The reality: the debt ceiling deal really wasn’t that bad for Democrats (although it could have been better had Nancy Pelosi known ahead of time just how far from 217 votes John Boehner was in the House.) Dems managed to keep Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare off the table, and the deal puts off another such showdown until after the election. Still, lots of liberal Democrats hate it (at least the ones online.) But you want to know who hates it more?
The tea party. They really, really hate it. And when the kidnappers are unhappy, nobody’s happy.
A clip from my Herald column this week:
To the far right, which has demonstrated an almost maniacal determination to eviscerate the safety net while protecting the very rich and big business at all costs, the deal is peanuts.
Sen. Marco Rubio almost immediately declared its cuts too paltry.
David Bossie of the infamous Citizens United, whose Supreme Court case gave us unlimited corporate spending to buy elections, and Phil Kerpen of the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity both pronounced it a failure, saying it fails to truly tackle the right’s “be all and end all”: spending.
True, the deal punts on entitlements, exempting Social Security, Medicaid, Temporary Relief for Needy Families and Medicare benefits (sorry Paul Ryan, there will be no “vouchercare”). None of those can be touched after the congressional super-committee charged with finding $1.5 trillion in additional savings inevitably deadlocks and fails to reach agreement by 2013.
The $1 trillion in cuts turn out to be $917 billion in “savings from discretionary budget caps” — meaning federal spending will be allowed to rise by $1 trillion less than it would have.
Of that, only about $21 billion — out of a $14.3 trillion economy — kicks in this year. If that’s shrinking government down to a size you can drown in a bathtub, we’re going to need a bigger tub.
Meanwhile, defense spending gets $315 billion in cuts, which has hawkish GOPers hopping mad.
And the economically repellent “balanced budget amendment” that right wing House members get to vote on is little more than shiny keys designed to distract the screaming baby. It will never become law. Even tea party-whipped Republicans know better than to strip Congress of its constitutional authority by turning the federal government into one big Florida — required to slash spending almost blindly to meet balanced budget requirements.
The tea party did manage to do real damage.
We shouldn’t even be talking about spending cuts while the economy is weak and needs stimulus. But since they’ve dominated the conversation by forcing Washington to careen from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis, that’s all we’re talking about.
Unemployment and payroll tax cut extensions, won in the last budget battle, are gone.
The White House and Democrats have yet to grab the reins and steer the focus back to jobs — a failure that dates back to President Obama allowing the Senate to drag the miserable healthcare debate through his first 15 months in office, giving life to tea party ghouls like Florida Gov. Rick Scott (who, by the way, also said the deal doesn’t cut enough).
And of course, the American people will have to wait on that “shared sacrifice.”
Still, the right realizes what the left so far does not: They got rolled, again. …
Read the whole thing here.