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It appears as if our born-again, bipartisan debt and deficit hawks have reached an agreement to end the fragile economic recovery. It took weeks and weeks of theatrical playacting to arrive at a consensus....but by god, officials from both parties have now agreed to starve the federal beast just enough for our teetering economy to fall back into official recession. Smack dab in the middle of the nastiest jobless recovery of my lifetime, Serious patriots from both sides have apparently agreed to INCREASE unemployment.
Congratulations. A job well done.
We have not witnessed such bipartisan patriotism since the last administration convinced Congress to join them in permanently damaging the prestige and stature of the U.S. by illegally attacking a sovereign nation which posed no threat to the U.S.
And wouldn't you know it....the agreement to end the weak economic recovery is being called a compromise. Obama, chest puffed out, pointed to the deep spending cuts which have never in the past been included in a vote to raise the debt ceiling and self-satisfyingly announced....
He said that, if enacted, the agreement would mean “the lowest level of domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower was president” more than a half century ago.
When a president who claims he holds Democratic principles says stuff like that in the middle of what will now surely become a double dip recession....you can be sure that the only audacious hope he has is to get himself re-elected.
Democrats wanted a "balanced" deficit reduction agreement in order to accept deep, economy-destroying spending cuts. It wasn't that they didn't agree with Republicans about the need to do further damage to the economy...they did...but Democratic voters needed to throw their voting base a tax-increase-on-the-rich bone to convince those voters that they were Serious.
So, both sides "compromised" by only agreeing to spending cuts. See how that works?
Then we have the President. Mr. Serious President only had one requirement to reach a deal. Whatever the deal was, by god, it had to take us through 2012. The "compromise" Mr Serious will agree to.....
In the first stage under the agreement, the nation’s debt limit would rise immediately by nearly $1 trillion and spending would be cut by a slightly larger amount over a decade.
That would be followed by creation of the congressional committee that would have until the end of November to recommend $1.8 trillion or more in deficit cuts, targeting benefit programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, or overhauling the tax code. Those deficit cuts would allow a second increase in the debt limit.
If the committee failed to reach its $1.8 trillion target, or Congress failed to approve its recommendations by the end of 2011, lawmakers would then have to vote on a proposed constitutional balanced-budget amendment.
Congressional Democrats wanted at least a modicum of "shared sacrifice" from the top 2% and Democratic Mr. Serious President wanted the agreement to carry the country through all of next year. The compromise? No shared sacrifice and a guarantee that Tea Party Know Nothings will continue to dominate the "debate" with deficit and debt-talk heading into next year's election.
In return, Republicans won't force the nation into default....this time.
That's the effing compromise. Democrats hold the Senate and the presidency...and that's the effing compromise.
Think about what these Serious people are going to do. By voting for deep federal spending cuts right now, these "compromisers" are voting for more unemployment and less GDP. By scheduling additional near-term votes and effing "commissions" to cut federal spending even further, these "compromisers" are guaranteeing that the economy and employment will continue to take hits through next year.
Now to the real ass-kicker parts. Number 1 kick in the ass: I'm predicting that the bulk of the votes for this so-called compromise...in both the House and the Senate...will come from Democrats. Not only did the Republicans get everything they wanted and the Democrats didn't get anything they wanted.....but the Democrats are going to take the responsibility for passing this pile of rubbish....with just enough GOP votes for Republicans to credibly argue that they were against the legislation.
Number 2 kick in the ass: It's precedent setting. The Serious President and his Serious congressional Democrats have trained the secessionist right that the way for them to get what they want is to hold the federal government hostage. It couldn't be clearer. By agreeing to this pile of rubbish agreement, Democrats are only encouraging the anti-American shills for the rich and powerful to keep on writing ransom notes and taking more hostages.
The only hope left is a stalemate in the House. Today is the day for a good dose of gridlock.