So Ryan/Murray cut a budget deal today avoiding another shutdown showdown in mid-January. It barely cuts long term deficits, doesn’t contain long term tax reforms, doesn’t fix entitlement spending. But it does allow for small increases on the discretionary spending side (at least better than what would have happened for D’s with another round of sequester cuts) while seemingly finding a small fiscal austerity bone or two to throw at red meat Republicans.
Sounds like the Prez, Boehner, Cantor, Ryan are lined up behind this. Congressional D’s will come around once Obama gets behind it (the progressives will privately and publicly scream a little before voting for it).
Neither side wants another budget war heading into the midterm election year. Better for both D’s and R’s to bump their atrocious fav/unfav #’s and Congress as a whole for a few months before they start ripping each other’s faces off. R’s (for now) want to keep the focus on a flailing ObamaCare. D’s and Obama want to get back on the competency/clue train. Who knows what the big issues will be in September/October/November when the campaigns come together — but R’s have a very clear enthusiasm advantage and a motivated, emboldened base looking for a fight.
So, can Congressional R’s keep Ted Cruz, Perry, Rubio, the Stockman guy primarying Sen. Cornyn and all the other assorted Tea Party firebrands at bay long enough to get this budget deal through? Stay tuned.
Sad that this mild example of compromise and cool headedness among the parties constitutes a shining story of progress. And reaffirms conventional wisdom that the big fix/grand bargain is utterly futile for the time being — and probably pushed to 2017 at the earliest (midterms in 10 months, which leads immediately to next presidential election.)
For now, both sides should take a little credit for finding the reasonable compromise needed to get a mamby-pamby short-term budget deal done before the holidays. Maybe this inkling of centrist-driven hope is a sign of better leadership ahead?
My old boss and mentor, Senator Lamar Alexander, will often quote his friend, the late novelist Alex Haley’s advice for encouraging progress in politics, in policy, in society to “find the good and praise it” as a guide for others to add their good deeds.
So let’s praise this modest Murray/Ryan compromise in hopes more reasoned, rational leadership will emerge in Washington in 2014 and beyond.
- Texas Wingnut Steve Stockman To Primary John Cornyn For Senate, Tila Tequila To Primary James Inhofe (wonkette.com)
- House, Senate Negotiators Reach Budget Deal Before Friday Deadline (ktla.com)
- Congressional Leaders Reach Proposed Budget Deal to Prevent Another Government Shutdown (whnt.com)
- There’s Now Even More Conservative Opposition To The Emerging Budget Deal – #Business (execdaily.wordpress.com)