The Budget Deal

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Obama Administration

My first impression of the budget deal was pretty much, meh.

Krugman writes,

So, about that budget deal: yes, it was a small victory for Democrats. It was also, possibly, a small step toward political sanity, with some Republicans rejecting, provisionally, the notion that a party controlling neither the White House nor the Senate can nonetheless get whatever it wants through extortion.

But the larger picture is one of years of deeply destructive policy, imposing gratuitous suffering on working Americans. And this deal didn’t do much to change that picture.

On the other hand, Dave Weigel thinks the Dems won big

It’s largely the story of the deficit shrinking, Democrats denying Republicans any shot at entitlement reform, and Republicans—who would never admit this—realizing they needed to stop looking like the antagonists who were ready to inflict massive casualties to force through spending cuts. It is a massive victory for Democrats, who took Social Security and Medicare cuts out of the conversation after two years of “Washington” insisting that they needed to happen.

And it’s also the funeral of Fix the Debt. No one’s taking selfies at this bash. Fix the Debt, the iconic “just use this current panic to cut entitlements” pressure group, spent at least $43 million to influence the conversation. Its reward: bupkis. . . .

. . . If liberals want to thank anyone for the stasis that killed debt mania, they should thank the conservatives who held out on a 2011 bargain and the consultant class that did basically nothing with all the money provided by debt-hawk business interests.

I take optimism wherever I can find it.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. uncledad  •  Dec 13, 2013 @3:09 pm

    I would consider it a win for the country as a whole. This deal puts an end to the bi-monthly budget crisis. Hopefully this will allow the economy some breathing room to actually grow, good for the President, good for the Country? Though not sure how this affects the debt limit I guess the teatards can still engage in that bit of tom-foolery every six months or so?

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 13, 2013 @4:40 pm

    At first, I was P-O’d at the Democrats for not addressing the continuation of unemployment insurance, but I’m starting to look at how the Dem’s handled UI differently over the last few days.

    I think they let that go this year, to make it an issue during an election year.
    When Congress meets after the New Year, if Democrats have any brains (yeah, I know…), the first thing they’ll do is make resumption of UI the first issue on next year’s Congressional agenda.

    Pound the Republicans with not wanting to extend UI, and keep pounding them – until they either concede, or show their naked @$$es while mooning the people who are out of work.

    Of course, none of this helps any of the people who’ll lose their UI.

    WAY OT – But, if you ever had any doubt that the Republican Party is full of psycho and sociopaths, amoral degenerates, and sexual pervert’s, take a look at this story about Sen. Alexander’s aide, and a key Republican strategist:
    http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/fired-top-gop-strategist-and-senate-staffer-had-hundreds-of-child-porn-videos/politics/2013/12/13/80177#.Uqtu3aSA3IV

    HUNDREDS OF HOURS OF CHILD PORN!!!
    MONSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 13, 2013 @4:43 pm

    Ooops!
    I’m caught in the twit-filter!!!
    I forgot to put the * in p*rn!
    Help, maha!

    The “p-word” was also part of the link, so I’m probably doomed!

  4. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 13, 2013 @4:54 pm

    At first, I was P-O’d at the Democrats for not pushing for an extension of unemployment benefits, but I’m starting to look at how the Dem’s handled UI differently over the last few days.

    I think they let that go this year, to make it an issue during an election year.
    When Congress meets after the New Year, if Democrats have any brains (yeah, I know…), the first thing they’ll do is make resumption of UI the first issue on next year’s Congressional agenda.

    Pound the Republicans with not wanting to extend UI, and keep pounding them – until they either concede, or show their naked @$$es while mooning the people who are out of work.

    Of course, this does nothing to help the poor people who lose their UI.

  5. Dan  •  Dec 13, 2013 @5:20 pm

    Two things from my memory – let me know if you remember the same things, or if I am just drifting off into the first stages of Alzheimer’s.

    Then: Republicans/True Christians(TM) used to decry the commercialization of Christmas.
    Now: Republicans/True Christians(TM) decry any winter commercialism that does not specifically mention Christmas.

    Then: Republicans wanted stability (economy, tax law, regs, etc.) so business could plan for the future.
    Now: Republicans want maximum instability (economy, tax law, regs, etc.) so business can…

  6. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 13, 2013 @5:40 pm

    Thanks, maha!
    I know it’s a sick, sick, story, but people should be aware of who and how far gone some of these sociopaths are.

