Debt Ceiling: Winners And Losers, Emily Miller vs. Jennifer Rubin

By
August 2, 2011

The Post's Jennifer Rubin, along with once again letting us see her dislike for the Tea Party, says Boehner won big.

Democrats lost on virtually every issue of principle (taxes, a clean debt bill, real spending cuts) because the president insisted above all else on getting himself to the next election without another showdown.

Relief is the prevalent emotion for conservatives — relief that the Tea Party didn’t divide the party, that the speaker maintained the affection and loyalty of his caucus, that taxes weren’t raised and that at least we are moving in the right direction.

Not so fast, says the Washington Times' Emily Miller. Obama won going away. Obviously, they can't both be correct. So, what gives? Frankly, Rubin's post is a bit embarassing to read, as it's an ode to Speaker Boehner straight from his press office. But she isn't wrong. And neither is Miller. Huh???

MILLER: Obama’s grand slam Republicans fold as U.S. continues on path toward economic disaster

The bill would cut a minuscule $7 billion in 2012 and $3 billion total in 2013 – the only enforceable years. Meanwhile, the nation will continue to borrow at a rate of $100 billion a month.

In November, the American people sent Tea Party conservatives to Washington to bring spending under control. These freshmen were beaten down by their leaders, who were outplayed by the president. Mr. Obama won the debt-ceiling game, and Republicans lost the season.

In my opinion, provided one wasn't distracted by all the high drama, or PR, in Rubin's case, much of it intended to distract, there were three winners in this deal and three losers. Obama, Boehner and Reid each won. It's how they negotiated it as the principles, while the Left, Right and Center aka the rest of America lost - big. Frankly, except for the entertainment value, we all got hosed, folks.

What was Boehner's and presumably the Right's big win? Read my lips, no new taxes. Sure, but whose lips were we reading? They weren't John Boehner's; they were Harry Reid's. Sorry folks, but the man is good! Stop looking at the forest they created and focus on the trees.

Reid wants to remain Majority Leader. The Senate currently has 51 Dems and two Independents that caucus with them. He can't afford to lose 2 and Dems already took a drubbing in 2010. More importantly, come 2012, the Democrats have 23 seats up, while the GOP has only 10. Dems are running in Fla, Michigan, North Dakota, Virginia, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsyvania, and West Virginia, among other states. They aren't NY or Ca when it comes to taxes. Do the Math. Not only could Reid probably not get the votes to raise taxes, there was no way he was going to just give the Senate away in a landslide by forcing his rank and file off a cliff. Ain't gonna happen.

Currently, Democrats are expected to have 23 seats up for election, including 2 independents who caucus with the Democrats, while Republicans are only expected to have 10 seats up for election.

Once you understand that Reid didn't want to raise taxes, things start to fall into place. What Obama, Boehner and Reid needed to do was raise the debt ceiling with as little political damage, or risk to them and theirs as possible. So, what do you do? The three of them needed to come out winners, and so they did. Obama knowingly – and other Dems, knowingly or not, made a lot of noise about taxes one of their own was never going to allow.

But Reid couldn't take credit for that and didn't need, or want to. That was Boehner's big win because it allowed him to play to his base, gaining him a pass for raising the debt ceiling, which he had already admitted he was going to do from day one. All he really needed was enough to go back home looking like a fighter, if not big winner to retain his Speakership.

And for going along, Obama got his free pass through to the election. In reality, this whole charade is nothing but a punt. The so called committee isn't going to do anymore than they did up front, backend everything, meaning it's a wash until after the election.

Let's summarize. In terms of verifiable, enforceable cuts, we get, per Emily Miller, "$7 billion in 2012 and $3 billion total in 2013." That's nothing, even if we accept some higher figures floating around. Everything after that, including what the super committee does is irrelevant, as it's all subject to change under a new Congress and possibly administration. Besides, they'll back-end that, too and may even use it to get the tax increases Obama wants.

Meanwhile, the debt ceiling went up, we continue to have to borrow about $100 billion a month to keep going and we add over $7 trillion to our debt over 10 years as Senator Paul already explained. In short, other than the kabuki dance, we've accomplished nothing substantial while the politicians most involved covered their asses. How is that any different from politics as usual? Okay, well, it was a bit more entertaining than usual. But then, they needed something to keep people occupied so they wouldn't stop long enough to think and realize what was really going on. Change – not!

The deal that is pending before us now:

Adds at least $7 trillion to our debt over the next 10 years. The deal purports to "cut" $2.1 trillion, but the "cut" is from a baseline that adds $10 trillion to the debt. This deal, even if all targets are met and the Super Committee wields its mandate – results in a BEST case scenario of still adding more than $7 trillion more in debt over the next 10 years. That is sickening.

