In the end, President Obama had to admit surrender. He tried to put a bold face on it, but there's no other way to interpret his remarks to the nation announcing that Congressional leaders had cut a deal to raise the debt ceiling...More at the Salon link.
The president stated that "I've said from the beginning that the ultimate solution to our deficit problem must be balanced." And yes, Obama has long maintained that revenue increases that would partially balance out any cuts to entitlement programs must be part of any deal. But there are no revenue increases in this deal. And it is surely a pipe dream to imagine that Democrats will be able to include any new revenue increases in further negotiations...
The new deal, so far as had been described on Sunday, also included no measures to stimulate an economy that may be sliding back into recession...
The president said it was not "the deal I would have preferred." He should have been stronger. He should have said it's a bad deal that does not address the pressing needs of the nation, and sets in stone cuts in entitlements that will savage an aging population faced by spiraling health care costs. And then he should have acknowledged that he still had to sign it, because the alternative would have ensured a nearly immediate slide into recession and the strong possibility of a global financial shock.
All in all, the weekend's events represent a smashing victory for the Tea Party and a crushing defeat for Democrats -- and more of the same coming down the pike. But at least Congress will be able to recess on time next week.
02 August 2011
Lots of posts everywhere offering interpretations of the budget fiasco. Here's excerpts of one viewpoint: