The devil is always in the detail. Certainly is the case for Boehner 4.0.
Some of us sought to crash the car or toe the line if default, others like my self, did not. We wanted a solution which would keep the ball moving forward while doing the right thing for the country.
Which of the conflicting strategies is right or wrong is for another day.
Before us is a piece of legislation that was initially described as a step in the right direction.
While not the huge leap we all wanted, it would provide the basis to push for such legislation as Senator Coburn’s 9 trillion dollar reduction deal or a balanced budget amendment.
Supposedly if either side refused to take the need for further cuts seriously then across the boards cuts would happen. “It would be like a neutron bomb going off for both sides” one aide reported to Jake Tapper. In one scenario, the Balanced Budget Amendment would be sent the states.
Whats more, tax increases were supposed to be off the table.
That was last night.
This morning we awoke to a bill in which the details ended up scorching any hope of serious long term reforms.
It is true that there are new spending caps. That is a positive.
It is also true that for every dollar added to the deficit ceiling, a dollar is cut from the deficit.
It is equally true that tax increases are a possibility – and all that Democrats need to do is stall – and Defense spending would be cut significantly, gutting the one Constitutionally mandated budget item.
To that end there are two questions which stand out and should prevent anyone from voting for the proposal without an answer:
1) Who is sitting on the committee? This is a vital question which must be answered. It goes to the very heart of what discussion will take place and under what premises any bill is passed.
2) What prevents tax increases from taking place in the committee? Ive seen documents from the Speakers release refuting the President’s assertions that tax increase can and must take place within the committee. If that is the case, what clause/heading/section explicitly protects us from tax increases happening.
Without these elements taking place market uncertainty will not only continue, but will increase, as people and small businesses brace for an unknown.
Compromise is a good and healthy part of the political process, but it does not mean giving away key elements of ones principles.
We may not have given away the “whole hog” as some claim, but on the surface it looks as if we’ve given away some of the most important parts.