Friday, January 04, 2013
Fiscal Cliff notes
Left blogosphere commentary on the Fiscal cliff deal seems to me to have come in two phases. First outraged horror over $450,000/year. Then a reading of the full bill which was much better than the one number summary, some embarassment and much insistence that what really matters is that Obama drew a line in the sand at $250,000/yr then let the Republicans cross it. So the lesson, it is said, is that Obama compromises and this will lead to terrible trouble in two months.
I think that left of center commentators are falling into the obsession with perceptions of possible perceptions rabbit hole. I think that the bill sacrificed nothing which Obama could possibly have obtained.
Also this has happened before. Remember long ago before the debt ceiling crisis there was the continuing resolution crisis (with brief government shut down). Many liberals were extremely upset that the final bargain included spending cuts larget than those originally proposed by Boehner. Then the CBO scored the continuing resolution and those cuts turned out to be smoke and mirrors. Note the absence of weasel words such as "partly, partially, or in part." IIRC the CBO decided that with the total more than 100% Obamanable concessions continuing resolution,spending was scheduled to be higher than it would have been with a standard simple clean continuing resolution.
When one is dealing with insane ignoramuses, one must use their ignorance. The headline number appeared to show a total Obama cave, because it wasassumed that some Republican congressmen won't read past it. The fine print was, again, very fine indeed.