The good news: in a deal yet-to-be-passed by either house, Obama and Boehner’s Raucous Caucus have finally agreed to raise the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion in two stages, in exchange for an equal amount of spending cuts — with $917 billion of the cuts to span the next 10 years.
How will the rest of the cuts be administered? By special committee. (That’s the bad news.) Why rush these cuts when we were all starting to have so much fun?
Part of keeping the fun going is that Americans will continue to live in the shadow of the sword. Due to a small proviso cleverly tucked into this legislation, if the special committee doesn’t come up with at least $1.2 trillion in additional cuts (the goal here, is actually more like $1.5 trillion in cuts) or Congress doesn’t agree to green-light them, something akin to martial law will kick in.
What will this look like? Think of a nail-bomb set in advance, designed to spray cuts to the military and Medicare if anyone makes one ill-advised move.
Basically, this part of the deal ensures that even you, the taxpayer, will be begging members of Congress to ratify every last spending cut, lest you dial 911 one day and find that nobody answers.
Hey, what’s a bill without a little blackmail?
Still, it is a sad state of affairs that the only way to get things done these days is to hold ourselves at gunpoint.
The bill is expected to be voted on today. Obama, for all his speeches, has been brutally cowed, again. Spending cuts reign supreme, while Bush-era tax cuts remain unchallenged. It is official: our president buckles like a belt.