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WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 19:  Speaker of the House U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) answers reporters' questions during a brief news conference on the payroll tax vote outside his office at the U.S. Capitol December 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. Boehner said he expects the House will vote to move the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits legislation into conference instead of passing the version sent over by the Senate last weekend. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

the national interest

Boehner Still Threatens Future of Humanity

Since the Washington consensus is that the most dire threat to the world is the possibility that the deficit will be solved without a soul-warming bipartisan Grand Bargain, everybody is trying to read the tea leaves of John Boehner's utterances about taxes. (He'll commit to "higher revenue" through growth from lower rates — i.e., what Republicans always want — but opposes tax-rate hikes.) Meanwhile, climate change is still happening, and Boehner has some fairly discouraging beliefs on the subject:

Boehner was less warm to renewed Democratic calls for climate change legislation reinvigorated in the wake of Hurricane Sandy that crippled the Northeast. "I don't think there's any doubt that we've had climate change over the last 100 years, what has initiated it, though has sparked a debate that's gone on now for the last 10 years," he said. "I don't think we're any closer to the answer that we were 10 years ago."

He's really poring over the scientific data here, I see. Anyway, back to entitlements! Our children will never forgive us if we don't cut social insurance payments quickly enough, but they'll be cool with it if the globe is five degrees warmer.

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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images