Debt deal reached

Republicans and Democrats in congress reached a deal late Sunday to avoid defaulting on the national debt. As expected, it involves large spending cuts, but no rollback on tax cuts for the rich—new revenues that would be supported by more than 70 percent of Americans.


  1. …or rather, more than 70% of non-black residents of Washington DC.

    Still, ridiculous. Did they cut the defence budget in the end?

  2. Meh, the tax cuts roll themselves back a year and a half from now, but this does seem like a bad deal.

    Then again, if the Super Committee deadlocks, we get an automatic reduction in the size of the Pentagon. Sure, Medicare would be harmed too along with several other agencies, but I almost think it would be worth it.

  3. Yeah, but that 70% of people make up less than 1% of campaign contributors*, therefore they’re not real people.

    *This is based on statistics taken from a bunch of numbers I just made up.

  4. Secret rider to the bill in my dreams:  if the debt limit is reached again, all income over $250k is taxed at 100% until we’re sufficiently below the limit again.  Mmm…

  5. I hope the nutty, Tea Party run Republican House manages to kill the deal and Obama is forced to use the 14th Amendment. 

    It would be a stroke of genius if that was his plan all along but, tragically, my instincts say otherwise.

  6. The Super Committee thing is a setup for the next round of “crisis”.  Crisis often being the the political tool of choice to get things through the political process that the majority of voters don’t actually support.

  7. Now if only we didn’t have a Tea Party run Republican White House, then perhaps working people would stand a chance in this country.

    1. But we’re told all the time if we raise corporate taxes and the taxes for the uberich overlords they’ll just pass it along by raising costs on the little people.  So that way everyone’s happy.

    2. So, what’s your point? Does an orthopedic surgeon need to have a broken leg in order to suggest YOUR broken leg requires surgery? Your post contains exactly 0.0000%  logic.

      The truth is always the truth, even if nobody believes it. A lie is still a lie even if everybody believes it.

    3. Just like the Revolution, which was supported by a majority that was not British aristocracy, and the fight against slavery was supported by a majority, who did not own slaves.

      Self-evidently, a move to reduce oppression would not be supported by the ones who oppress.

    4. Lots of shelter under that bridge?  Is it possible to enjoy it w/o shaking it when other people choose to walk over it?

    5. Tax hikes supported by the 70 percent that wouldn’t have to pay them.

      Beyond the selfish tinge, your post unwittingly demonstrates just how bad economic inequality is in this country.  In a more progressive and prosperous country that wasn’t hoodwinked by Laffer tax fallacy, there would be a larger wealthier population that would be contributing to the tax burden, instead of the top 1% that we have, that get off so that the rest of must face austerity and crumbling infrastructure.

    6. Are you kidding? I pay them now, I pay for that everytime my motorcycle hits a pot hole in the street, every time a library closes, for every child jammed into an already crowded classroom. We all pay for it, unless you are rich enough to have a private jet, library, school.

  8. I consider myself a Democrat, but frankly I’m tired of them.  Democrats have no balls to stand up for what the believe in.   Every f’ing time they capitulate.  

    1. Somewhere along the way (healthcare reform and the extention of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy), I started thinking that the Democrats’ lack of balls is just a ruse to hide the fact they are just as bought as the rest. The Republicans don’t even bother to pretend to be on the side of the people, while the Democrats pretend, then capitulate. But at least the Dem’s throw us little people a bone once in a while…

    2. The Democrats are conservative, and the Republicans are just dinosaurs…
      Regime change, anyone?

  9. I have said this before and I will say it again….the Tea Party is nothing more than the toothless whore of their GOP pimp.  Really Tea Party?  You did not get us the tax cuts for the uber wealthy rescinded?  See if they had managed at least that, well then, I would argue that they are not just a bunch of fat, pimpled white racists mewling for their piece of bacon pie.

    It is now evident that their only real agenda is to not have a black president.  

