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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Republicans Prepare Ground to Renege on Debt Reduction Agreement

Looks like Markos Moulitsas was right, as I suspected. Ali Gharib is reporting at Think Progress Security that Congressional Republicans, including Senators John McCain and Pat Toomey, are laying the groundwork for weaseling out of the August debt ceiling accord provisions that if the Super Committee reaches no agreement, it triggers $600 billion in defense cuts over 10 years. Gharib quotes McCain yesterday (emphasis Gharib's):

The sequestration is not engraved on golden tablets. It is a notional aspiration. And those of us — and I think we’d have sufficient support to prevent those kind of cuts from being enacted because of the impact it would have on national security.

We are looking at a stand-alone bill to negate what Republicans supposedly gave up in the debt ceiling negotiations, canceling the $600 billion in defense cuts. If it passes, Democrats will have given up $600 billion in cuts to domestic programs -- for exactly nothing in return. Yet another Lucy pulls away the football moment. Gharib recommends that President Obama issue a veto threat against such a bill now, but it's not like $1.5 trillion in cuts is good policy in a jobs recession. But Gharib may be right, on the grounds that the President needs to hold Republicans to their deals. Will the President hold his ground? Get ready for the cries of "You don't support the troops."


  1. Kenny,

    I am sure that Congress will back out of the automatic cuts as they only know how to spend money. But soon, interest is going to eat into the discretionary budget anyway and cause deep budget cuts one way or the other.

    Jim McLaughlin

  2. Jim, I'm not sure I agree "Congress only knows how to spend money." In 2000, economic growth was strong and the federal government had a surplus. Big chunks of today's deficit come from higher payments for unemployment insurance and other safety net programs. If the economy were growing, that spending would go away.