Good lord, I hope this information is wrong. This is simply an awful, awful idea. The Democrats appear to be acquiescing to Republicans on spending cuts.
The White House and Democratic lawmakers, with less than two weeks left to avoid a government shutdown, are assembling a proposal for roughly $20 billion in additional spending cuts that could soon be offered to Republicans, according to people close to the budget talks.
That would come on top of $10 billion in cuts that Congress has already enacted and would represent a deeper reduction than the Obama administration and Senate Democrats had offered previously in negotiations. But it isn’t clear that would be enough to satisfy Republicans, who initially sought $61 billion in spending cuts and face pressure from tea-party activists not to compromise.
Goddamn. Can’t these people take a stand and make a case for why spending cuts in a slow-growth recovery is a stupendously bad idea? Why can’t they do that?! Decisions like this make me embarrassed to be a Democrat.
But the way I see it, Obama adopted Republican framing of the budget debate — including the rhetoric about how families are tightening their belts so the government should too — as early as the 2010 State of the Union, back when Democrats had 59 Senate seats and control of the House. If that genuflection to the right was supposed to help Dems in the midterms, well, it didn’t; and it has meant that there is no effective counter-argument to the cut cut cut people.
I have to say here that the “families tightening their belts” line is probably the dumbest thing the president has ever said.
Anyone who’s serious about economy policy — and let’s be clear, I don’t think the president really believes what he has said about belts — knows that families, figuratively “tightening their belts” or otherwise, are totally dissimilar to government fiscal policy. There’s no correlation whatsoever between the two entities since they carry very different economic roles and responsibilities. Government is obligated to spend when families can’t. When families can’t spend due to joblessness or wage cuts, the economy slips. But the government has the ability to pick up the slack — not follow along the family belt plan. Oy, oy, oy. Such a bad idea.