Rhetoric vs. Reality
Or, the progressives who cried wolf.
For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.
Let me reserve judgment until the surrender-and-visit-to-the-cleaners is actually set out, but I suspect that come Tuesday I will be forecasting a double-dip. Horrible for the economy. Horrible for America. Horrible for the world. And horrible for Obama's aspirations for a second term as well.
And then we see exactly what they are getting all worked up about (hat tip to Tyler for posting a re-scaled graph):
That is a graph of discretionary Federal spending after the "cuts". Yes, it's going up (though note that the data are not inflation adjusted). Doesn't seem much like a disaster, does it?
Here's more from the OG (original graphmaker):
The “cuts” in the deal are only cuts from the CBO “baseline,” which is a Washington construct of ever-rising spending. And even these “cuts” from the baseline include $156 billion of interest savings, which are imaginary because the underlying cuts are imaginary.
No program or agency terminations are identified in the deal. None of the vast armada of federal subsidies are targeted for elimination. Old folks will continue to gorge themselves on inflated benefits paid for by young families and future generations. None of Senator Tom Coburn’s or Senator Rand Paul’s specific cuts were included.
The federal government will still run a deficit of $1 trillion next year. This deal will “cut” the 2012 budget of $3.6 trillion by just $22 billion, or less than 1 percent.
Bam! The Tea Party just hit America with a steel garbage can! Sproing! America is bleeding profusly. Zoink! the EMTs are coming to take America out on a stretcher. Oh the humanity.
Somewhere, Killer Grease Mungowitz is smiling.