Debt Deal: One-Sided Compromise
The best that can be said about the display of politics-as-usual that produced the 11th-hour raising of the federal debt ceiling is that the prospective suicide jumper was finally talked off the edge.
Both sides in the high-level game of chicken insisted all along it would end as it did. But
Both sides said at the outset that default on the debt was unacceptable and had to be avoided at all costs. But House Majority Leader
President Obama continued to call for "balance" in the equation -- that the spending cuts the Republicans demanded be offset by revenue increases by ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich. By Cantor's thinking, agreeing to back off the cliff on the default was the
When the president finally signed the debt-raising bill, he was left sitting up in the air on the high side of the see-saw, as House Speaker
Boehner, for all his stress from the tea party tantrums in his own ranks, had seized the initiative from Obama in the fight. In so doing he charted a future course for smaller government with an inevitable erosion of the social safety net that is the heart of Democratic philosophy and morality.
The lamented deficit-raising battle may not have to be repeated, but the core issues involved in it will be central to 2012 campaign debate, unless Obama somehow can restart the nation's economic engine with job creation and more consumer spending. The unemployment rate of 9.2 percent and the stagnation in hiring, the albatrosses around his neck, remain the major threats to his re-election.
One obvious solution would be renewed government stimulus in a massive and desperately needed infrastructure repair and rebuilding program, stalled in
Another solution would be a commitment from the private sector, up to its ears in profits these days, to take the rubber band off its bankroll and start hiring again. But as long as higher productivity can be squeezed from fewer workers, private enterprise would rather sit on its pile and wait for consumers to start spending more. Talk about a vicious cycle.
The prospect now is for Obama to try again to convince voters of the inequity of continuing the Bush tax cuts for the 2 percent of wealthiest taxpayers at the expense of lower-class voters facing possible reductions in
As much as such pitting of the have-nots against the haves may be deplored in the best of all possible worlds, the argument over a democratic society's obligation to provide for its most needy members and the dreaded redistribution of wealth by governmental action remains with us.
It is central these days to the uncompromising posture of the tea-party bolstered Republicans in
The old song insists that when an old immovable object meets an old irresistible force, something's got to give. So far, that's been
Read the latest political news.
- Raising Debt Ceiling United States Avoids Default
- China Expresses Disgust Over United States Debt Deal
- Debt Ceiling Deal Could Threaten Economic Recovery
- Congress's Spending Debate Won't End With Debt Ceiling
- Debt Deal: Ransom Paid
- Debt Deal - Bold Step; Wrong Direction
- Debt Deal: One-Sided Compromise
- Debt Deal: A Satanic Deal for Debt Fighters
- Obama Signs Compromise Debt Ceiling Bill
- Debt Deal Puts Off Hard Choices for Now
- Senate Set to Give Final Approval to Debt Ceiling Bill
- Despite Debt Deal, Prolonged Deadlock Caused Political Damage
- Who Won the Debt Ceiling Standoff?
- GOP 2012 Contenders Criticize Debt Deal
- Florida Rejects Grants from Affordable Care Act
- Media Takeaways From the Latest Round of Scandals
- Michele Bachmann's 'Submerged' Benefits
- Fight Over Financial Safeguards: Another Front In The Partisan Warfare
- Green, Shovel-Ready Stimulus -- 100 Years Ago
- When Politics Stop Working
- Conservative Appeals Court Judge Paves the Way for Affordable Health Care
- New Fears EPA Smog Rule Will Cost 7.3 Million Jobs
- Eroding the Social Contract
- Can 'Gang of Six' Save the Day on Debt Ceiling?
- Do We Need the Debt Ceiling?
- The Ideologue in the Oval Office
- The Rise of the Wrecking-Ball Right
- Many Ideas for Job Creation, but Little Action
- Eliminating Mortgage Interest Deduction Could Further Hobble Housing Recovery
- War Fatigue and the Un-Critical Critics of War
- Obama's Expanded Militarism
- Obama's Bush-League World
- Debt Fight Reinforces China's Negative Views of America
- Rupert Murdoch's Legacy -- Greater Press Controls
- Military-Industrial Journalism
- On Journalistic Credibility
- Another Blow to Journalism's Image
- 5 Ways Michele Bachmann Can Win 2012 Swing Voters
- A Religious Test for 2012?
- EPA Budget and Power Under Attack from Republicans
- GOP Takes Dead Aim on EPA
- The Question is Jobs
- Panetta's Gaffe
- Declaring a National Emergency
- The Federal Debt Limit Debate: A Leadership Opportunity
- Millionaires and Billionaires
- The Presidency Matters, But How Much Does Obama?