  7. uncledad  •  Dec 13, 2013 @5:58 pm

    HUNDREDS OF HOURS OF CHILD P#RN!!!

    Gee Cund, I see nothing on the Blaze, Sludge, WND, not even FAUX, Heh?

  8. Bonnie  •  Dec 13, 2013 @6:22 pm

    I just someone would tell the truth about the debt. THE DEBT WAS CAUSED BY THE REPUBLICANS. There was no debt when the Republicans won Congress and the White House in 2000. George W. Bush and the gang of Republicans he worked with created the debt; and, it grew and grew and grew all the eight years they were in office. This should be remembered so the voters can vote knowing who really are the spendthrifts and who aren’t. Part two of the debt chapter is that it has steadily gone down all the years Democrats have been in charge.

  9. Bonnie  •  Dec 13, 2013 @6:39 pm

    P.S. I see there was another school shooting. How many more children are going to die because of the gun nuts?

  10. Doug  •  Dec 13, 2013 @11:08 pm

    I think it was Heinlen who wrote, “The amazing thing about a waltzing bear is not how well it dances, but that it dances at all.” That sums up the budget deal, assuming the Senate passes it. Finally, a budget deal where both sides negotiated and actually governed. Liberals didn’t get their ‘ideal’ budget, but the headline news is that Heritage and Club for Growth and the power brokers who have committed to an all-or-nothing strategy were rebuked by the GOP in office.

    Am I predicting that all will be lovey-dovey from here on? No. But the absolute power of the puppet masters has been challenged. It may gather steam over time. But the first clear indication that the GOP as a party is interested in breaking the chains to the masters that had them in absolute servitude is there in a major budget deal.

  11. Paraquat  •  Dec 14, 2013 @4:51 am

    Paul Krugman usually has intelligent things to say about taxes and deficits. However, at the moment he is getting slammed (deservedly so) for what he said about the TPP:

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/paul-krugman-and-tpp

    I’m not trying to pull us off-topic here, but I really think that Krugman needs to wake up about this. The TPP is not a little thing – it’s a true corporate disaster. And a similar “free trade” agreement is being pushed by the US corporatocracy onto Europe (though it’s encountering more resistance over here).

    That Obama is pushing very hard for these “free trade” agreements is a disgrace.

  12. maha  •  Dec 14, 2013 @8:14 am

    I’m not trying to pull us off-topic here, but I really think that Krugman needs to wake up about this.

    I had read Krugman’s post. Can you refute what he said specifically, or is does your argument consist mostly of unfocused hysteria?

  13. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 15, 2013 @4:15 pm

    OH NO!!!!!
    Peter O’Toole has died!

    He was my favorite actor of all time!
    Also, my favorite over-actor – along with Yul Brynner and William Shatner – though O’Toole was so far ahead of them as a real actor, it’s really not fair to put them in the same sentence as him.

    I saw him on Broadway in the late 80′s in “Pygmalian,” when he was supposedly sober.
    When he walked out on that stage, his stage presence was unlike almost any other I had ever seen – and I’d seen Burton in “Equus,” Malcovitch in “Burn This,” and a number of other great actors, on Broadway.
    You could smell the booze leaching out of him. But he was perfect in every way in that role that day.

    I once read that when he and Burton were filming “Beckett,” they were never sober for a single second of the shooting – day, or night. It’s still one of my favorite movies of all time.

    As is “The Lion in Winter.”

    And what he did with the word “fuck” in “The Stuntman,” was a wonder to behold!

    Here was a great quote from him:
    “If you can’t do something willingly and joyfully, then don’t do it,” he once said. “If you give up drinking, don’t go moaning about it; go back on the bottle. Do. As. Thou. Wilt.”

    R.I.P. Peter O’Toole.
    You were one of the greatest of all time, and brought joy to millions of people who saw you perform.
    I will sorely miss you.

    Time for an O’Toole marathon soon!

  14. Doug  •  Dec 15, 2013 @6:23 pm

    I loved O’toole in Murphy’s War. A tragedy in the classical way along the lines of Hamlet but with a commentary about the futility of war.



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