This may be a moment in Senate history, when a senator made a proposal that, when given an opportunity for a vote on that proposal, filibustered his own proposal…I don’t think this has ever happened before.
So, those Republicans finally got a framework! If anyone feels like you might be on the most boring roller coaster ever, you are, as there have been so many high and low points with this debt ceiling dramarama today that you probably feel so dizzy that people might mistake you for being drunk. Anyway, in the latest developments, Republicans have apparently reached a framework with the White House to make this debt ceiling deal happen. Based on this, which side do you think won the day? Here’s a roundup:
- ceiling The debt ceiling would rise to $2.8 trillion (though this number is conflicting; AP reports $2.4 trillion). This would be enough to get us past the 2012 elections.
- cuts Republicans would reportedly agree to roughly $1 trillion in cuts now, and then another $1.8 trillion later. Ignore our earlier version of the post; this is significant.
- condition Republicans will get one thing out of the mess which in the end won’t mean anything — a vote on a balanced budget amendement. This will not pass. source
- 10 freaking days to pull off this bloody debt-cutting mess source
» Can they kiss, make up and pull off a debt deal? With Republicans suddenly pushing for a smaller short-term agreement and Obama going all heave-ho in favor of a larger one, Obama’s starting to show some boldness that we haven’t seen in a while. In terms of political battles, he called the GOP’s bluff. To be clear, tax increases are the main sticking point here, but are we starting to see the limits of the all-or-nothing approach the GOP has to taxes? Obama looks like he’s not going to blink. But either side could.
I don’t think people have a sense what the numbers are here. When we talk about the tax-cuts, the Republican plan right now, it would add 4 trillion to the deficit over the next ten years. Nothing that Obama has done, even if you multiple it by itself a couple of times over has done anything like that. That is 5 times larger than the Stimulus. That is 15 times larger than what TARP will end up being, which will be only like 66 billion dollars. So this is a huge increase on the deficit. And by the way, Obama’s middle class tax cut is about 3.2 trillion on the deficit. So, we just went, in a couple of months, to everyone saying the deficit is the most important issue in American politics to, should we increase it by 3 trillion dollars or 4 trillion dollars?
I mean, this is what American politics is. And nobody levels with the American people. On the right, the Republicans don’t say, “we think this is worth 4 trillion on the deficit.” Obama doesn’t say, “I think this is worth 3 trillion on the deficit.” We just sorta swing back and forth between pretending we are concerned about the deficit and pretending we’re concerned about taxes and never-ever deal with, as a country, with the disunites between those two positions.
Ezra Klein on the deficit and tax-cuts (MSNBC)
"I mean, this is what American politics is. And nobody levels with the American people."
There was a man who tried to “level” with the American people on this topic:
"Mr. Reagan will raise taxes; and so will I. He won’t tell you. I just did." - Walter Mondale (1984 debate vs Pres. Reagan).
Mondale won one state. His home state of Minnesota.
…It has been obvious for at least a year that the U.S. government would face an extended period of large deficits, and projections of those deficits haven’t changed much since last summer. Yet the drumbeat of dire fiscal warnings has grown vastly louder.
To me — and I’m not alone in this — the sudden outbreak of deficit hysteria brings back memories of the groupthink that took hold during the run-up to the Iraq war. Now, as then, dubious allegations, not backed by hard evidence, are being reported as if they have been established beyond a shadow of a doubt. Now, as then, much of the political and media establishments have bought into the notion that we must take drastic action quickly, even though there hasn’t been any new information to justify this sudden urgency. Now, as then, those who challenge the prevailing narrative, no matter how strong their case and no matter how solid their background, are being marginalized.
And fear-mongering on the deficit may end up doing as much harm as the fear-mongering on weapons of mass destruction…
Paul Krugman - Fiscal Scare Tactics
continue reading… NYTimes