Monday, July 11, 2011

Political Arithmetic and the Debt Limit

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is stepping into the spotlight of the debt-limit talks, as House Speaker John Boehner slides slightly to the side, reports Politico:
The House majority leader’s voice was heard most often in Sunday night and Monday afternoon debt-limit negotiations at the White House. It has been loud in opposition to changes in tax policy to add new revenue. And some Republicans said it sounds more in tune with the sentiment of the House GOP majority than Speaker John Boehner’s voice.
For better or worse, Cantor owns the GOP’s spotlight in the debt-limit talks now that Boehner’s effort to fashion a groundbreaking “grand bargain” has fallen apart. It was Cantor who walked out on a commission led by Vice President Joe Biden when the topic of tax hikes was raised. And now Cantor is back in the driver’s seat because the talks have turned away from the big-dollar package that President Barack Obama and Boehner were negotiating and toward a smaller framework of spending cuts produced by the Biden talks.
What does this mean? Cantor thinks there is a lot of common ground between Democrats and Republicans, but it is all hocus pocus:
Using color-coded presentation, Cantor tried to illustrate just how much common ground was found in discussions between congressional lawmakers and the vice president. There remains a discrepancy in how the White House, congressional Republicans and congressional Democrats tabulate the proposed cuts: Obama, according to a source briefed on the meeting, said the $1.7 trillion that Cantor seemed to lay out was not enough. Cantor believes his policy prescriptions would total more than $2 trillion, while Capitol Hill Democrats peg the number close to $1 trillion.
Got that? These guys can't even agree on the math of the Cantor outline. Cantor thinks his outline of common ground will result in $2 trillion in cuts, the Democrats think the SAME outline will result in only $1 trillion in cuts.

If this is how much "interpretation" is going on with regard to the spending cuts, just imagine what will happen if Boehner's plan to include revenue-generating changes to the tax code ("tax reform" they'll call it), gets into any debt-limit deal. Watch your wallet.


  1. It is a 100% mathematical certainty that you have only 2 choices to reduce the national deficit.

    The 2 choices are:
    1) Across-the-board, no-exceptions spending cuts AND across-the-board, no-exceptions tax increases.
    2) Zimbabwe.

    Take your pick.

    The slimy, incompetent, low-life, immoral criminals (of both parties) that claim to be our leaders think they can save their favorite sacred cows and make points with their constituents. They are mistaken, and if they don't pull their heads out of their asses RIGHT NOW and start cutting spending across the board and raising taxes across the board, the nation is doomed. It is a mathematical certainty.


    Here is what we all have been waiting for...the blink from the Republicans. Why not just go ahead and make Obama king now and save everyone the trouble of a pesky election? These parasites disgust me as a free man.

    FEAR is the answer our leaders have provided.