Speaker Boehner: If GOP Spending Cuts Kill Jobs, "So Be It"

February 15, 2011 12:10 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Since taking over the majority last month, House Republicans have made an unambiguous first impression: they don't really care about jobs. Instead of fulfilling their pledge to focus on job creation, Republicans have prioritized a symbolic health care repeal vote, intrusive anti-abortion legislation, and spending cuts that would lead to job losses.

This morning, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) casually dismissed concerns that the proposed GOP spending cuts would cause many federal employees to lose their jobs. Talking Points Memo reports:  

At a press conference in the lobby of RNC headquarters Tuesday morning, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) shrugged this off as collateral damage.

"In the last two years, under President Obama, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs," Boehner said. "If some of those jobs are lost so be it. We're broke."

Boehner's numbers are wrong, but that's not really the point. Despite Boehner's insistence that job-killing policies are defensible because "we're broke," polls unfailingly show that the American people — including Republican voters — want Congress to prioritize job creation over the deficit. Moreover, as this video from Rep. Pete Stark's (D-CA) congressional office demonstrates, House Republicans spent the past two years insisting that Congress should concentrate above all else on getting people back to work:

Just this weekend, Boehner justified his refusal to condemn right-wing conspiracy theorists by saying, "It's not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people." Here's a case where Boehner and the American people disagree, and he's telling them to shove it.

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