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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Winners and Losers

Winners and Losers

(To preface, I lean center-right. Pictures are intended to be humorous, not offensive.)
President Obama signed into law today a compromise deal that both raises the debt ceiling and slashes government spending. The bill agrees upon a $2.4 trillion raise in the debt ceiling, $2.1 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years, with a bipartisan committee to decide what to axe.

However, the American public watched intently as Congress and the President joined in a nationally covered battle over the government’s fiscal health and needs. How did the national players fare after this final legislation?

The Obama administration: The president got the raise in the debt ceiling that he wanted that should last him until after the 2012 election. He will not have to have another public fight in which he calls upon tax raises on the American public when he goes up for re-election. He also can press for more governmental spending and programs up to the 2012 election with the raise in the debt ceiling. However, he seemed stubborn during the debates and was even pushed out of the deal making by his own party leaders. His lack of leadership shown through, which could hurt his image domestically.

Democratic Congressional Leaders: They got a deal which they promised. However, they did not get significant tax increases on the top income earners in the US. This was a major blow for them. Coupled with their slashed federal spending, they would seem to have lost in every aspect. Their one victory would be their securement of seats in the spending cut committee.

Democrat Lawmakers: The congressional members facing tough re-elections could vote for the bill, assuring their constituents that they are for fiscal responsibility in Washington. The hard left-wingers could vote in opposition to the bill and pander to their supporters. Either way, the Democratic lawmakers got a great deal.

GOP Congressional Leaders: These top Republicans won on most counts. Boehner and other lawmakers saw their plans, such as “Cap, Cut, and Balance”, pass the House and fail in the Senate. However, they were the only leaders to pass legislation in the House of Congress in which they controlled (although with difficulty). This helped them retain images of power and stability. These lawmakers successfully got massive budget cuts without tax hikes; along with making the president look irrelevant to the proceedings.

The Tea Party: Difficult to assess easily. The public is polling against them during the debate, but the Tea Party has never defined itself by the public’s attitude towards them. They also successfully slashed the government’s ability to spend, but the debt ceiling was raised. I would say they lost, they would content, and they probably won’t change course because of the outcome. Expect more demands for lower taxes and spending from these right-wingers.

Federal Government and National Economy: Depends on your political views. I personally think they both came out neutral form the bill. Others will definitely argue.

The public: We can stop hearing from both sides that the country will fall into a boiling lake of fascism/communism with/without the passage of the bill that was too compromising/not compromising/ or as Nancy Pelosi said “A Satan Sandwich with Satan Fries on the side”.

PS don’t go to lunch with the ex-Speaker. She listens to Leonidas for restaurant reviews.

Jeff with politics

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