After Action Report on the Great Debt Ceiling Debacle of 2011
I never could fully embrace the Rolling Stones as an act. Their most listenable period is the 1969-1974 golden age that was blessed with Mick Taylor’s lead guitar playing. The early days with Brian Jones in that slot were good, too. Everything since 1975 … not so much. My main problem is I have always found Mick Jagger to be unwatchable. He always manages to do something on stage or in the video that makes me go ‘WTF?’ – and not necessarily in a good way. Keith Richards’ solo projects since 1975 were always tighter bands anyway. But I digress. It has occurred to me the Stones’ song title that serves as this post title neatly sums up what has been a useful – but by no means conclusive – victory for the TEA Party movement.
The spending cut numbers definitely do nothing, really, to bend the debt and deficit curve. But at least, for the first time ever, the DC sausage factory has come up with something that is all cut and no tax (at least for now). That’s “progress” for the Conservative Ascendancy.
I find the uber stupid super commission to be at best the usual DC establishment cop out. I fear it could be far worse – a trap set by the Left that they will close by obstructing the commission’s work to ‘trigger’ steep defense cuts they care deeply about acquiring. The parallel provider-side Medicare cuts are a speed bump to them, and they probably already have a secret plan for making it whole with their new credit limit out of this deal.
There has been some optimistic talk on the Right about this commission yielding real tax reform – simultaneously lowering rates across the board, broadening the base, and removing loopholes. That is, simplifying and flattening the code to grow the economy. Charles Krauthammer said so on Fox last night. Larry Kudlow said so on WMAL this morning. I am very dubious - because the Left does not believe in any of this. The Left only believes in soaking the “rich” (whoever they are as of today) and “redistributing” the spoils. If you don’t believe me, just muster the attention span to watch the work of this commission in detail.
If I had the privilege of a vote in the House last night – I would have been a ‘No’. The explanation is complicated. I still think we could have won the argument if it went to the brink – but it was by no means certain. I’m up for that fight, TEA Party patriots are – the establishment GOP clearly is not yet. The final deal is a way of walking away with a smaller, but certain win, in the all-important perceptions game leading up to November 2012.
As I have explained in previous posts – I was for the Boehner bill before I was against the mess the sausage factory made of it. I could reasonably stand behind the Boehner bill on basic principle (if not the totality of the math).
In the end, I would have voted ‘No’ to play the part of guardian of the truth inside the sausage factory. It was completely clear the leaders were getting their so-called ‘bi-partisan’ Potemkin bill to play to the clueless independent crowd, which still seems to value ‘compromise’ at any price above all else. These are the people we need to motivate in the no-shit-this-is-for-all-the marbles-election-for-the-future-of-the-republic, and walking away with half a loaf is still the preferred establishment path. But somebody needs to keep the flame burning to illuminate the corrupt kleptocrats in the Democrat party we are up against.
So we move forward with the center of the debate moved to the right, and an uber commission made necessary by the political deadlock I predict will be the norm until the next election. The same climate of political deadlock puts this commission on greased rails running downhill to the automatic defense and Medicare cuts written into the ‘trigger.’
Moving the center of debate is useful to Conservative Ascendancy, and a huge testimony to the history shifting power of the TEA Party movement. The uber commission represents a huge risk to the Conservative Ascendancy, because it has all the earmarks of a Leftist kleptocratic trick. You could hardly imagine a better setup for the kleptocrats. They get a new blank check in deficit spending – more than enough to make the trigger’s Medicare cuts whole – and a mechanism to gut the Defense department, all in one little neat package. All they have to do is obstruct adult decision making in DC. Have you noticed they are pretty good at that?
You Can’t Always Get What You Want (But If You Try Sometimes You Might Find You Get What You Need).
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