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Were we better off with the debt deal?

Were we better off with the debt deal?

Matt Lewis at The Daily Caller argues that taking a compromise deal allowed Republicans to avoid blame for the S&P downgrade (although David Axelrod and John Kerry are claiming otherwise) and any other negative consequences:

In the few days since the debt ceiling was raised, the Dow has dropped more  than 500 points and Standard & Poor has decided to downgrade the United  States’ credit rating. This is very bad news for the nation. But politically, it  at least appears that the blame will be shared.

But imagine this scenario: What if the GOP freshmen who blocked Boehner’s  bill and argued the August 2nd deadline was simply arbitrary had scuttled or  delayed a debt deal?

It seems very obvious to me that Republicans would have been (wrongly)  blamed for the Dow drop and the S&P downgrade — and the many legitimate tea  party ideas that might help move the country forward would have  been (wrongly) discredited.

This is, somewhat, a point I was making in the days leading up to the deal.  A meaningful restructuring was impossible at the time, and it was better not to be the fall guys and gals for what was to come.

The S&P downgrade, while it doesn’t change any reality, is a wake up call and an opportunity which may not have existed had we held out.  I don’t claim it’s a perfect scenario by any means, but I think it is fair to argue that it was the right decision even in hindsight.


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Yes, the whole time I was afraid we would give the media a story to stick to us and greatly hurt Republican’s chances next year. We luckily made it out alive. I’m still concerned there are many people out there on our side willing to roll the dice on brinkmanship for some dream of being able to suddenly change everything. Think about it, Clinton may not have been reelected hadn’t Newt and the Republicans bullheadedly shut down the government and given Clinton and the media the opportunity to create a false narrative. It might actually be a good thing that the Republican’s didn’t win the Senate last time. Now Obama can’t say he’s the only thing standing in the way of our “radical agenda.”

    Mark30339 in reply to mikehinton. | August 8, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Funny you blame the Clinton shutdown on Newt, Bill Clinton vetoed the continuing resolutions passed by both houses, and then blamed the GOP for the shutdown . . . and got away with it forever being the GOP’s fault. This power of the predominant media makes the left incorrigible. I was surprised Obama caved at the end — but his grandstanding sent his poll numbers down. Thank heavens for that linguini spine.

      True, it was likely all Clinton, maybe there’s nothing the Republicans could have done at the time. I was around 14 then so I don’t have the same recollection as someone fully engaged. All I know is the debt debate could have gone much differently, and a little over a year before it really matters, we are well positioned to save our country from the jaws of Obamacare.

I disagree. The voters typically have the attention span of a gnat (which is how we got into this mess in the first place) and instead, “compromise,” in this case, essentially guaranteed a downgrade.

It wasn’t that many months ago that the GOP inspired huge budget cut in the Lame Duck turned out to be utterly worthless, as did this wasted “compromise.”

Better to do the right thing and be blamed for it. And settling for a paltry, back-loaded $2.1 trillion when we needed at least $4 trillion to start and much more of it up front was not that.

Make lemonade with the lemons given.

They were going to blame us anyway. And they did. Better to stannd on principle.

“‘Compromise’ is always in the direction of bigger government, more spending and greater debt.”

The Republicans were defeated before they started.

Why make the debt ceiling an issue if the threat to shut down the government was hollow?

If the Republicans knew before the fact that they would eventually compromise, then all they gained was the rap that they “played political games,” “held the economy hostage” and that they are at least as foolish and incompetent as the Democrats.

The Daily Caller is telling us that the Republicans initiated this buffoonery in order to be satisfied that they gain a share of the blame for the economic unrest that the whole, ridiculous gambit caused? God, that’s brilliant.

The real result of this exercise in stupidity is the establishment of a “Supra-Congress” that is the very definition of a loose cannon.

But we should rest assured because the “deal,” according to Boehner, amounted to 98% of what he wanted.

What a crock!

Centrist Central | August 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Several interesting things I’ve not seen in the media thus far. One, Obama and the Democrats wanted a clean debt ceiling increase; that would have meant a worse downgrade – that’s a very strong GOP campaign theme. Also, do you realize France has a AAA rating? We are now more fiscally sloppy than France. Next, S & P says the debt deal is irrelevant; it’s the deficits and debt itself. Relax. Lastly, all the numbers so far are horrible for the Democrats, worse than 2010 [I’m unaffiliated, but Obama is horrible]. If 2012 is the biggest election since 1860 – and I think it is, this is the GOP’s time to fight for a complete victory for the ages. They have to pick a middle-right candidate at most although Giuliani is my top choice, and work hard to win independents with well crafted themes. E.g., when Democrats claim the stimulus created jobs, and it did, the response is not to change the subject but to answer that even the Democrats admit the stimulus cost $300,000/job created.

Maybe the GOP did the right thing with the deal, or perhaps they did the best they could do. I don’t know.

Sometimes doing what’s right is more important than doing what might seem to look good through the prism of political optics.

To wit, the bailouts of 2008/2009 were largely a matter of “just doing something” to avoid being blamed for catastrophe…even if “just doing something” made things worse in the long run.

@Sherman – Not only was the threat to shut down the government hollow- GOP leaders made it publicly known before the negotiations even started.

Meanwhile, the President is essentially threatening to withhold Military & Social Security checks if a deal is not reached. If Republicans actually had the guts to explain to people that there would be enough money coming in to cover the essentials, people might actually see who the real “terrorist” is. But nope- silence.

    JayDick in reply to Bilbo. | August 8, 2011 at 6:36 am

    But there was not enough money coming in to cover the essentials, depending on how you define essentials. Moreover, Obama would have gotten to decide what was essential and what was not. And, he would have had a rational basis for blaming Republicans for not being able to pay for things the voters think are essential.

    The debt ceiling may not have been the best vehicle for pushing the spending debate, but it did get everyone’s attention. Republicans need to continue pressing the spending issue with the 2012 appropriations. They need to pass all the remaining appropriations bills in the House knowing the Senate will not act on them. When a continuing resolution is needed in late September, they will again be in the position of pointing out that they did their job already and that the Senate needs to do theirs.

    Keep you eye on the long term — 2012 elections, 2013 and beyond. That’s the best chance to save the country.

The Dems are already blaming the TEA Party for the downgrade. Odd how they can blame Americans who have no say over how Congress spends our money. But truth has never been the forte of the Democrats.

I just keep thinking “I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees.”

And while Obama took every opportunity to put his face in front of a camera when he wanted $2 trillion more to spread around to his “rent-seekers” during the campaign, not a peep out of him since Friday.

Oh, that’s right; he played golf Friday.

And I am perplexed how the Tea Party could be blamed for any of it. They didn’t run up that 14 trillion debt.