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Monday, October 26, 2015

Uh-Oh: Boehner & McConnell Reach Budget Deal With Obama

by JASmius

It doesn't sound completely abysmal until you do a cursory reading between the lines.  Allow me to translate:

Congressional leaders and the White House have reached a major fiscal deal in principle to raise the debt ceiling and increase spending on defense and domestic programs, Congressional sources say, CNN reports.

Barack Obama gets a bigger debt ceiling increase and bigger budget-busting domestic spending hikes than he was demanding, and the Pentagon will boost its domestic spending as well.

While the details of a far-reaching, two-year budget agreement with Barack Obama had not been worked out by Monday evening, the sources said it could be ready for a vote as early as Wednesday.

Boehner and McConnell hadn't quite yet finished capitulating unconditionally by this evening, but their groveling prostration will be complete within forty-eight hours, or the House will be leaderless forty-eight hours after that.

And probably will be anyway after this latest inescapable debacle.

The budget pact, in concert with a must-pass [???] increase in the federal borrowing limit....would also take budget showdowns and government shutdown fights off the table until after the 2016 presidential election, a potential boon to Republican candidates who might otherwise face uncomfortable questions about messes in the GOP-led Congress.

Which they will face anyway because the "messes in the GOP-led Congress" stem from precisely the unwillingness of Republicans leaders to have budget showdowns and government shutdown fights, or Paul Ryan's embryonic Speakership - due to be voted on Thursday, natch - wouldn't be languishing in limbo and this latest surrender to the White House wouldn't be being rushed through with the usual obscene haste.

And, lastly but not leastly, here is where all the offsetting "savings" is to come from:

The proposed deal would boost military and domestic spending while making long-term cuts in spending on Medicare, Social Security, and other programs, the Washington Post reports. [emphasis added]

You know, as in years and years and decades and centuries from now.  Essentially, never.  The fiscal equivalent of that giant pile of universal lost socks that is said to exist in a quantum-entangled parallel dimension.  More fictitious than Miley Cyrus's virginity.

Or, as it is known to us all, Beltway business as usual in The Age Of The One.

Hey, I never said this story was actual news.

UPDATE (10/27): Three additional notes....

1) This deal covers TWO years (FY 2016 and FY 2017), showing how petrified of taking on Barack Obama the GOP is that they buckled biennially instead of just annually, doubtless with the speculative presidential election squarely front-and-center in mind.

2) Taking a step back to exchange my conservative hat for my realist hat, this is what divided government looks like, folks.  We get something (slight addition to suicidally low defense spending, mythical Social Security cuts Captain Picard would have read about), they get something (even higher levels of runaway domestic spending, no Medicare Part B premium hikes now), both sides snarl that the deal sucks, and only conservatives are right about that.

The time for which Tea Partiers should be saving their NUCLEAR rage is if America falls into a mountain of four-leaf clovers and a REAL Republican (i.e. not Donald Trump) becomes president a year from now, because in that event, even a President Cruz won't be able to do enough to satisfy them.

Although that particular scenario would probably still have the look of divided government.

3) Will essentially "playing budget keep-away" from the House Freedom Caucus waiver their support for Paul Ryan in tomorrow's vote, given that he's so clearly the beneficiary of the biennial scope of Boehner's "deal" and they've being given no time to determine whether Ryan had a hand in it?

Exit quote from Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL):

.@SenatorSessions says @SpeakerBoehner’s final budget deal with @POTUS is so bad it made his ‘knees quiver’ 

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