Friday, October 28, 2011

Debt ceiling deal is starting to change the conversation

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how the debt ceiling deal would soon start to prompt interesting questions that are likely to affect the 2012 election campaigns. This week, we've seen some of that start to happen.

With the deadline for the Super Committee to vote on a deficit reduction plan looming in less than a month, both parties have submitted plans that pretty much mirror the stalemate that led to the creation of the committee in the first place. In other words, Democrats proposed a balanced approach of spending cuts and tax increases while the Republicans will have none of the later. So the situation is as deadlocked as it was in the past.

Some chatter about what happens if the committee fails and the triggers kick in is starting to happen...especially the part where defense spending would get cut by about $600 billion. And the Republican response is fascinating, - but predictable. All of the sudden, they're singing a totally different tune about the dangers of government spending cuts on our economy.

“What’s more, cutting our military—either by eliminating programs or laying off soldiers—brings grave economic costs,” wrote Chairman Buck McKeon (R-CA) in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week. “[I]f the super committee fails to reach an agreement, its automatic cuts would kill upwards of 800,000 active-duty, civilian and industrial American jobs. This would inflate our unemployment rate by a full percentage point, close shipyards and assembly lines, and damage the industrial base that our warfighters need to stay fully supplied and equipped.”

Wasn't it just recently that when Speaker Boehner was asked about spending cuts leading to government job losses his response was "So be it?"

Now all of the sudden Republicans are embracing the very arguments that they've spent the last year and a half denying. Do you suppose the conversation about the economy and public sector jobs is likely to get very interesting in the next few months? And do you suspect that perhaps that's exactly what Obama and the Democrats had in mind when they agreed to this deal? Of course.

Finally, do you think that perhaps the poutragers who so quickly bought into Speaker Boehner's lies about "getting 98% of what he wanted" will re-think their analysis? Nah, me neither.

2 comments:

  1. That's it. The blogosphere and media are focusing on the current stalemate forgetting that the President is holding the all the cards. If there is no deal then Republicans including the ones with deep pockets feel the pain. McKeon is sounding the alarm.

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  2. You don't understand. Military spending creates jobs. All other government spending is just handed out to undeserving foreign countries, or used to pay bureaucrats who are just clogging up the economy with unnecessary regulations, or is just passed out to poor people to discourage them from working. Or else maybe the government just shovels all that money into a big black hole somewhere. So of course when we talk about cutting spending, we are talking about all that wasteful spending, not military spending!

    The problem that Republican politicians have is that their constituents believe this.

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