious.  No gimmicks.  No automatic claw backs.  I’ve had it with all of that.  We know what needs to be done.  Let’s just do it.”

Whether they actually do jump from the boat together remains to be seen, but this language about "automatic clawbacks" is important. One way Congress can avoid dealing with our spending problem is to set some date in the future at which spending must be cut or taxes raised (or some combination of the two) in the event that deficits remain a problem.

This is a cop-out and an act of cowardice, not a solution. It's an opportunity to avoid making difficult cuts now, in hopes of being able to pretend later that your hands are tied when tax increases or even more draconian cuts become the inevitable consequence of current inaction.

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David Freddoso

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David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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