As the absurd theater surrounding the debt limit issue plays out in Washington, Secretary of the Treasury Geithner continues to display his contempt for Congress, while Speaker of the House John Boehner talks tough but fails to use any of his Constitutional powers to compel the Secretary to act responsibly. The Speaker has already frittered away his electoral mandate to cut spending by brokering a deal to “cut” the Fiscal Year 2011 budget by–at best–an insignificant $329 million. Now, when strength of action is called for as the so called debt limit crisis looms, he continues his pattern of tough talk and weak action by failing to push Geithner to produce a fall back plan for the country if Congress doesn’t raise the debt limit.
When confronted with a budget crisis, most families and small businesses develop a contingency “worst case” plan. If income is down, which are the least important expenditures we currently make that we will cut out? Several Republican members of Congress have individually called on Secretary Geithner to produce such a plan for the country in the event the debt limit is not raised, but he has refused to do so. The Secretary’s intransigence is not only fiscally irresponsible, it also shows his contempt for Congress. The Speaker’s failure to formally request such a plan from the Secretary is yet another sign of the Speaker’s weakness and unwillingness to back tough rhetoric up with tough but needed action.
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