The Deal – Is The Cup Half Empty or Half Full?

I just don’t get what all the fuss is about. I have criticized this president on many occasions, but listening to the backlash from liberal radio and television personalities about the proposed deal, you’d think the world as we know it was coming to an end.

Based on the framework of the deal worked out between Democrats and Republicans, I lean towards agreeing with the President on this one. Yes, Mr. Obama did say that he preferred “a balanced approach” to reducing the debt, and he called for revenue through closing of the tax loopholes that benefit the rich. And although that didn’t happen up front, as far as I can tell, revenues are part of the deal.

Let’s break it down;

The first thing we must acknowledge is, this deal avoids a catastrophe. Although this so-called crisis was totally manufactured by Republicans, the fact remains the same – if America goes into default and is not able to pay on it’s financial obligations, there would be a worldwide negative effect. The potential was there to cause irreparable damage. Ours and many of the world’s economies would have suffered. So yes, avoiding this default is a good thing.

With that said, many would think that avoiding default does not mean we settle for anything, and that too would be correct. But that way of thinking is more about politics than sound reasoning. Democratic pundits on radio and television are harping on one fact; that this deal cuts too much from spending.

Again, this is true, but look at the bigger picture – according to the structure of the deal, about $1 trillion dollars would be cut this year. The agreement was to then put into place a “super congress” whose job will be to propose another $1.5 trillion in cuts to begin in 2013, and phase in over a 10 year period. But that’s not all – this “super congress” will also find revenue through taxes.

Again, from the framework:

 The deal is designed to achieve bal­anced deficit reduc­tion, con­sis­tent with the val­ues the Pres­i­dent artic­u­lated in his April Fis­cal Frame­work. The dis­cre­tionary sav­ings are spread between both domes­tic and defense spend­ing. And the Pres­i­dent will demand that the Com­mit­tee pur­sue a bal­anced deficit reduc­tion pack­age, where any enti­tle­ment reforms are cou­pled with revenue-raising tax reform that asks for the most for­tu­nate Amer­i­cans to sacrifice.

So entitlement reforms would be on the table, but so would raising revenue through taxes. From the framework:

 The Pres­i­dent did not agree to any enti­tle­ment reforms out­side of the con­text of a bipar­ti­san com­mit­tee process where tax reform will be on the table and the Pres­i­dent will insist on shared sac­ri­fice from the most well-off and those with the most inde­fen­si­ble tax breaks.

Okay. Now I’m hearing some of you say that the President could have raised the debt ceiling through the 14th amendment, thus avoiding spending cuts all together. Yes, that could have happened, but keep in mind that Republicans in Congress would impeach this particular President just for being the president if they could. They are looking for every and any chance to signal impeachment.

Also keep in mind that the Supreme Court, which is where this case would end up, consists of a conservative majority. In the middle of a re-election campaign, do you really want Mr. Obama spending his time defending his decision to invoke the 14th amendment?

The overall picture is this: This country has really gotten off the beaten track. Regardless of your political affiliation, you have to admit that our debt and deficit cannot amount to anything good if we continue on the trajectory we’re presently on. Something must change, and we must figure out a way to both, cut spending and increase taxes on the rich. If we sit back and really look at this framework, we must admit that a balance approach is on the table.

And based on all the dissension still going on now, the 14th amendment may still be a last resort. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are suggesting that they will not vote for the deal. The deal must pass both the House of Representatives and the Congress, then signed into law by the president before August 2nd.

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I'm just tired of the lies and nonsense coming from the GOP, so this is my little contribution to combat the nonsense!


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