In a never-ending drumbeat, GOP politicians continually tell us how we have to pare down the federal government, how we need to leave state and local governmental functions to those levels of government. In fact, John Boehner gave a speech in which he said GOPers would demand further massive deficit reduction in return for their support in raising the federal debt ceiling. Boehner must mean that everyone else should sacrifice, while he gets to keep his pet money spending sprees.
In one recent example of Boehner’s blatant hypocrisy, he made sure that one of his favorites, a voucher plan to give millions in federal money to private and parochial schools in Washington D.C., was part of the budget deal, even though many government studies have shown that the voucher program is ineffective. D.C. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton pointed out that education is a state and local function, but that “District residents are being treated as colonists by the Congress of United States.”
Seven of the eight GOP representatives from Virginia, the same ones who decry “big government” and “federal intrusion into state matters,” voted for Boehner’s voucher scheme. The only one who didn’t was Morgan Griffith of the 9th. Since Boehner knew his pork barrel for D.C. parochial schools wouldn’t pass the Senate, he finagled to have it included in the final 2011 budget deal he cut with President Obama and Sen. Harry Reid.
That agreement disappointed D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. “Why should we have foisted upon us a voucher program? Those are decisions that should be made by the people in this city.” He is absolutely right. However much Boehner and his hypocritical GOP henchmen scream about their “fiscal conservatism” and “states’ rights,” it never extends to their own pet projects and ideas.