Pathetic is more like it.
‘Historic’ deal to avoid government shutdown
WASHINGTON – Perilously close to a government shutdown, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders forged agreement late Friday night on a deal to cut about $38 billion in federal spending and avert the first closure in 15 years.
Obama hailed the deal, a bit more than an hour before a midnight deadline, as “the biggest annual spending cut in history,” and House Speaker John Boehner said that over the next decade it would cut government spending by $500 billion.
“This is historic, what we’ve done,” said the third man in the talks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Yes, I am glad that Sub Spike will not be furloughed (he works for a contractor which receives funding from the federal government, and this afternoon, he and Mom were joking about subsisting on beans and weenies), but let’s remember that these cuts only amount to a little more than 2% of this year’s budget deficit.
Because Math Is Hard – especially when we’re dealing with astronomically large numbers – allow me to conceptualize it this way: Let’s allow $1 to represent $100 billion. According to estimates I’ve seen, this year’s deficit would therefore equal $16-$17. During the 2010 campaign, many current members of the Republican House ran on a promise to knock off just $1 of that deficit. Since January, however, that number has gradually fallen until, tonight, we’re handed a measly $0.38 in cuts. Can you imagine what would happen if you personally owed someone $17 yet handed him $0.38 and demanded that he be grateful?
We can’t keep going on like this. Eventually, our creditors are going to come knocking and then we’ll really be in trouble. We have to stop pandering to the masses and start thinking about what is truly essential.
And while I’m at it: The Republicans desperately need to learn how to manage the optics. It absolutely enrages me that the lying left still has the power to set the media narrative, and I don’t understand why politicians on our side consistently fail to go after that narrative in venues where ordinary Americans will hear them. Every time I turned on the radio or the television this week, I should’ve heard or seen Republican-sponsored ads raking the Democrats over the coals for their failure to pass a budget for FY 2011 despite their super-majority and their control of the White House. And Republican leaders should’ve held their noses and braved the talk show circuit to explain why we need to make cuts, why the Republican proposals make sense, and why – given the sheer size of our budget, our deficits, and our debt – a reduction in federal spending of tens of billions of dollars is not “too much too fast.” How can we ever hope to win the debate if we don’t ever engage the enemy on his own turf and challenge his emotional reasoning and his illogical declarations?
Ugh. I just hope someone on the right in Washington wakes up before we have to do battle over the FY 2012 budget. The continued health of the American experiment depends upon our ability to breach the media wall.