One reason among many why US people should fear the debt ceiling’s ugly docudrama:
“It set the template for the future.
In the future, Neil, no president â€” in the near future, maybe in the distant future â€” is going to be able to get the debt ceiling increased without a re-ignition of the same discussion of how do we cut spending and get America headed in the right direction.
I expect the next president, whoever that is, is going to be asking us to raise the debt ceiling again in 2013, so weâ€™ll be doing it all over.”
— Mitch McConnellÂ on Fox News yesterday
(Illustration found here).
Despite the delightful appearance of Gabrielle Giffords in the US House debt ceiling vote yesterday, the entire shebang set the stage for countrywide political hostage-taking in the future by the GOP and its shit-for-brains allies, the Tea Party.
Giffords gave the drama an emotional edge to say the least, but the grandstanding has created a deep-rooted knowledge that next time the outcome for the country could be a lot worse.
Most tragically, the deal provides no certainty about the ultimate resolution of the capital’s fiscal mess.
Instead, the House Republicans’ success in forcing concessions out of Obama and Senate Democrats only encourages them to follow the same game plan next month, when Congress has to adopt a set of spending bills to keep the government operating past Sept. 30.
A dispute between House Republicans and Senate Democrats has already forced the Federal Aviation Administration to suspend construction projects at airports around the country, idling 70,000 workers. Washington may have averted a partial government shutdown this week, only to invite more of them in the months to come.
This deal opened the door to a future not seen since King George ruled these parts.
In fact, the deal sets up a rumble in the Tea Party jungle by this November when the so-called special joint committee (as ordered by the deal) of 12 people from the House and Senate comes back with its recommendations for up to $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts — think there won’t be more of the same when the amounts start to mount up?
Whether lawmakers could ultimately hammer out a comprehensive agreement is another question.
The special committee’s work will be clouded by sharpening political rhetoric as the November 2012 elections near, and by the impending expiration of the Bush tax cuts at end-2012.
In such a feverish atmosphere, it will take considerable skill and fortitude to solve tax-and-spending problems that have defied the good intentions of many since 1986, when the last comprehensive tax reform got done.
It cleaned up the tax code, but scores of new loopholes have been added since then.
So get ready for more of the same — the losers being all those living outside the DC beltway.