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© Steve Breen

Are the bookies taking bets yet on whether the US will default? I’m not sure I see a way to an agreement in time.



  1. Arthanyel wrote:

    It looks like the deal will be to cave to the Republicans, and the only thing they will give up is the second vote to add the second traunch to the debt ceiling increase early next year.

    Although a default is horrendus and we should do almost anything to avoid it, if Obama gives in to the Republican terrorists now then there is no hope of a rational solution in the future.

    I hope and pray that the deal is a real compromise not a cave, because if Obama caves again then I have to seriously think about finding another place for my vote in 2012.

    Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 12:50 am | Permalink
  2. Dan wrote:

    Hmmmm, August 1st. We have a deal? Heard something on NPR this morning. All that’s left is voting for it. Good luck America. Local governments are already going into default.

    Monday, August 1, 2011 at 7:28 am | Permalink
  3. starluna wrote:

    I read there was a deal this morning too. I’m not sure how I feel about it. According to some historians, these blue ribbon commissions don’t have a good track record. in making effective policy. Although, I supposed that depends on your view of what is effective. My biggest disappointment is that the trigger only results in cuts. But I guess if the Republicans are willing to be blamed for cuts to the military and Medicare budgets, what better time than around the holidays, right?

    Monday, August 1, 2011 at 7:46 am | Permalink
  4. starluna wrote:

    IK – could you remove that wayward period. That is more even annoying than random commas.

    Monday, August 1, 2011 at 7:48 am | Permalink
  5. Arthanyel wrote:

    The deal details are in the news, but the details of the bills to be passed are not. It looks like the congressional commission COULD have the option of including revenue hikes in the second traunch, just as they could get the savings by cutting corporate subsidies. And at least the way the deal is strucutured if the commission can’t agree on a plan and a balanced budget amendment fails (which it would) the automatic cuts are 50% defense, 50% discretionary and Medicare so there is some pressure to make a real deal on the second traunch.

    And let’s not foregt, if they commission agrees to count the war wind-down as cuts (which both parties have done before) the the total of the “cuts” they have to find is only about another $40B per year which wouldn’t be that had to do. Of course it is also clear that nothing like a REAL solution to our deficit will happen until afte the 2012 elections.

    So a victory for hard nosed politics, a failure of leadership from the Congress and the President, a victory for the Tea Party and a failure for the middle class, the poor, and the economy.

    On points – a fail.

    Monday, August 1, 2011 at 9:20 am | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    And note the major Republican presidential candidates are already condemning the compromise. Sigh.

    Monday, August 1, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink
  7. starluna wrote:

    IK – The majority of my liberals friends on Facebook are also condemning it. Mainly they are blaming Obama, which is just sad.

    Arthanyel – I’m actually o.k. with a long term solution waiting for after the elections. If progressives, moderates, and Democrats are smart, they will use this as part of the 2012 Congressional campaigns. At least to be optimistic.

    Monday, August 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink
  8. Arthanyel wrote:

    Although I think this is not the deal I want, if we take emotions out of it and look at the hard reality of current Washington politics, this is about the best deal that could get done. And don’t forget – anything the Congress does now, it can add to – or undo – later.

    Both extremes are flaming mad, a good indicator that the deal is in the middle. And it’s actually quite ingenious how the forces are balanced against each other – and since there was no hint of this before Obama got back into the loop, I have to give him the nod for coming up with this creative solution.

    The bipartisan commission has its recommendations put to both houses in a STRAIGHT up or down vote. No filibusters. That means if a moderate deal can be struck, they can lose the Tea Party and the most liberal Democrats and still get it passed. If they don’t the balanced budget amendment gets voted on – and it will FOR SURE go down to defeat. No way 2/3rds of both houses will support it. That then leads to the third unpalatable option – a round of mandatory cuts, 50% from defense and 50% from discretionary and Medicare. No one wants that either. So all the pressure is focused on getting the commission to recommend something moderate and acceptable to a narrow majority of both houses, because everything else is worse.

    And, although I disagree with the Republican demands, given the Republicans have the House majority and a filibuster-assured number in the Senate, their demands had to be met. And I think this solution is a creative way to force the issue where it belongs – in a discussion of budget – using a 50/50 commission that knows if they can’t agree their individual sacred cows head for the meat packing plant. And given the other little rules, the Medicare cuts even if automatically triggered are not unreasonable – and don’t come from benefits.

    So while I am disgusted at the process and disagree with the conservative demands, I think we have to accept that this is the best solution possible until the 2012 elections. Then the voters will have to decide if they want the Tea Party solution (and only about 28% do) or if they want the “balanced approach (which about 55% do) and so I am hopeful about the results in the future.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 1:20 am | Permalink