While many people are anxiously waiting to hear if the US economy will enter a tailspin come Tuesday morning, it appears that some semblance of a deal is being made in Capital Hill late Saturday evening into the morning hours of Sunday. The new debt deal calls for about $2.8 Trillion in debt reduction over the next decade. If you were one of the 12 people tuned in to CSPAN on Saturday afternoon (well, 11 other people, since I was tuned in), you should have seen standard-issue fighting between two broken political parties. Indeed, the Republicans want to keep their friends in Corporate America happy, while the Democrats want to keep the White House. The clear aspect of a broken system came when the House voted on the early draft of the Reid bill, using a parliamentary process that limits debate to only 20 minutes, Saturday afternoon without that bill even had left the Senate yet. Of course, many democratic representatives were increasingly furious for more political posturing by the Republicans. However, a glimmer of hope has emerged amid the darkness — a “new” proposal (well, it’s really the old proposal with a new wardrobe).
The new proposal, as outlined by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calls for a variety of debt decreases, a temporary increase in the debt limit, but no new revenue enhancements, which is what we really need. As reported in the New York Times: “It would immediately raise the debt ceiling by about $1 trillion, accompanied by a similar range of spending cuts, and set up a new bipartisan committee that would work to find deeper cuts in exchange for a second debt limit increase that would extend through the 2012 election.”
So, of course a compromise like begs an important question — where is the money coming from? Or, more importantly; what is being cut to cover that debt reduction? One potential answer to that question is in the so-called “entitlement programs.” As an aside, can I just say that I am so unhappy that we use the term entitlement in a pejorative sense — people who have paid into social security and medicare are ENTITLED to receive it…why do we have to keep attacking them? Can we please talk about farm and oil production subsidies again? Please?
I am not sure if a deal will be reached anytime soon, but I can only hope one will be reached that holds true to the American way of life and not to the corporate-America way of life. But, one this is for sure…I won’t be holding my breath.