  10. Yeah, it looks like they polled the ‘state of Washington’ if I’m reading that correctly.

    One of the more telling things?  70% of the respondents in *each income category* said they were okay with raising taxes.  The numbers were all 68% and above, regardless of category.

    Who the hell is the GOP fighting for?

  11. The Tea Party and the GOP hardly deserves all the blame.  Our President has conceded to nearly every demand, to the point that it’s pretty clear that ideologically he’s to the right of his own party, and just to the left of the Laffer GOP’ers.  Look at all his Wall St. advisors.  He’s a fraud too.

    1. I agree, but did he really have a choice?  All I blame the Tea Party for is not vociferously demanding dropping the tax cuts for the wealthy as much as they demanded cuts on spending mainly in the social services sector.  An area they themselves ironically avail themselves of, just like Ms. Rand did.

  12. The GOP all make more than $250K so of course they want no taxes on rich people. They are fighting for themselves. Of course, the Dems in government make the same….

  13. In search of hope (but not hopey-changey hope), I see the distant possibility that this latest political drama will convince even more of the ordinary Americans that federal politicians of both major parties really don’t give a damn about them and their sufferings. And that Obama is actually a Republican in sheep’s clothing.

    1. Yup, I’m with you and I would add that the voters need to start considering alternatives. Voting either Republican or Democrat is a waste of time.  Vote the candidate, not the party.

  14. Apparently that 70% that think raising taxes is a grand idea didn’t vote last election. Or maybe they don’t really exist outside of the pollsters office or the NYT. 

    You just need to look at the EU and the perpetual emergency meetings trying to prop up the next failed member to see that taxes are not going to help. 

    These cuts are only the beginning. The sooner we recognize what we are seeing is not another repeat of the past 80 years the sooner we can deal with it. Its beyond Democrat, Republican. 

    1. Look at the EU? Hmm – Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark… maybe throw Switzerland in as well… All are doing much better than the USA by pretty much all metrics, and have been for a while now. All are also much, much more ‘socialist’.

      The EU nations that are struggling are not the ones with high taxes, but those with dysfunctional governments in the pockets of their big businesses (the “job creators” in Republican parlance) – Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Spain… and the UK is not doing very well either…

      1. Peel off the veneer and you will find each of these countries is struggling. To say that Germany and Sweden are not in the pockets of “big business” is pushing the definition a bit. My point is not how we got here, it is that we have arrived at the end of the free money era. Everything is going to get cut not because we want to but because we have to. 

        1. Depends on how you define “struggling”. At the end of the day, all of life is a struggle – it is just a question of who struggles the least, a question of who has the thickest veneer.

          I would also take issue with the concept of a “free money era”, which now needs to be followed by a period of austerity. Money is simply an accounting unit. At the end of the day, what matters is availability of physical resources and the human effort and know-how to transform those resources for the pursuit of our goals. A resource wall is not immediately imminent (in that we at the very, very have at least another comfortable decade or so left), and with technological advances, sufficient forward planning, and a bit of luck, we may never have to hit such a wall. We have not become more lazy. We have not become more stupid. In the same way, “free money” is indeed possible through accounting tricks, but it cannot happen in the ‘real’ economy. For a particular end-benefit to be delivered and consumed, it must have first been actually produced. The world, as a whole, cannot spend beyond its means.

          Thus, the big-picture fundamentals are solid. The only question that remains is one of ensuring that the accounting and resource allocation systems do not gum up our ability to cooperate for the utilisation of the available resources. It was a similar experience during the Great Depression. There was no mass extinction of cattle, and the factories did not all spontaneously explode – it’s the economic arrangement that spluttered.

  15. “…but no rollback on tax cuts for the rich—new revenues that would be supported by more than 70 percent of Americans”

    Since when have the American public had any say on what our government does?

  16. Average Americans finally wanting tax hikes for the rich is significant not least because it suggests that Average Americans no longer think they’ll be rich one day.

  17. And yet no manifestations are planned. Millions need to realize that change doesn’t come for free. Looks like the USA is on the later stages of a conversion into an oligarchy, but as long as everything tax and social justice is seen as Communism people will just look the other way and follow merrily into slavery. The filthy rich will continue to have free money to spend and the poor will be denied basic rights even more. Oh democracy where art thou?

