Last week Speaker of the House John Boehner delivered a ransom note to the American people. The note said: “Give me tax breaks for the rich and benefit cuts for the elderly, people with disabilities and low and moderate income families or I’ll wreck the global economy. You have until December to pay up.” OK that isn’t exactly what Boehner’s statement said, but that is what his insistence that the House will not authorize the U.S. to pay its debts after December means in effect.

Remember the last time House Republicans held the full faith and credit of the US government hostage? We got a rating downgrade on U.S. government debt as well as the “Super Committee” process that resulted, after that committee deadlocked, in an across the board cut scheduled to go into effect in January 2013. Mr. Boehner and House Republicans have proposed a noxious stew of proposals—retain tax cuts for the rich (set to expire in January 2013), cancel scheduled cuts in military spending and replace them with deeper cuts in health care, social welfare, environmental protection and education. Then they require still further cuts in domestic spending equal to the amount the debt ceiling is raised—that would result in draconian cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, a move that would be a disaster for ordinary Americans and would probably trigger another recession.

In a case of listen to what I say, don’t watch what I do, a particularly interesting feature of the House Republican proposal is that notwithstanding their incessant attacks on the Affordable Care Act for reducing Medicare spending, they actually propose to retain all of the cuts in Medicare assumed in the ACA and in the sequester. Then they cut even deeper.

What to read while you are waiting for SCOTUS

As the clock ticks down toward a Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the ACA, the tension is mounting. How to pass the time? Read this piece in the New York Review of Books by New York University law professor Ronald Dworkin. It may not convince you that the Supreme Court will uphold the ACA but it clearly lays out why they should.

 — Michael Miller, Director of  Strategic Policy