- Obama's Reagan Parallels Are Falling Away
- The President's Jobs Plan
- Budget Debate Has Troublesome Historical Underpinnings
- It's Back! The Misery Index Rides Again
- Handling Big Contradictions
- Why Are We Afraid to Cross the Lines that Divide Us?
- Bernie Sanders: Make the Rich Pay Off the Deficit
- The Free Market Fails at Food Safety
- The Growing Desperation of the Don't-Raise-Taxes-on-the-Rich Crowd
- If Not This, Then What Are Our Taxes Paying For?
- Debt Limit Irresponsibility
- Debt Ceiling Deal Could Mean Social Security Cuts
- The Tax Cuts for the Rich Again
- Stand-Up Time for Obama
- President Obama's Balancing Act
- New Jersey Miracle: What About the Rest of Us?
- For 2012 Republicans: The Economy Trumps the Culture War
- Michele Bachmann's Beginnings
- GOP Attacking Americans' Right to Vote
- Marco Rubio: Ready for Political Primetime
- 'Mortal Kombat' and the First Amendment
- The Unethical Clarence Thomas
- On Humanitarianism: Is Helping Others Charity or Duty or Both?
- Does Obama Have a Grand Strategy?
- How Health Care Can Save or Sink America
- Charlie Crist Would Topple Rick Scott Next Florida Governor Race
- Big Media Suicide Compact
- Sarah Palin and the Media Bring Out the Worst in Each Other
- GOP's War on Workers' Rights Undermines the Economy
- Rejection of Reality Has Become Endemic to Politics
- Are the Republicans Going Soft on Taxes?
- Senators Urge IRS to Provide Taxpayers With Free Software
- AARP on Social Security: A Game-Changer for Entitlement Programs?
- Younger Women Desert Female Candidates
- Will Jon Huntsman Impact the 2012 Field?
- Will Jon Huntsman's Foreign Policy Experience Even Matter for 2012?
- Should Rick Perry Run for the 2012 GOP Nomination?
- Why Anthony Weiner Had to Resign
- Anthony Weiner: Normalizing Deviance
- Anthony Weiner: The Shameless Society
- 8 Politicians Who Survived Scandals
- Momentum Grows for Payroll Tax Cut
- America's Fading Exceptionalism
- When It Comes to Sleaze Men Rule
- President Obama: Our Reactionary President
- Latest On Obama's War Powers Act Workaround
- New GOP Majority Is Trying to Cut Spending, But Not By Enough
- 'Utterly Insane' Health Care Insurance Situation
- Odds Just 1 in 3 on Deal to Raise Debt Ceiling
- An Unrevealing Debate
- The Gingrich Implosion
- GOP Activists Hope for Surprise 2012 Candidate
- Michele Bachmann: The Smart Version of Sarah Palin
- Media Hit Bottom With Sarah Palin Emails
- Hispanics Key to Victory in 2012 Presidential Race
- Anthony Weiner Not the Only 'Flash' Photographer, Sadly
- The President Shouldn't Go Over to the Supply Side
- The Afghan Money Pit
- United States and Pakistan: Afghan Strategies
- Predator Syndrome
- Anti Voter Fraud Reforms Are Practical Not Partisan
- With Rick Santorum Religious Conservatives May Have a 2012 Candidate
- The Truth Is the GOP Has 2012 Trouble
- Obama 2012: Custom-Tailored History
- Robert Gates Departure Could Bring Makeover for Obama on National Security
- Washington Plays Chicken With the Market
- GOP Pushes Balanced Budget Amendment
- For Many Republicans Afghanistan Is A Budget Issue
- Will Mitt Romney Be Able to Dodge Healthcare Flip-Flopper Label?
- Mitt Romney's Second Try
- Is Sarah Palin Wrong to Stand by her Paul Revere Statements?
- On History Sarah Palin is Just Like a Lot of Us
- Little Evidence Weiner Broke Law in Twitter Photo Scandal
- Anthony Weiner: Sex Scandal Sans Sex
- Anthony Weiner: Here's the Lowdown on 'Weinergate'
- Anthony Weiner: A Time For Sadness
- Breaking Down the Debt-Ceiling Debate
- Congress' Bipartisan Vice Is Cowardice
- 40 Years Later: America's Failed War on Drugs
- Something We Can Say With Certitude: The Economy Stinks!
Available at Amazon.com:
Debt Deal: One-Sided Compromise | Politics
(c) 2011 Tribune Media Services, Inc.