A 'historic' deal between Obama and Congress? Hardly. - Macleans.ca
 

A ‘historic’ deal between Obama and Congress? Hardly.


 

The similarities between sports and politics are almost always most apparent at the end of a battle. The only things missing from last Friday’s celebrations after the budget deal, for instance, were high fives, a Gatorade shower, and champagne. Obama correctly hailed it as good for the country, Harry Reid called it historic, and John Boehner was being described as a near miracle worker by his caucus. True, a government shutdown was averted. But is this really an historic achievement? The voter might very well disagree.

The assembly of the deal was anything but endearing, as partisan considerations held sway for the past 10 days. While the result was acceptable, the process was messy. This does not augur well for the next two battles—the vote on raising the debt ceiling due between the end of May and early July, and the budget battle for 2011-2012. The stakes will be just as high and will only get higher the election draws closer.

The battle lines became clearer last week when GOP Congressman Paul Ryan presented his plan to achieve a balanced budget. Ryan called for the transformation of Medicare and Medicaid in ways the Democrats say will all but eliminate the programs or substantially reduce their impact. The Democrats will continue to criticize, but the voters, now conscious of the fiscal risks facing the nation, will expect an alternative vision. All this will be played out against an increasingly unpredictable Republican presidential nomination contest and a President already in full campaign mode.

The Tea Party is already uneasy with the budget deal. The caucus members seem ready to endorse it, but Michele Bachmann has already come out against it and outside Tea Partiers are expressing their discontent.

The deal includes no tax increases and $38 billion in cuts, though none that would effect Obama’s health care reform, the EPA, or Planned Parenthood. Republican policy and ideological concerns seem to have given way to fiscal perogatives at the end of the day.

Who won? The short answer is the voter. Obama came across as the architect of a bipartisan compromise similar to the pre-Christmas agreement on the Bush tax cuts. Meanwhile, House Speaker Boehner was in tough, having to cope with the Tea Party ‘s reported intransigence and their mistrust of the Republican leadership. Boehner was clever and, in the long run, likely helped his party by appearing firm but not fully unreasonable. This was probably a win-win outcome for the Democratic and Republican camps.

It is understandable, though a little disconcerting, that the politicians were relieved and appeared more like locker room jocks. This was a step toward fiscal restraint and credible political leadership, but it was not historic.


 

A ‘historic’ deal between Obama and Congress? Hardly.

  1. If we are "overdrawing" the bank 38 billion a day, how is 38 billion a saving?

  2. If we are "overdrawing" the bank 38 billion a day, how is 38 billion a saving?

  3. While the result was acceptable… $38 billion in cuts… Who won? The short answer is the voter… Boehner was clever and, in the long run, likely helped his party by appearing firm but not fully unreasonable… This was a step toward fiscal restraint and credible political leadership, but it was not historic…

    Now for the truth:

    Based on a $1.3 Trillion dollar deficit for this fiscal year, this agreement of $38 billion has now rolled back the deficit of this fiscal year by… a week and a half.

    Acceptable result? The voter won? Not fully unreasonable? Step towards fiscal restraint? Credible leadership? Good luck with that, John.

  4. While the result was acceptable… $38 billion in cuts… Who won? The short answer is the voter… Boehner was clever and, in the long run, likely helped his party by appearing firm but not fully unreasonable… This was a step toward fiscal restraint and credible political leadership, but it was not historic…

    Now for the truth:

    Based on a $1.3 Trillion dollar deficit for this fiscal year, this agreement of $38 billion has now rolled back the deficit of this fiscal year by… a week and a half.

    Acceptable result? The voter won? Not fully unreasonable? Step towards fiscal restraint? Credible leadership? Good luck with that, John.

  5. There isn't any practical difference, save the degree of insistence, between the two Republican camps, they are both monetarists (some consciously so, others unconsciously so). So, for that mater are the Democrats, via their liberal heritage. Granted, monetarism is a policy of liberal origin, but who really remembers such distinctions anyways.

    In reality, nobody is really following anything close to a policy centered on a school of economics. Having one the Cold War, the USA is now utterly exhausted. Even that rich land can not go on without a fallow period. It is really time they called it a day & pulled back to their shores to take a break. If they really wanted to finish up the job, they could make a rest stop in the UK…

    Prediction: Major crisis comes to a head within 90 days.

  6. There isn't any practical difference, save the degree of insistence, between the two Republican camps, they are both monetarists (some consciously so, others unconsciously so). So, for that mater are the Democrats, via their liberal heritage. Granted, monetarism is a policy of liberal origin, but who really remembers such distinctions anyways.

    In reality, nobody is really following anything close to a policy centered on a school of economics. Having one the Cold War, the USA is now utterly exhausted. Even that rich land can not go on without a fallow period. It is really time they called it a day & pulled back to their shores to take a break. If they really wanted to finish up the job, they could make a rest stop in the UK…

    Prediction: Major crisis comes to a head within 90 days.

