That Congress botched its first-ever public reading of the Constitution is worrisome, but less so than the fact they've spent the past 200 or so years radically misinterpreting it (especially over the past 80 or so years, as the Commerce Clause has become more stretched out than the waistband on former Speaker Dennis "Coach" Hastert's jockstrap.
But c'mon, John Boehner: The only reason you're wielding that comically oversized gavel as Speaker of the House at all is because of public revulsion at outta-control federal spending. And you can't think of one program to cut?
From an interview with NBC's Brian Williams:
WILLIAMS: Name a program right now that we could do without.
BOEHNER: I don’t think I have one off the top of my head.
That's not exactly an ambush, bub. It's right up there in the softball sweepstakes with Katie Couric asking Sarah Palin to name a newspaper she reads or two Supreme Court decisions she disagrees with.
The GOP got kicked to the curb in 2006 because they were up-to-the-neck-complicit with the profligate and stupid spending (and bellicose) ways of George W. Bush. If after four years in the supposed wilderness you get power and the first thing you do is walk back the suggestion that you're gonna cut $100 billion out of fiscal year 2011 (still without a budget!), and then your main guy bumbles the query above...well, you're not winning any fans among the growing ranks of independents (read: crypto-libertarians) who want a smaller government that does less and costs less.
If Boehner is looking for programs to trim to the bone and cut altogether, he should check out the special 3D issue of Reason mag, which features no fewer than 14 (fourteen!) "way to dismantle a monstrous government, one program at a time."
And if he wants a 10-year plan to balance the budget without raising taxes, he ought to check this out (a more-detailed version will appear in an upcoming ish of Reason).
At the top of this post is Reason.tv's stunningly and depressingly prescient video, "Countdown to Disappointment: Don't Expect the New Congress to Cut Spending."
Hat tip to Boehner bumble: Alan Colmes.
And as long as we're talking about Boehner (my very congressman in southwestern Ohio, alas), I might as well entreat Reason.com readers to help us make more politicians cry by supporting our attempts to defend and expand the world of "Free Minds and Free Markets." Click below or go here and make a tax-deductible contribution to our efforts.