It doesn’t look that bad thus far, so calm down.
He compromised. He’s a shitty negotiator. He always gives the Republicans what they want. PRIMARY HIM!!!11one
Everyone rushed to judgment before the facts about the budget cuts were even released.
So how does it shake out now that the facts are rolling out? Pretty damn well, All Things Considered1:
A close look at the government shutdown-dodging agreement to cut federal spending by $38 billion reveals that lawmakers significantly eased the fiscal pain by pruning money left over from previous years, using accounting sleight of hand and going after programs President Barack Obama had targeted anyway.
Such moves permitted Obama to save favorite programs — Pell grants for poor college students, health research and “Race to the Top” aid for public schools, among others — from Republican knives.
The full details of Friday’s agreement weren’t being released until late Monday when it was officially submitted to the House. But the picture already emerging is of legislation financed with a lot of one-time savings and cuts that officially “score” as savings to pay for spending elsewhere, but that often have little to no actual impact on the deficit.
As a result of the legerdemain, Obama was able to reverse many of the cuts passed by House Republicans in February when the chamber passed a bill slashing this year’s budget by more than $60 billion. In doing so, the White House protected favorites like the Head Start early learning program, while maintaining the maximum Pell grant of $5,550 and funding for Obama’s “Race to the Top” initiative that provides grants to better-performing schools.
Obama also repelled Republican moves to cut $1 billion in grants for community health centers and $500 million from biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, while blocking them from “zeroing out” the AmeriCorps national service program and subsidies for public broadcasting [NPR].
Instead, the cuts that actually will make it into law are far tamer, including cuts to earmarks, unspent census money, leftover federal construction funding, and $2.5 billion from the most recent renewal of highway programs that can’t be spent because of restrictions set by other legislation. Another $3.5 billion comes from unused spending authority from a program providing health care to children of lower-income families.
From The Reid Report:
The negotiators grab fully one-third of the cuts — $10 billion worth, by targeting earmarks lawmakers, particularly Republicans, had already agreed to forego.
Another $5 billion comes from capping a Justice Department crime victims’ fund – by claiming savings for the whole fund even though they’re only capping a portion of it.
What isn’t in the bill? Riders to block funding for Planned Parenthood, the EPA, money to implement healthcare reform and Wall Street regulation, and money the NRA wanted cut in order to kill a program that helps stop people from running guns to Mexican drug dealers by gathering info on batch weapons purchases. Seriously. They wanted that.
What else was cut?
How about high speed rail money President Obama didn’t even ask for?
Phantom earmarks whose sponsors have died.
So, not the crappiest of deals, contrary to what the pundits would have you believe. It’s actually a fairly decent deal for Democrats, given how powerful the Teabillies are in Congress. Sure, Republicans started at a base line of $32 billion in cuts. Sure the Democrats were all, “No.Effing.Way.” at the time. (Eleventy-three dimensional chess!) And sure folks who are junkies watched with bated breath on Friday as a government shutdown was averted and a stopgap was implemented. And sure, Boehner’s political theater made it seem like he was totally going to shut the fucker down because of the 3% of non-federal funding — yes NON-federal funding — used by Planned Parenthood for abortion.
But what was Obama’s response when Boehner wanted to cut Planned Parenthood funding?
The Teabillies are pissed off about this budget deal:
While President Obama, Senate majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) hailed Friday night’s eleventh hour accord to avoid a government shutdown as “historic,” several Tea Party members did not feel the same way.
Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) called the $39-billion slashing deal a “disappointment.”
Millions of Americans expected $100 billion in cuts and “wanted to make sure their tax dollars stopped flowing to the nation’s largest abortion provider, and who wanted us to defund ObamaCare,” Bachmann said in a statement.
“Instead, we’ve been asked to settle for $39 billion in cuts, even as we continue to fund Planned Parenthood and the implementation of ObamaCare.’
Bachmann, who is considering running for President in 2012, voted against a temporary bill to keep the government running while the deal moves through Congress.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky) echoed Bachmann’s sentiments.
The stopgap measure does “not set us on a path to fixing the spending and debt problems our country is facing. There is not much of a difference between a $1.5 trillion deficit and a $1.6 trillion deficit-both will lead us to a debt crisis that we may not recover from,” said Rand.
The $39 billion in cuts for the rest of the fiscal year was far more than Democrats originally wanted to concede, but not nearly enough to satisfy the appetite for budget-slashing among Tea-Party backed Republicans, who had called for axing $61 billion.
The deal spared Planned Parenthood and environmental regulation riders the GOP had been pushing for.
Reid had repeatedly blamed the Tea Party for the breakdown in budget negotiations, placing Boehner in a sticky situation to make a deal with the Democrats and satisfy those in his own ranks, including Tea Partiers.
The deal is still tentative, and Congress passed a one-week stopgap budget to put the bill in legislative form.
A CNN poll demonstrates that The People are not participating in the Great Beltway Freakout, so I really wish Ezra Klein, and Rachel Maddow, and Paul Krugman would simmer the hell down for a minute. (Here are the items on which Democrats “caved“: “a provision blocking already illegal taxpayer-funded abortions in the District of Columbia, and a Boehner pet request to fund vouchers for D.C. students to attend private schools. And they did allow $2.2 billion to be cut from an experimental program designed to encourage state cooperatives to come together to provide health insurance.”)
Look, it’s not about the deficit, to these Teabilly jackwads. It’s about abortion. I bet if Obama offered to back a constitutional amendment banning and criminalizing abortion in exchange for a deficit increase of one trillion dollars, these women-hating assholes would go for it.
Hopefully we can have a serious discussion about how it makes NO FUCKING SENSE to continue giving tax cuts to the rich while planning to privatize Medicare.
You want to talk about pulling the plug on grandma? That’s what Ryan’s plan would do no matter how “courageous” some members of the Washington Asshat Brigade think the plan is.
Oooooh! Giving more money to rich people! Now that’s some daring and bold stuff right there! Stop it before you give us all heart attacks! — which will promptly kill most of us because Bieber knows you don’t want your rich-ass cronies to pay their far share to help us… you know… not have heart attacks (through preventive care and whatnot).
A break. Give one to me.
UPDATE: This from commenter vcthree is information to be considered:
As for the vouchers; for all the people freaking out about that? It’s nice that you have concern over that issue, but having lived in the D.C. metro for decades and following the school shenanigans there? What people don’t understand is that vouchers have been an issue in that city forever, and they have overwhelming support and have for years. Never mind the experts from New York or California or Maryland; nearly 3 in 4 citizens in the District support vouchers. And given that one-time mayoral candidate and (former?) D.C. councilman Kevin Chavous has been haranguing the president for two years about this; that the administration threw JB that carrot isn’t shocking to me. D.C. likes the voucher program, and it was an easy concession to make.
[via The Reid Report]
[cross-posted at Balloon Juice]