House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) made all kinds of errors of fact and judgment on CBS this morning, but this was the most irksome.
"This election is going to be a referendum on the president's economic policies. They've not only not helped the economy, they've actually made it worse," he said.
"When you look at his higher taxes, his refusal to deal with the debt, the regulatory regime here in Washington out of control, they've scared every businessperson and investor in America," said Boehner of the administration.
What worries me is that I have no idea whether Boehner believes his own rhetoric. He's the Speaker of the House, so presumably he has some general appreciation for acknowledging current events, which would mean he realizes none of his talking points is true.
While Boehner talks about Obama's "higher taxes," Obama has actually cut taxes. While Boehner said Obama has refused to deal with the debt, Obama offered Boehner a $4 trillion debt-reduction plan that Republicans rejected. While Boehner frets over a "regulatory regime," Obama has actually created fewer regulations than his Republican predecessor.
And then there's the notion that Obama made the economy "worse."
Look, Boehner is probably a busy guy, but it's not unreasonable to think he'd take some time to update his talking points from time to time. An economy that was shrinking when Obama took office is now growing, and an economy that was hemorrhaging jobs is now creating jobs. The Speaker thinks the administration has "scared every businessperson and investor in America," but corporate profits are up and the stock market has soared over the last three years.
Mitt Romney, the man Boehner has endorsed, has acknowledged several times that the economy has improved since Obama became president, and members of Boehner's own far-right caucus agree (they want credit for the progress).
John Boehner doesn't have to like the good news, but he really shouldn't lie about it.