Is anyone really surprised that the congress and Pres. Obama came to a last-minute agreement last night? Of course much like our Delaware General Assembly, they chose to do it late at night, under cover of darkness. No less on a Friday night, so that they can all crawl back home and hide for the weekend.
Some may feel that the GOP leadership has made a good deal. In the final version the Democrats agreed to make spending cuts of $38.5 billion. That is a lot of money when compared to my yearly budget. But when compared to the national debt and deficit, it isn’t even a drop in the bucket.
As always the Washington crowd has made a deal that will allow both sides to claim victory.
The Republicans will be able to say that they fought for every dollar in cuts they could get. They can also claim a small victory by keeping an agreement “rider” in, that would ban federal and local funds from being used for abortions in D.C. . As someone who is greatly concerned with this issue, I will say, it is a small victory. House Speaker John Boehner (R), also was able to put in a pet provision for school vouchers in D.C. .
But as we look down the road to the 2012 presidential election, it may be Pres. Obama and the Democrats that were the winners in this little battle.
First, the President and the Democrats can say that they held the Republicans far short of their original demands of making cuts of $61 Billion.
Second, though the Republicans managed to put a provision in that would defund Obama care, it is so written that it need only be voted on in the Senate where it is guaranteed to fall short of the required sixty votes. So the Democrats and the President get to keep their marquee legislation. Even though it has been struck down as unconstitutional in court. Why are we voting on this at all, and why are tax dollars being spent?
But the single most important victory for the President and the Democrats concerning the 2012 elections, is that they can claim to have saved the jobs of thousands if not millions of public service union members. They can say that they stared down the Republicans and won. $38.5 Billion in cuts, is nothing to a president that is adding trillions to the debt every year of his term.
We on the right must face the facts. We made large gains in the 2010 election cycle. We sent some real conservatives to Washington. In fact, if not for the 2010 conservative movement, there would have been no budget battle at all. That being said. We must understand that we have a long way to go in turning Washington away from its big government, big spending ways. This includes further changes within the GOP itself.
It is obvious that the GOP leadership, including Mr. Boehner, never really had their hearts in this fight. They were never going to do what was needed for this to have been a GOP victory. They were never going to go to the mat on this and allow the President to “shut down” government. This was a draw at best. But really little more than theatre for the masses.
If the GOP leadership really cared about the direction this nation is headed in. And if they were really concerned with unseating Pres. Obama in 2012, then they would have held out for their original demand of $61 Billion, or let the Democrats, led by the President, put all of those union workers out of work.
If they had chosen to play hard ball, they could have then sent a message to the GOP base that they were willing to make the tough decisions that would benefit the nation as a whole. That could have been used in 2012 as a rallying cry to bring together the fiscal conservatives and the independent voters who are tired of the liberal agenda of this president.
Instead, with this deal the battle cry would seem to be, “it was the best we could do”.