Last week, President Obama vetoed a sneaky Republican attempt to raise defense spending above sequestration levels without corresponding increases in domestic programs by moving funds to war emergency funds, also known as magical Bush trick to make war spending disappear from the books. 2011's sequestration, which I, to much chagrin of the Professional Left's establishment class, noted was a significant win for Democratic priorities and a monumental loss for Boehner, linked changes in spending levels in defense and non-defense discretionary spending, and President Obama insisted that it will stay that way.
After the gimmick on the Defense sending bill failed to generate media poutrage they were hoping for, Republican Congressional leaders are getting ready to wave the white flag to the president one last time.
Nancy Pelosi is on the cusp of winning a cap on Medicare Part B premium increases, and what's more, thanks partly to their own House of Chaos, GOP conservatives have admitted that they won't be able to mount an effective challenge to the agreement.
Now, the Pitchfork Left have begun to concern troll about possible cuts in Medicare and Social Security Disability spending, but holding on to see the final deal is a much smarter idea: History shows that whenever President Obama has agreed to a "cut" in spending levels in these programs, he has actually gotten a better deal for the beneficiaries. The Republicans, for example, have spent years moaning and groaning about a $700 billion "cut" in Medicare to pay for Obamacare, which in reality turned out to be cutting overpayments to private insurers administering Medicare coverage and hospitals, using the money to close the prescription drug coverage donut hole and other improvements for beneficiaries.
If the past is prologue, it's the health care by spreadsheets industry that should be weary of this upcoming deal's "cuts", not consumers.
Just to recap history, since the sequestration deal that Boehner said gave the Republicans "90%" of what they wanted and that Pitchfork Progressives spent gallons of cyber ink bashing, here's how the budget battles have shaped up:
- The GOP got rolled in the 2012-2013 fiscal cliff deal and the president was able to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, including a return of the estate tax that Republicans wanted to kill at the behest of trust fund babies.
- Since then, Republicans have surrendered on holding the debt ceiling hostage again and again.
- They shut down the government, but got absolutely nothing out of it except a widening of the rift between the pro-corporate and Tea Party wings of the Republican party. They cried uncle and released that hostage as well.
And that's what they are getting ready to do again. One final time. One final time, because this time, the deal is for 2 years, and it is raising the debt limit to March of 2017, safely past President Obama's time in the Oval Office. And this time they are actually increasing spending on domestic programs, in violation of everything holy in Paul Ryan's Path to Poverty. I guess even the Republicans get exhausted of losing to this man at some point.
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