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Dirty Deals And They’re Not Dirt Cheap

The first attempt to end the filibuster of Reid’s bill is going to fail. A still-secret deal is being cooked up between McConnell and the White House, this is the “compromise deal” which will pass. They have until 6PM Monday to do it in order to avoid default. The “extremes” of both parties will be very unhappy, and the Republicans will achieve headlines about some mostly-empty concessions. Obama will get many things that he wants into the deal, and a shot at completely undoing the whole thing after the 2012 election, if of course he wins. He also retains the option under this deal of flatly vetoing the Bush tax cuts in December 2012.

BONUS: The national debt is not the problem with the US economy; the need for economic growth and job creation is the problem. However, if you are interested, here is a simple summary of how the US annual budget went from surplus to deficit which occurred of course while George W. Bush was in office.

Look at the chart. Note the relative size of the Bush tax cuts compared to the paltry size of the stimulus bill, which had a noticeable positive effect on the economy but was not large enough. In addition, the Republicans in Congress killed any further stimulus spending. Also note straight line in the graph; this was the projected deficit/surplus situation. Why do all the other lines veer from it? Because of the economic stagnation directly caused by Bush’s war in Iraq coupled with massive tax cuts to the rich, up until 2008-9 and then you see the jarring turn away into much deeper deficits caused by the financial collapse he induced. It is as simple as that. No amount of realistically tolerable spending reduction can accomplish what the deficit-reducers say they want; only economic growth can do this. The Republicans don’t care about the deficit; never have. They simply want to shrink the overall size of the entire government and therefore remove its regulation of and influence on the economy, and they use “the deficit” as an excuse. The Democrats have always been in fact, the more serious party about reducing the budget deficit and history proves it, LBJ and Clinton were the only two Presidents since WW2 to have a surplus and they used Democratic congresses to get it. The real fight going on in DC right now is over the future size of the government. The economic history of other countries, and of the US in the 1930s, proves that if you respond to a recession or depression by shrinking the size of government you will make it worse. In the face of these facts the GOP has decided to openly threaten total destruction of the US economy if they don’t get this massively destructive reduction right now. The President, say today’s news reports, has rewarded their hostage taking. We can argue about whether he capitulated to one degree or another, but the truth is he should never have rewarded the GOP maneuver at all. It only establishes hostage taking as an effective and legitimate tactic.

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