And so the debt ceiling crisis comes to an end, with both sides screaming bloody murder and claiming that all sorts of nastiness will flow from this agreement. Seems to me like much ado about nothing. Conservatives are crowing that they have imposed deep cuts and changed the direction of Washington, while the left has been screaming about the affront to the country from these draconian cuts. What a big pile of nonsense. The bill is essentially the McConnell plan on steroids, with the legislation allowing the ceding of Congressional authority to the President, who will gain a $400 billion dollar increase immediately, with the second installment of $500 billion subject to a vote of Congressional disapproval that the President can veto. That is McConnell, pure and simple. As far as the spending “cuts” that everybody is howling about they amount to $21 billion in FY12. And folks are screaming about that??? Hilarious. The budgetary caps imposed after FY12 apparently limit the growth from an assumed baseline, but do not cut nominal dollars. As far as the so called trigger mechanism for “enforcement” of additional cuts, as Senator Coburn so correctly points out in the attached video, these “rules” have been violated for years by Congress. Pay-go was routinely shredded by declaration of “emergency”.
The Democrats survive with no changes, today, to entitlement programs. This reluctance on the part of ALL involved to taking deficit reduction into the areas where the money is simply means that worthwhile discretionary programs may suffer some, but for now the real action on deficit reduction, spending, and taxing has been deferred. The debt ceiling, in my opinion, was not the right vehicle for solving the massive fiscal problems we face. But for now I am in agreement with Coburn. This deal does nothing like its critics say, and will be shredded pretty quickly when the time comes.