Alternet’s Josh Holland:

It’s simply a hostage exchange. The Republicans gave up the fiscal cliff, and will now take the debt limit, the federal budget and automatic across-the-board cuts to discretionary spending (the sequester), and have another standoff in 2-3 months time. The deal wouldn’t have gotten 85 GOP votes in the House without the leadership giving right-wingers ironclad guarantees that they’ll have another hostage soon.

What leverage will the White House have at that point? They’ve already rejected the “constitutional option” to avoid the debt ceiling — and won’t mint a big platinum coin. The Bush tax cuts on high earners will be off the table. That leaves cuts to defense — which Republicans hate — and public opinion, to which the GOP doesn’t seem terribly responsive when its base is screaming murder and threatening primaries (which is always). That’s pretty thin gruel given that the “austerity caucus” thinks it has a good shot at cutting Social Security and Medicare as part of a “grand bargain” with Obama.

Other than that, we’ll only have the Democrats’ legendary iron back-bone on which to rely. Nobody’s ever gotten rich betting on that.

3 Responses to Whee

  1. jawbone January 3, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    Out here is WI, US Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Tea Party, (who, amazingly, was elected to replace at true maverick Russ Feingold) was on WI public radio explaining that it was imperative to make cuts to SocSec and Medicare, esp’ly since when SS was established the average life span was to age 62 and is now near 80 (OMG, that old canard! Of course, he was not called on his dissemination of misinformation, aka lie, by the reporter interviewing him) and Medicare is going to put the US trillions and trillions into debt.

    And, FSM help us, Obama seems to agree with the likes of Johnson.

    We are so screwed by this ostensible Dem prez, a Repub who ran under false labels in order to pursue his desires to outdo St. Ronnie.

  2. imhotep January 3, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    On the Republican Party, Boner’s Cantor problem or how a political party divided against itself can not stand. Boner warned Cantor to get back in line several weeks ago when he, Boner, fired four of Cantor’s favorite reactionary right wing committee chairman. Cantor answered Boner by embarrassing him by persuading two thirds of the House Republicans to vote “No” on the “fiscal cliff” bill. Poor old Eric just can’t help himself because his need to be a lying, backstabber is baked in his genes. “I want what I want when I want it.” There is a lot of hostage taking going on in American politics these days.

  3. russ January 4, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    “…given that the “austerity caucus” thinks it has a good shot at cutting Social Security and Medicare as part of a “grand bargain” with Obama…”

    Yeah. The ‘austerity caucus’ knows it has a fantastic chance to cut SS and Medicare especially since that’s exactly what Obama wants.

    It is entirely fitting to have a national discussion on budget priorities especially since we have entered “Peak Everything” times such that the GDP and national budget are going to be shrinking, not growing.

    What is not fitting is to skew such discussion so as to favor fiscal, capital formation, defense, food production, public health, health care, etc., policies to conditions that no longer or never did exist.

    ‘Extend and pretend’ policy that pays no attention to reality is going to give us some horribly misguided and basically inhumane budget deals.

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