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A Bad Deal With The Devils

By       Message Eugene Elander     Permalink
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Judging from preliminary reports of the agreement between President Barack Obama and the Republican leadership in Congress, our pseudo-Democratic president has made a bad Deal with the Devils of the Far Right which America will come to regret.  While Social Security and Medicare appear to be left untouched, as of course they should be, other Federal spending is now on the chopping block, and permanently at that.  The Grim Weeper, House Speaker John Boehner, took credit immediately by saying that while the Deal was not everything he and the Tea Party had wanted, it proved that they had seized the agenda in Washington.  They have also seized -- and will ultimately destroy -- the American future.

From those same preliminary reports, the hackneyed old Balanced Budget Amendment has raised its ugly head again.  This superficially-sensible plan would require that the Federal budget be balanced on some basis, whether annually or cyclically.  That essentially means that the nation would not have a real fiscal policy, and certainly not a flexible one which would meet present and future needs.  The penalty for not enacting balanced budget legislation would be ever-harsher cuts in vital federal programs, putting immense pressure on Congress and any President to choose what might appear as the lesser of the evils, but which is really the evil of the lessers.

Then there is the new super-Commission of Congress which will propose -- and undoubtedly promote -- further cuts in federal spending.  Again, while this might appear plausible, the orientation of any such Commission and its staff will undoubtedly be to find the maximum amount in spending reductions via a chopping-block-approach which is unwise, unreasonable, and unfair to the purposes of many federal programs which meet valid American needs.  The baby will be thrown out with the bathwater if Congress makes such reductions -- but, if Congress does not do so, then the future debt limit will be held hostage, as the present proposal demands that cuts in federal spending exceed increases in the public debt.  The logic of that requirement is not self-evident, and indeed is not evident at all.

In order to avert a pending Federal default and buy America some time, our President appears instead to have bought into a plan featuring bad economics and worse public policy, which ties his hands and those of future presidents to take vital actions needed by this nation to promote our economic health and the public interest.

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This proposal to resolve our public debt crisis caters to the Right Wing extremists in the Republican Party, and will only further weaken our already-weak economy by tipping fiscal policy against the creation and restoration of jobs and economic growth.  This proposal to resolve our public debt crisis with no significant tax increases will allow the wealthy to keep their taxes low while the rest of us implicitly subsidize their lavish lifestyle.  Worst of all, this proposal to resolve our public debt crisis will irreparably damage the American future.  It is truly a bad Deal with the Devils.
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Author's Biography Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)
 

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