Never, ever balances.

The Super Committee's mandate is to add $7 trillion in new debt. Let's be clear: $2.1 trillion in reductions off a nearly $10 trillion,10-year debt is still more than $7 trillion in debt. The Super Committee limits the constitutional check of the filibuster by expediting passage of bills with a simple majority. The Super Committee is not precluded from any issue, therefore the filibuster could be rendered most. In addition, the plan harms the possible passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment. Since the goal is never to balance, having the BBA as a "trigger" ensures that the committee will simply report its $1.2 trillion deficit reduction plan and never move to a BBA vote.

It cuts too slowly. Even if you believe cutting $2.1 trillion out of $10 trillion is a good compromise, surely we can start cutting quickly, say $200 billion-$300 billion per year, right? Wrong. This plan so badly backloads the alleged savings that the cuts are simply meaningless. Why do we believe that the goal of $2.5 trillion over 10 years (that's an average of $250 billion per year) will EVER be met if the first two years cuts are $20 billion and $50 billion. There is simply no path in this bill even to the meager savings they are alleging will take place.



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Comments:
  1. Ragspierre says:

    On a less “small ball” scale, the losers here are those concerned for the future of this nation.
    This needs to be filibustered.

  2. Ragspierre says:

    Even after months of Sturm und Drang about the danger of the U.S. defaulting on its debt, a majority of Americans — and an overwhelming majority of independents — disapproves of the agreement to raise the federal debt ceiling and make major cuts in government spending set to be signed into law, according to a new, one-day CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday.
    Just 44 percent of Americans approve of the agreement between Democrats and Republicans to “raise the federal government’s debt ceiling through the year 2013 and make major cuts in government spending over the next few years,” while 52 percent disapprove.
    Republicans and independents are driving this disapproval. Democrats approve of the agreement, 63 percent to 32 percent. But only 35 percent of Republicans and independents approve of the agreement. More than three-in-five independents disapprove.
    http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2011/08/majority-disapp.php
    Stop it.

  3. Mike Galhill says:

    I agree with Ragspierre. It’s a “compromise” that can be spun to make us seem victorious because the liberals didn’t get what they wanted. But distill this bill down to what it is. It plunges the US deeper into debt! Filibuster, yes. Anybody who has the cojones to filibuster this (Mike Lee?) is going to be receiving a contribution from me in their next campaign.

  4. Dan Riehl says:

    Sorry, Mike – I believe McConnell already agreed to a deal – no filibuster. It’s just too important to delay, don’t ya know. At least I think that was their excuse.

  5. Drago says:

    Mike: “because the liberals didn’t get what they wanted.”
    Liberals did get “what” they wanted, just not as much of what they wanted as they would have liked.
    We are already $14+ Trillion in debt and now, AFTER the deal, we are on a trajectory to be “only” $21 Trillion in debt in 10 years.
    If the dems had their way, we would be on our way to being $30 Trillion in debt in 10 years.
    Somehow, I’m not mollified……..

  6. barfo says:

    “Obviously, they can’t both be correct.”
    Why not?
    The fact that both sides feel like winners is the sign of a good deal.
    A compromise.

  7. Ragspierre says:

    A–We are going off the cliff!!! STOP!!!
    B–No. By accelerating we can avoid disaster.
    barfa–A good compromise would be to slow down one mph.
    This is what magical “thinking” looks like.

  8. Xiaoding says:

    Well, we have a much better idea now, of who we can trust, and who we can’t.
    Two traitors: Rep. Allen West, and Rep. Renee Ellmers. They must both be primaried.

  9. Ragspierre says:

    The market shot this deal the great big finger.
    Well, and the fact that…
    Obama made it worse.

  10. Drago says:

    barfo: “The fact that both sides feel like winners is the sign of a good deal.”
    If it was such a good deal and such a good example of a compromise that the lefties have been screaming about, then why did 49% of dems in the House vote AGAINST this “good deal”?
    LOL!!
    Hey, remember waaaaaaaaaaay back, gee almost 48 hours ago, when the lefties were telling us that the horrible terrorist murdering suicide-bombing nazi totalitarian baby-killing (per Chrissie Mathews) economy-destroying etc etc tea partiers would not support any reasonable or “good deal” plans?
    I do!
    And yet, as of today, a higher percentage of tea partiers voted for this compromise than House Dems!!! (49% House dems vote no, 43% of tea party caucus House members vote no)
    LOL!!
    The lefty response………………..silence!!
    Gee, it’s almost like the lefties really didn’t believe a single thing they spent the last 3 months lecturing the rest of us about!!
    LOL!!
    Where have I heard that before?…….
    LOL!!

