Sunday, July 31, 2011

We Lose

It's about 2:30 in the afternoon on this Sunday. I have not checked the TV for the current state of negotiations on the debt ceiling. The pols are going to work something out after all this drama, and the country will hail the end of the sweatshop it's been in for the past week. Everything will be hunky-dory again. The all-important markets will be soothed, and everybody can go back to making money . . . or looking for a job.

We don't know yet what the final provisions of this so-called "compromise" will be, but this much is pretty certain. The Republican party is going to come out way ahead in this deal. This much was surmised last night.
I can do no better than quote the writer of the piece on the Daily Beast: ". . . it’s a bleak day for this presidency, and really in American history, as we’ve now embarked on a path that’s very likely to lead to huge cuts in entitlement programs, the domestic budget, and more or less everything every Democrat in Washington (except, apparently, one) wakes up to fight for every day."

It's been the aim of the Republican party since FDR and LBJ to dismantle the social (justice) programs those stalwart presidents enacted. And it now appears the GOP is going to get its way. And why? Because we don't have a president with the courage to insist on advancing the Democratic agenda, not the agenda of the opposition.

So what's going to be the upshot of all this. The Republic party wins and the rest of us lose. And not only will the Republicans win, but the most extreme element of that party of the right will have the undeserved satisfaction of knowing that their asinine ideas actually shaped the entire debate. This article written around 11:30 this morning presents this outline of the "deal."
- Cut the deficit in two phases by as much as $3 trillion over the next decade (Just the fact that cutting the deficit has been tied to raising the debt ceiling is win for the Tea Party nuts. Bear in mind that tying demands to raising the debt ceiling in the future has been forever poisoned by allowing it to succeed here)

- Require both chambers of Congress to vote on—though not necessarily pass—a balanced-budget amendment. (GOP/Tea Party plank)
- Initially require no new tax or revenue increases. (GOP and Tea Party plank)

- Enact the cuts in two phases, the second led by a first-ever bipartisan committee of Congress with equal representation of both Republicans and Democrats. Congress would enact a round of easier discretionary cuts now, and the commission would have until Thanksgiving to find the harder ones, including those involving entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. (GOP plank)

- Delay the next congressional vote on raising the debt limit until after the 2012 election. . . . This requirement would be couched with a so-called trigger mechanism that would automatically impose spending cuts if the joint congressional committee fails to reach agreement or Congress rejects its ideas. (Democrat/White House plank)
I am totally disgusted with Barack Obama, who has shown himself to be a pitifully weak man. Letting the Republicans tromp over him at will.

Do not for a second allow yourself to minimize the extent of the Republican triumph here. Once sacrosanct social programs that protect millions of people are being cut, not reformed. Once this ugly camel has got his nose under the tent, we lose.
Post a Comment