John Boehner won't tell you this, but the "common sense cuts" he referred to that would avoid the sequester, will eliminate food for 1.7 million Americans.
In a statement responding to President Obama's call for a balanced approach to avoiding the sequester, Speaker Boehner said, "Today the president advanced an argument Republicans have been making for a year: his sequester is the wrong way to cut spending. That's why the House has twice passed legislation to replace it with common sense cuts and reforms that won't threaten public safety, national security, or our economy. But once again, the president offered no credible plan that can pass Congress – only more calls for higher taxes. Just last month, the president got his higher taxes on the wealthy, and he's already back for more. The American people understand that the revenue debate is now closed. We should close loopholes and carve-outs in the tax code, but that revenue should be used to lower rates across the board. Tax reform is a once-in-a generation opportunity to boost job creation in America. It should not be squandered to enable more Washington spending. Spending is the problem, spending must be the focus."
While it is technically true that the twice passed cuts that won't jeopardize public safety or national security, Boehner didn't mention what his cuts really do.
The cuts that the House has passed twice would end funding for the Meals on Wheels program. Meals on Wheels serves up to 1.7 million seniors with food security issues. According to Meals on Wheels, "1 in 7 Seniors is threatened by hunger. 8.3 million Seniors faced the threat of hunger in 2010. This reflects a 78% increase since 2001 – and a 34% increase since the start of the recession in 2007. The threat of hunger for seniors increased in 44 states since 2007."
John Boehner isn't the only member of House leadership to support cutting food for seniors. On December 20, 2012, Majority Leader Eric Cantor called them, "common sense spending reforms." On Sunday, Paul Ryan called ending funding for food assistance and also throwing 600,000 children off food stamps and Medicaid, "smarter cuts."
The fact that Boehner, Cantor, and Ryan all agree that these spending cuts are common sense demonstrates that this is the stated policy of the House Republican caucus. The House leadership, much like history's most infamous dictators, believes that denying food and medical care to children and senior citizens is good policy.
This is what President Obama has to deal with as his opposition. There can be no middle ground for Obama when Republicans are advocating for starving kids and seniors.
There is nothing common sense about cutting aid to vulnerable people during a time of economic hardship, but to Boehner, Cantor, and Ryan, children and seniors are "takers."
Speaker Boehner doesn't want to tell you the truth, but it is time for you to tell him something.
Boehner has been quite active on twitter lately, so send him the message @SpeakerBoehner that there is nothing "common sense" about taking food and medical care away from seniors and children so that the wealthy can avoid paying a tiny bit more in taxes.
Speaker Boehner and his fellow House Republicans need to understand that the American people know what they are up to, and they aren't going to get away with it.