"We have a moral responsibility to address the problems we face," Boehner says in his prepared remarks. "That means working together to cut spending and rein in government - not shutting it down."...
"Yes, this debt is a mortal threat to our country; it is also a moral threat," Boehner says in the prepared speech. "It is immoral to bind our children to as leeching and destructive a force as debt. It is immoral to rob our children's future and make them beholden to China. No society is worthy that treats its children so shabbily."
I guess I should say welcome to the party in seeing budgets as a moral statement. Call me cynical, but I suspect that this switch in rhetoric is probably more related to the fact that the economic case for the House budget was totally obliterated by things like the the Goldman Sachs report that predicted a drop in GDP growth of 1.5 - 2% if their budget was enacted. So if they can't make their case based on jobs and the economy, they'll try to make it on moral grounds.
Steve Benen is willing to take on that argument as well.
But I'd love to hear more from the Speaker about the extent of his moral commitments. Do we have a moral responsibility to address the needs of children? Boehner doesn't seem to think so -- he wants to gut funding for nutritional aid for pregnant women and women with young children, as well as education. Do we have a moral responsibility to tend to those hurt while wearing the uniform? Boehner doesn't seem to think so -- he wants to take money out of veterans' care.
Indeed, as long as the Speaker brought it up, what does he consider our collective moral responsibilities in the 21st century? Do they include environmental protections, which he's trying to eliminate, or health care coverage, which he's trying to destroy? Do they include job training, which he's sought to eliminate, or consumer protections like food safety, which Boehner has voted to dramatically scale back?
If none of these areas of public life count as "moral responsibilities," what would Boehner consider worthy?