Winners and Losers

Winning, duh!

Now that the budget fracas is over, who are the winners and losers? Who gets the blame for nearly causing a government shutdown? Democrats claim that the Republicans were to blame for trying to hold them hostage with ideological social issues. The Republicans reject the claim and say it was always about the budget cuts.

The biggest winners are obviously the American citizens since the shutdown was averted and government services will not be interrupted. I think the President will come out of this perhaps not smelling quite like roses but at least not smelling like something Bo left on the carpet of the West Wing. Yet this deal will barely make a dent in balancing the budget and it certainly won’t create any new jobs.

I expect public animus will be split among the congressional Democrats and Republicans but many analysts are calling this a win for the Republicans since they got a lot of cuts that the Democrats did not want to give up. Don’t expect them to let that strategy go either when the debate over raising the deficit ceiling heats up in a few weeks. The circumstances will be much graver if agreement can’t be reached on this since a default on American debt will have far reaching ripples on the global economy. Will House Republicans be willing to burn down the world economy if they don’t get their way next time?

What do the Refugees think?


About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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9 Responses to Winners and Losers

  1. dcpetterson says:

    Is there a list anywhere of the programs that are going to be affected by the agreed-upon cuts?

    Here’s my take on it. Total opinion, unapologetic and partisan:

    I’m amused at the analysts who are trying to spin the agreement as a Republican victory. The Teapers, who are currently in control of Republican policy, did not get the social agenda they wanted, and did not get spending cuts nearly as deep as they wanted. They’re unhappy; Mike Pence says he might not support it. I wouldn’t be surprised if we wind up with 50 or so Republicans voting against the deal.

    By holding firm on the social issues, President Obama and Harry Reid called the Republicans’ bluff. Boehner was not willing to risk the political fallout of a shutdown, even though a segment of the Teapers were demanding it, and instead caved on all the social riders. He even “demanded” cuts in Pentagon spending (which the Democrats wanted anyway). And while the Teapers continued to call for at least “$100 billion” in cuts, the final figure came to about $38.5 billion, or within spitting distance of what the Democrats had already agree to a week earlier.

    Our local paper is arguing that the deal represents Obama continuing to “move to the middle” in the wake of last November’s elections. But if a “move to the middle” stymies the Republicans’ real agenda — dismantling the social contract that has existed in America since Roosevelt — then I’m all for it. The Teapers continue to pull the Republicans father to the right, and any votes on the left fringes that Obama loses by being an actual statesman will be more than made up for by the huge numbers he’ll gain in the middle.

    There’s no question that Obama came out looking like the only grown-up in the room. Boehner came out looking weak. Ryan and Pence are looking increasingly extremist. Harry Reid looks like the patient grandfather. Barbara Boxer is a tireless firebrand defending the rights of poor women.

    The Democratic messaging on this was pitch-perfect. Once the meme was planted about Republican efforts to kill Big Bird and to deny health care to the poor, the Republicans were helpless. They insisted it was about “budget numbers” — but everyone understood this to mean the Republicans cared more about an abstract “budget” than about educating children or providing cancer screening for poor women. Sure, they can say it was about the “budget”, but they’ve been revealed as the party of tax cuts for the wealthy and health cuts for the poor.

    The test will be next month, when we do this all again, over raising the debt limit. How will the messaging differ? Will Boehner again be forced to roll, and then to find a way to spin it as a Republican victory?

  2. rgbact says:

    The entire meme of “blamed for a shutdown” is playing on the MSM/liberal playing field. The implication is that all govt services are so vital that even one day without them will be fatal. Boehner bought it like a chump. Reid/Obama now know the have a weapon for all future talks. The fact that people ask “who get blamed for a shutdown” rather than “who get blamed for our bankruptcy” means Boehner lost the bigger messaging war. Obama was happy to give him a few minor cuts in exchange for winning the bigger message.

    All I know is I’d rather have Pelosi/Gingrich negotiating for my side. To hell with if the media says you play mean–I want someone that gets stuff done.