  11. barfo says:

    “If it was such a good deal and such a good example of a compromise that the lefties have been screaming about, then why did 49% of dems in the House vote AGAINST this “good deal”?”
    LOL!
    Oh dear, Rgas/Drags.
    88% of the Democrats in the Senate voted for the deal.
    Only 59% of the Senate Republicans voted for it.
    LOL!
    Only $20 billion in “cuts’ this year, $50 billion next year
    LOL!
    Out of a $4 trillion budget
    LOL!
    The Tea Party grabbed their ankles on this “deal”!
    LOL!

  12. Ragspierre says:

    Huh.
    You’d think barfa was such a partisan Collectivist puke, he was doing a little victory dance at the prospect of America swirling down the crapper.
    Except that he removed all doubt of where his heart lies LONG ago. He hates this nation.

  13. Ragspierre says:

    Just 44 percent of Americans approve of the agreement between Democrats and Republicans to “raise the federal government’s debt ceiling through the year 2013 and make major cuts in government spending over the next few years,” while 52 percent disapprove.
    Republicans and independents are driving this disapproval. Democrats approve of the agreement, 63 percent to 32 percent. But only 35 percent of Republicans and independents approve of the agreement. More than three-in-five independents disapprove.
    http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2011/08/majority-disapp.php
    Oh, and President Limp Duck lost more of his approval in Gallup.

  14. Elmo says:

    Haven’t read the thread, nor even the post (I’m all blogged out). But (for some reason) I’m proud of this little morsel:
    (Do I need to mention that bread is extra?)
    http://tinyurl.com/3sv7jgd

  15. Elmo says:

    read the post/thread/tyvm …
    “Relief is the prevalent emotion for conservatives — relief that the Tea Party didn’t divide the party, that the speaker maintained the affection and loyalty of his caucus, that taxes weren’t raised and that at least we are moving in the right direction.”
    (Far) too easy to say the ganja be strong with that one (and you know what, more closely approximates the effects lysergic). They pay her money for that. F*ck me. And guess what people. You are stupid if you don’t put 20% of your liquid assets in gold. TODAY!
    Sure, you can wait, maybe catch fifty bones on the temporary backslide. But if you wait too long? All you might have left is fire starter (of the 80% you kept on hand).

  16. Sandy says:

    Most important question you can ask your Reps or Senators before voting for them in the primaries- Will you support Boehner/ McConnell as Speaker or minority/majority leader in the next congress. If they say yes, or don’t commit to NO, look for the next best candidate to support.
    Remember, all of the Tea Party newbies in the House and Senate voted unanimously for McConnell and Boehner as the leaders. Imagine how different this whole debacle could have been with stronger leadership and messaging abilities, rather than suffering through those we already knew were compromisers, willing to reach across the aisle, just to get their arms chewed off.

  17. barfo says:

    “Oh, and President Limp Duck lost more of his approval in Gallup.”
    Wrong as usual Rags/Drags.
    Gallup has Obama’s approval up 3% this week.

  18. Ragspierre says:

    PRINCETON, NJ — President Obama’s weekly job approval rating for July 25-31 is 42%, by one percentage point a new weekly low for his administration.
    There is no lie barfa will not tell.

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  20. gary gulrud says:

    “Will you support Boehner/ McConnell as Speaker or minority/majority leader in the next congress?”
    ‘Hell no’ is the mildest correct response possible.

  21. sickofrinos says:

    f no. If this was such a tough job, how come boehner didn’t cry? Phantom conserv atives is not what we needed in this last fight. This fight for America will not be won by republicans ,as too many have grown tired of the poison pill they keep prescribing. Up to the bleachers to watch the train wreck of the right. All you schoolaholics that settle for the 2 party system should have your Roget’s Thesaurus burned. Time to go pick cukes and green beans.

  22. Ragspierre says:

    * S&P 500 turns negative for year
    * S&P closes below 200-day moving average
    * Global growth fears weigh on stocks
    * Dow off 2.2 pct, S&P off 2.6 pct, Nasdaq 2.8 pct
    * For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US] (Updates to close)
    NEW YORK, Aug 2 (Reuters) – The S&P 500 turned negative for the year on Tuesday as the wrangling over the U.S. debt ceiling faded and investors turned their attention to the stalling economy.
    The broad-based index fell for a seventh day and crashed through the key 200-day moving average in an ominous sign for markets. The seven days of losses mark the longest losing streak since October 2008.
    “It is going to be a long week,” said Jim Maguire Jr., a NYSE floor trader at E.H. Smith Jacobs. “The bid is not here in the market.”
    Main St. is shooting Pennsylvania Ave. the finger.

  23. randyinrocklin says:

    I will work my ass off to get rid of the Republican leadership, that means Boehner and his bunch and McConnell and his RINO bunch. You guys are done done done!