Saturday, 14 December 2013

Beware "reasonable"

There may be a federal budget next year, and we’re therefore supposed to be glad that the government isn’t going to be shut down again. Okay, but the idea that this undermining of the Tea Party loonies represents something good in the sense that it’s better to be chasing a speeding car than a Japanese bullet train.

We should always get nervous when Democrats announce a deal with Paul “destroy-the-New-Deal” Ryan as occurred this week when he and Washington senator Murray announced an agreement to avoid a repeat of October’s shutdown debacle. [photo: Miz Patty explains how sensible this will be, Ryan looks on benignly] This is the same Paul Ryan whose “Path to Prosperity” budget is now gospel for the wacko-bird right wing. It’s that document that put Ryan on the map and made him Romney’s VP candidate.

We all heard about the document last year. We voted against it. He lost.

Now it’s back.

True, Ryan got heat from the ultras in his own party and had to blast back against some, like Marco Rubio who, Ryan said, should “read the deal and get back to me.” Meaning that it’s really great for his side, don’t criticize until you see what I got.

Ryan is taking note of the fact that the extremist wing of the GOP wants no deal at all on anything, which at least has the advantage of preventing Obama from getting his wish on Social Security and Medicare (i.e., slashing them). Obama, now bent so far over backward that his head is touching the floor, still can’t get an agreement on those items, and this is the bright side of the current impasse.

Under these circumstances, any bipartisan deal should scare us until further notice given the consistent record of congressional Democrats at selling out the impoverished and middle classes rather than defending us.

John Boehner also chewed out his erstwhile comrades on the Republican side, saying that if you’re “for more deficit reduction, you should be for this agreement.”

So Ryan and Boehner are happy. We should be?

Maybe they liked the fact that unemployment benefits are not extended in the midst of this grinding recession.

We’ll hear the argument that some of the sequester funds were recovered in the bargain, which is hardly surprising because the Pentagon-related ones that the military-industrial congressmen are eager to save were to be included in the next round. So lo and behold, the sequester arrangements that have crushed social spending for two years are now to be partially reversed. Hallelujah.

The peculiar and perverse political world we are now living in must make us wary of anything smacking of bipartisan “sanity” given that the terms of what is considered reasonable now is how much austerity pain should be inflicted on the most vulnerable, NOT whether relief should be provided instead.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear.