The debt ceiling debate has been occurring in Washington the last few weeks. Today it looks like a deal has finally been reached. I’m not happy with the deal because it is not 100% what I want.
What is in the deal? It appears to be a debt ceiling increase past December 2012. Also included are 1 trillion in spending cuts and a bi-partisan committee to suggest other spending and revenue options.
This is a compromise. It’s not a great compromise if you’re a Democrat or progressive. The compromise only includes spending cuts. Where are the revenue increases?
This may seem like a far compromise because Republicans got what they wanted, spending cuts, and Democrats got the debt ceiling increase. Wrong! The Democrats didn’t get anything.
The debt ceiling is something both parties needed but the Democrats didn’t frame the debate that way. The Democrats should have started by arguing for the expiration of the Bush tax cuts as a revenue increase along with the debt ceiling increase. But they didn’t. They only asked for the debt ceiling increase and now that the debt ceiling will be increased the compromise appears to be fair.
That brings us to the Bush tax cuts. The Democrats didn’t start the debate by demanding their expiration. The Bush tax cuts weren’t brought up much through this debate.
The Bush tax cuts are set to automatically expire December 2012, I believe. But by ignoring them now, the fight for the Bush tax cuts has been pushed to the 2012 election. It has been purposely pushed into the 2012 election.
I’m not happy with this compromise, but I know what Obama is doing. He’s making sure the ceiling gets raised, which is the most urgent and important thing at the moment. Sure he had to give up 1 trillion in spending cuts, but the expiration of the Bush tax cuts will make up for that reduction in federal spending.
Besides, the Bush tax cut debate is a debate Obama wants to have during the 2012 election. He can win on that debate. The Democrats can win that debate. Going forward, the most important thing is the 2012 election.
Quote of the Day
Me: Yes, I know who he is. He’s a comedian.
Melanie: A chameleon? What’s a chameleon?