  18. The cleverest thing to me was whoever convinced the vast majority of the working poor and lower middle classes that they should fight for tax breaks for the very very wealthy.  In spite of evidence over the last 40 or so years that “trickle down” economics don’t give us more jobs or a better life.  In what the Tea Party calls “the good old days”, these same people were called “Uncle Toms”

    That we’ve convinced a whole new generation to fight against their own interests  is remarkable.

    1.  In what the Tea Party calls “the good old days”, these same people were called “Uncle Toms”

      Really? I thought that was only if they were black. And male. 

      Never heard that term applied to others before, such as white people.

      1. How about the Log Cabin Republicans? Not only are they sell-outs suck-ups deluded, they’ve even got ‘cabin’ in their name.

      1. Agreed. Now for the remix…

        Propaganda + lack of education + propaganda + mindless jingoism + propaganda + internalized self filtered corporatist BS + more propaganda, mix thoroughly, pour into a very thin line heading towards the moving goal post of ‘being rich’ and hope you’re one of the .0001 percent of the people that actually make it to ‘from-rags-to-riches-land’ And once you’re there you can be held up as an example of just what is possible for people in the US to do (also known as propaganda)(and just don’t get any funny ideas about joining the country club or being accepted as anything more than a shiny carrot to appease the masses appetite for ‘The American Dream’). Now use that propaganda as a base for the next generation of suckers… lather, rinse, repeat. Indeed the greatest country on Earth What a crock of shi….

  19. Doesn’t “deal” usually mean both parties get something out of it?

    Something other than just plain screwed.

  20. Is a $2.5 Trillion dollar revenue base not enough for the Federal Government to provide essential services and defense? $21,000 per household is not enough tax revenue?

    1. To run multiple foreign wars? And foreign aid. And subsidies to industry and agriculture. And keep Alaska from going under. And pay the interest on the rest of the debt.

      It’s not just keeping the roads drivable and the trains running.

      1. Completely agree. Which brings us to the next question that not many people are asking: should we be doing all of those things? I say “no” but Republicans AND Democrats say “yes.” So congress should not be looking for ways to decrease future projected expenditures or to increase revenues but instead should be debating on how to eliminate the wars (foreign and domestic), subsidies, and reform the entitlements. Interest is only 10% of our revenues. We do not have a revenue problem- if we simply returned our spending to the levels of 2004 then we would have a balanced budget. The problem is that with every rise in revenue, we get a rise in expenditures that is equal to or greater than said rise in tax revenue. In recessions, revenues go down but the promises that the Government made do not get smaller, they continue to grow.

  21. The TeaPublicans wouldn’t not raise the debt ceiling, it’s something that would take away from their wealth. They play their bluffs again and again to get unrelated crap and The Dems. cave; 
    “We’ll screw the country if you don’t give us stuff (people will elect us for, but not really what they asked for and, entirely unrelated and non-baring on this discussion).” Dems. : “oh …
    okay. Here you go” .

    They’re not going to screw the country and risk
    their wealth (it’s where they keep all their stuff) 

    I know why “The Tea Party” wants not to raise the ceiling…. but the TeaPublicans never actually do what the ‘party’ wants- they raised the debt ceiling; The Tea Party didn’t want that (because they don’t understand economics), but support these lying jackals?   who are these people in office- pack of runts and angry babies. Who needs reality shows when reality politics is just as infuriatingly ridiculous and petty. Walking away thinking why did I spend my time watching these idiots scream about the nothingness they’ve yet accomplished

  22. BBC’s analysis of the deal is that Obama lost and is a wimp, and the Tea Party won and now knows that it can control the government by having hissy fits.

    1. A wimp? The first few times I can buy that. At this point he might as well change parties.

      1. I was thinking exactly the same thing. I hope that Hillary mounts a primary challenge. Maybe that would force him to get his ass in gear.

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