Whom do the GOP debt hard-liners resemble?....
And what, then, to say of the 10 frosh & 12 vets who blew up Boehner's preferred plan--a plan that finds George Will & Paul Krugman in rare agreement, i.e., that Obama is getting the short end of the stick because the debt & budget issues are now being framed in Republican vocabulary? Jennifer Rubin's Sunday night quick take on the deal shows why the GOP did as well as it could expect to do, and then some. Marc Theissen adds more support: The precedent has been set for something not done in the previous 74 debt ceiling increases: "pay" for ceiling increases with spending cuts. A WSJ editorial notes that higher defense cuts & no debt limit votes in 2012 were the price paid by the GOP for the 22 back-benchers who defied Boehner on Friday, and thus denied him negotiating leverage. At TAS, Jed Babbin sees Mitch McConnell saving the day, but awaits the November special committee spending/tax recommendations with trepidation. Fair enough.
And, BTW, just whom do the fire-eaters think will be making spending cuts if the debt ceiling is not raised? (HINT: His office is at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20002.)
One more BTW: If the GOP holds the House, takes the Senate & the White House come November 2012, the new administration is free to rewrite the deal to get a better result. NO DEAL NOW WOULD HAVE LESSENED THE CHANCE THAT GOP WOULD SWEEP IN 2012.
As for the intrepid 22, think Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade" poem, paying elegaic tribute for the ages to 637 immortals! Consider Verse 2:
'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Mark Steyn sees American decline baked in the cake. He notes that how artificially the Congressional Budget Office "scores" numbers:
As Arthur Herman of the American Enterprise Institute pointed out this week, under present rules, if the government were to announce a spending freeze — that’s to say, no increases, no cuts, everything just stays exactly the same — the Congressional Budget Office would score it as a $9 trillion savings. In real-world terms, there are no “savings,” and there’s certainly no $9 trillion. In fact, there isn’t one thin dime. But nevertheless, that’s how it would be measured at the CBO.
Paul Ryan hilariously demolishes Harry Reid's military war "cuts" (1:42); Reid "assumes" that we will not keep Iraq & Afghanistan U.S. troop numbers at surge peaks--which we already have committed not do.
Ah yes, the Balanced Budget Amendment. Since when does one pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution--there have been only 27 in 221 years--in the closing days of a last-minute frenetic debt ceiling debate? Amendments should be vetted at hearings, for both sides to discuss at length, experts to offer critique of specific language, and the like.
Governors could testify as to successful state BBAs, and state experiences where governors or legislatures evaded BBA limits through finagling; experience with state courts interpreting BBAs is also important empirical evidence. GOP Constitutionalist Purists are making a farce out of the Constitution amending process, and the document they endlessly proclaim that they revere.
And the BBA obsession sabotaged the best chance Republicans had: (1) Pass the exact deal made by Boehner, Mitch McConnell & Harry Reid, that Reid took to the White House on Sunday, July 24 and that President Obama rejected. (2) Send it to the Senate, telling the Senate that either it passes the deal Reid negotiated and sends it to the President, or nothing passes. (3) Answer objections about usurping Presidential prerogative by noting that the President himself had left matters to Congress to decide.
Credit the hard-liners with one significant contribution: making GOP stand firm on a deal with no tax hikes. If every remaining dollar of income was taken from those making $250,000 or more, for a single year the deficit would be cut $900 billion, leaving $750 billion of deficit spending still to go; and if the Bush tax cuts were zeroed out, another $80 billion annually would be raised, leaving the annual deficit still above $1.5 trillion.
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!
Let Lord Tennyson have the last word.
Bottom Line. GOP hard-line purists undercut John Boehner's efforts to secure a reasonable compromise, pending voter review come fall 2012. They thus played into President Obama's trap, and damaged their Speaker's negotiating leverage for the rest of the two-year Congressional session.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Economy, Conservative Politics