  7. Step back. Avoid the hyperventilating headlines. Take a deep breath ….

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/po

    Not possible … so start heavy breathing again … and let's go get Planned Parenthood …

  8. Step back. Avoid the hyperventilating headlines. Take a deep breath ….

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/po

    Not possible … so start heavy breathing again … and let's go get Planned Parenthood …

  9. Republicans got us in this mess. Now they are forcing their vision of ultra conservative , right wing politics . Tea baggers are ruining this country .

  10. Republicans got us in this mess. Now they are forcing their vision of ultra conservative , right wing politics . Tea baggers are ruining this country .

    • President / DEBT(% of GDP) at last Dec-31 in term / Yrs as President / Delta debt-%-of-GDP over term in
      office / Delta per year

      Reagan / 52.6% / 8y / 19.3% / 2.4%/yr
      GHW Bush / 65.9% / 4y / 13.3% / 3.3%/yr
      Clinton / 57.7% / 8y / -8.2% / -1.0%/yr
      GW Bush / 74.1% / 8y / 16.4% / 2.0%/yr
      Obama / 95.1% / 2y / 21% / 10.5%/yr

      http://www.presidentialdebt.org/

    • Who controlled the house and senate during the Reagan years?
      For the first six years of the Reagan presidency (1981-87) The Republicans controlled the Senate, and the Democrats the House of Representatives
      In 1986, the Democrats recaptured the Senate (while retaining the House) and thereafter remained in control of both chambers until losing both in 1994.
      http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_controlled_the_hous

    • What party controlled Congress during Clinton?
      For the final SIX of the eight years Clinton was President, Republicans had the majority in both the House & Senate.
      http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_party_controlled_C

      • You forget the unfunded prescription drug program . Bush tax cuts !! Very selective fact giving . So Republican of you…madeyoulook !

      • i guess you will get the birther issue out ! lol .

        • Nope. You just did.

          The data entered above is verifiable, and sourced with links. Obama's birth certificate remains an unseen mystery

  11. President / DEBT(% of GDP) at last Dec-31 in term / Yrs as President / Delta debt-%-of-GDP over term in
    office / Delta per year

    Reagan / 52.6% / 8y / 19.3% / 2.4%/yr
    GHW Bush / 65.9% / 4y / 13.3% / 3.3%/yr
    Clinton / 57.7% / 8y / -8.2% / -1.0%/yr
    GW Bush / 74.1% / 8y / 16.4% / 2.0%/yr
    Obama / 95.1% / 2y / 21% / 10.5%/yr

    http://www.presidentialdebt.org/

  12. Who controlled the house and senate during the Reagan years?
    For the first six years of the Reagan presidency (1981-87) The Republicans controlled the Senate, and the Democrats the House of Representatives
    In 1986, the Democrats recaptured the Senate (while retaining the House) and thereafter remained in control of both chambers until losing both in 1994.
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_controlled_the_hous

  13. What party controlled Congress during Clinton?
    For the final SIX of the eight years Clinton was President, Republicans had the majority in both the House & Senate.
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_party_controlled_C

  14. you forget the lies on Iraq, deregulation that led to the meltdown , not counting iraq and afghanistan in regular budget , losing 750000 jobs a month , Bush having to do Tarp , Obama saving 3 million jobs with stimulus , …….Must I go on . A little too much on spin . Plus Bush had Republicans controlling House for 6 of 8 years . Only created a little over 1 million jobs in 8 years . Do your homework , madeyoulook.

  15. you forget the lies on Iraq, deregulation that led to the meltdown , not counting iraq and afghanistan in regular budget , losing 750000 jobs a month , Bush having to do Tarp , Obama saving 3 million jobs with stimulus , …….Must I go on . A little too much on spin . Plus Bush had Republicans controlling House for 6 of 8 years . Only created a little over 1 million jobs in 8 years . Do your homework , madeyoulook.

    • you forget , etc., etc. I didn't forget anything, Zeke. I was responding to guido's blanket nonsensical "Republicans got us into this mess" with commentary-free data.

      Plus Bush had Republicans controlling House for 6 of 8 years . This will come as a bit of a shock to you. When I wrote "House opposed for 2 of 8 years," I said exactly the same thing.

  16. i guess you will get the birther issue out ! lol .

  17. You forget the unfunded prescription drug program . Bush tax cuts !! Very selective fact giving . So Republican of you…madeyoulook !

  18. Nope. You just did.

    The data entered above is verifiable, and sourced with links. Obama's birth certificate remains an unseen mystery

  19. you forget , etc., etc. I didn't forget anything, Zeke. I was responding to guido's blanket nonsensical "Republicans got us into this mess" with commentary-free data.

    Plus Bush had Republicans controlling House for 6 of 8 years . This will come as a bit of a shock to you. When I wrote "House opposed for 2 of 8 years," I said exactly the same thing.

  20. Smart guy ,madeyoulook.