Debt Ceiling Deal and a Short Reprieve

Debt CeilingAs expected, Congress and White House Reach Tentative Budget Deal. It will “modestly increase spending over the next two years, cut some social programs, and raise the federal borrowing limit.” The last bit is the most important, because it raises the debt ceiling to a point where we don’t have to worry about it until the next president is in office. But this highlights the importance of having a Democrat in the White House. I no longer think that Republicans will act responsibly if they get total control of Washington. They’ve convinced themselves that Obama has made radical changes to the country, and they are going to push back — hard. Think they won’t repeal Obamacare?! Think again.

Of course, Paul Ryan was out this morning to claim that he was shocked — Shocked! — to find that these negotiations were going on. He said that he thought the process sticks. And that’s all fine. But we know he’s lying. He knew what was going on and he is pandering to the Freedom Caucus in the House. Ryan is very much in the “libertarian” wing of the Republican Party. His biggest concern is taking care of the rich. Causing a global economic collapse is not good for the rich.

We know that the vast majority of the House Republicans will still vote against this deal. But most of them will do it because the crazies in the party will make a big deal out of a vote that increases the debt limit. They will be said to be RINOs. It’s kind of interesting that a small number of extreme Republicans can wield the word RINO as such a weapon. After all, the vast majority of the House Republicans are not of the Freedom Caucus type. So aren’t the real RINOs the people in the Freedom Caucus? I have a term that the Freedom Caucus could use: FINO — Fascists In Name Only.

A regular conservative political party would like this deal. It has social program cuts. It gets rid of one of the mandates in Obamacare. It increases spending on the military. But this is not enough. The only thing that will make these Republicans happy is if they get exactly what they want. In this case, it is the defunding of Planned Parenthood. But it is clear that even if they got that, it would only lead to greater demands. As I’ve noted in the past, the primary Republican complaint is just that they aren’t in total control of Washington.

So we continue to manage the federal government the way a junkie manages his habit: we find a fix for today and hope that we can find a fix tomorrow. And it is a curious spectacle. If you are masochistic enough to read David Brooks or Charles Murray, you know that conservatives are convinced that people are poor because of their lack of middle class values and long term planning. That’s all a crock, of course. But the Republicans who are in charge in Washington behave exactly as this conservative stereotype: no compromises to get some of what they want; no long term planning. They are just waiting until they win the proverbial lottery and have total control so they don’t have to make any compromises.

But don’t worry: soon the American people will rise up and vote these malefactors out of office. Just kidding! There’s a far great probability that we will breech the debt ceiling than that the American people will punish the Republicans. The best we can hope for is a Democratic president in 2017.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

5 thoughts on “Debt Ceiling Deal and a Short Reprieve

  1. I am going to start using FINO. Then when they get mad I am going to have a rolled up copy of the definition of fascist in my hand and bop them on the head with it.

    At least until the day the media wakes up and starts pointing out that this is what is going to keep happening until we get rid of the Republicans.

    • Fascism is a poorly defined term. But it is harder and harder not to include Republicans under its umbrella. These days, people seem to think that fascism must go along with antisemitism. But that just isn’t true. And recently I’ve seen people making the argument that if you throw aside the antisemitism, fascism wasn’t that bad. It’s scary. It isn’t at all hard to see America going full out fascist. And once it really got going with the Muslims and the college professors, it would make it to the Jews. It always gets to point of hating the Jews.

      • I always tried not to apply the term “fascism” to our extreme right because I thought it was more pejorative than precise. (Fascists in Italy and Germany had less vicious policies towards the poor.) Now I don’t know what other term to use. Trump is popular because he’s all but saying “exterminate the vermin.” That’s it; that’s why people like him. What else can we call it? Evil? At this point, being imprecise with the word fascism — and using that label to denounce Trump — is fine by me.

        It’s interesting that Fox News hates the guy. Well, you stoked the fires that created him, you bastards. Wonder why they hate him. Too far, too fast? Or do they worry a genocidal maniac might get us into WWIII?

        • Yes. The fascists were rather good about taking care of their own. In this way, our “meritocracy” is particularly bad because the Republicans think “their own” are the rich. It’s all straight out of Ayn Rand.

          As for Trump: Fox News doesn’t like him because they think he can’t win the general election. That’s it. If they thought he could, they would be fine with him.

      • I certainly hope not, my best friend is Jewish and while he can be ultra annoying at times, I do want to keep him around.

        Fascism is hard for people to wrap their heads around since we worship business so much in this country. We vaguely know, collectively, that it is bad that companies run everything but we cannot explain why since look, Google just came out with yet another product that will fail like Google+! And it requires knowing more than what the term socialist or capitalist actually means when it has no immediate impact on our lives.

        It is why I, and a great many others, didn’t care overmuch about the Snowdon revelations since business already did and does what the Feds were doing. At least in theory (and after the publication of the warrantless wiretapping of the Bush era), the government has to schlep on down to the federal courthouse where the FISA court is and get some judge to sign off on it with a minimal showing of at least probable cause.

        @James-the reason that Fox News hates Trump is because they cannot control him like they do the other candidates. That makes them angry!

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