The politicians will keep dancing and prancing until the music stops.
The fearless President Barack Obama, who has rarely seen a compromise he won't embrace, is playing his usual double game, telling his supporters how firm he will be, and telling his avowed enemies he is willing to play in their pigpen if they would just be more "reasonable."
But the whole point of their exercise is to posture at not being reasonable, to maintain the appearance of a united front to get as much as they can by way of concessions and goodies for their own districts while lambasting all government spending.
New York Times points out that many of the Tea Party boosters on Capitol Hill are not shy about seeking government pork while they are blasting government excess...
"WASHINGTON: Freshman House Republicans who rode a wave of voter discontent into office last year vowed to stop out-of-control spending, but that has not stopped several of them from quietly trying to funnel millions of federal dollars into projects back home."
Progressive Democrats are furious and smell betrayal. Here's what MoveOn had to say:
"Reports that the White House is negotiating a secret debt deal directly with House Republicans that could include deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security with limited or no immediate revenue increases are deeply troubling. Any deal that slashes programs for seniors and working families while doing nothing to make the rich and corporations pay their share is a total non-starter and Democrats in Congress should rule it out immediately.
"The Democratic base did not work night and day to elect Democrats so that they could cave to Tea Party extremists who are intent on gutting the social safety net millions of us fought to establish and protect."
At the same time, Obama is following in Bill Clinton's footsteps, according to former Labor Secretary Robert Reich:
"After a bruising midterm election, the president moves to the political center. He distances himself from his Democratic base. He calls for cuts in Social Security and signs historic legislation ending a major entitlement program. He agrees to balance the budget with major cuts in domestic discretionary spending.
"He has a showdown with Republicans who threaten to bring government to its knees if their budget demands aren't met. He wins the showdown, successfully painting them as radicals. He goes on to win re-election.
"Barack Obama in 2012? Maybe. But the president who actually did it was Bill Clinton."
This debt issue has been calculated to focus attention on government as the fount of all evil, and distract attention away from out-of-control corporate enrichment, Wall Street crimes, and the looting in the form of higher and higher CEO bonuses and greed-driven compensation schemes.
There is little mention about how the failed and deceptive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drove the deficit up -- with GOP backing of course!
A new poll shows public outrage at the government reaching their highest levels ever. (Some of this is fueled by the stalemate on Capitol Hill.)
This jihad on debt was hatched by right-wing think tanks and the studies commissioned by billionaire Pete Peterson paint alarmist scenarios about the government going broke through a combination of reckless entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare and runaway spending.
There's no mention of the amount wasted on wars or the debt that finances programs spawned by the Pentagon and the private sector that they believe can do no wrong.
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