  3. Whatevs says:

    I pretty much agree with most of what DC said above. I do think this was a short term Republican ‘win’ in that Democrats are wasting way too much time playing defense and not being able to frame the argument of moving forward. I mean really, defending women’s right to choose, environmental protection, and public broadcasting 35 years later in the middle of a budget battle? All of these things were decided in the early 70’s. I guess that seems logical since most of the Teapublican demographic would’ve been children of conservatives back then.

    I think Boehner is in a tough spot with the Teapers not only willing to throw Republicans under the bus but throwing the bus in reverse and backing over them just to be sure the party gets the message. Politically, he really doesn’t have a choice other than to kowtow to this Tea Party uber-conservative, racist agenda.

    I really hope those voters out there who are not engaged in politics are at least half-way hearing this nonsense. And I really hope Democrats grab the messaging bull by the horns in the next round. I read an interesting article that pointed out that while Glenn Beck may have been on the air for 27 months, it may take 27 years to undo the damage. The point being that the media tends to latch on to the circus sideshow moreso than the mundane aspects of policy (see Donald Trump). That’s what busy people running through airports see and hear. When you can’t turn on a media outlet and not hear the Donald going all birther is it any wonder why there are so many people who think it’s true when it so patently false?

    Democrats really ought to get out ahead of the debt ceiling argument and Paul Ryan’s budget and say, ‘here’s why this is bullshit’ and don’t wait until last minute while the Republicans have had a chance to hit the endless talking point loop between now and then. They should say:

    We are going to have to raise the debt limit while implementing a long term plan to reduce the deficit that includes eliminating tax cuts for the wealthy, reforming the tax codes so that corporations pay their fare share, budget cuts that include defense, while making investments in renewable energy to offset rising oil prices, and addressing our social entitlement programs so that they are sustainable. Here’s that plan. If Republicans want to continue to hold us hostage to reverse social agenda items and not agree to raising the debt ceiling, they will be responsible for scorching the economy of the entire planet

    Okay that last part was a little melodramatic but you get the idea.

    Anybody with at least one iota of sense who wants to move this country forward should do themselves and the rest of us a favor and vote the Republicans out. Do not let them have the Senate, do not let them keep the house.

  4. MoldyMe says:

    Alas, this is just the opening salvo. I *hope* I’m wrong, but raising the debt ceiling is the next target in the TPers’ sight, and despite the absolutely catastrophic result if the US does default, my semi-educated guess is that it will go down unless the Rs’ bloc breaks down and some vote with the Ds, in which case, just maybe we’ll squeak through. And if the Rs’ party discipline breaks down with this, we should see a lot more compromising, TPers’ tantrums rendered increasingly irrelevant. Maybe …

  5. Monotreme says:

    My personal opinion based on my gut:

    Obama wins, as he did in December, just for looking Presidential and never losing his cool publicly.

    Boehner wins, because he managed to thread the needle between his party’s factions.

    All other Representatives and Senators look pretty stupid. I was more impressed with Sens. Reid and O’Connell than I have been, but since they were at rock-bottom in my eyes they had nowhere else to go. I am not at all impressed with Reps. Ryan or Cantor.

  6. Monotreme says:

    Nate has just weighed in with a column that argues that Boehner’s original offer was too low by a bit, so (if I’m reading him correctly) he’s got a small loss for President Obama and a moderate loss for Speaker Boehner. I think he’s too pessimistic on both.

  7. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Personally, I’d rather not consider the issue in terms of “winners and losers”. This only feeds the idea that power is a zero sum game.

    As was said, the American people won. The sides compromised. The first steps were taken that may lead to responsible governing.

    Am I hopeful? Yes.

    Do I expect to be disappointed? Probably.

  8. Realist says:

    In a sense, I’d consider calling anyone a “winner” here a stretch, including the American people. Sure, looking microscopically, it was a win for the American people, in that services didn’t get shut down. Looking macroscopically, the can is still being kicked down the street regardless of what was done on Friday night. The real long-term problems are still unresolved.

  9. Mainer says:

    No winners here on any side just more poliics for the sake of politics and power.

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