Monday, August 1, 2011

Tea Party Hobbits Win?

Pundits seem to think that the Tea Party is a big winner in the debt-ceiling deal.

Tea party: There were major questions coming into the 112th Congress about who would blink first — the largely establishment-aligned leaders of the new Republican House majority or the tea-party-aligned freshman members. We got our answer to that question late Thursday as House Speaker John Boehner was forced not only to postpone his compromise bill but ultimately to add conservative sweeteners to get the 217 votes he needed. (He got 218.) The tea party — inside and outside Congress — will almost certainly be emboldened by the result of this fight.
How the Tea Party ‘hobbits’ won the debt fight...
The reported debt-limit deal appears to be a victory for the Tea Party. It includes around $1 trillion in spending cuts and creates a special committee of Congress to recommend cuts of $1.2 trillion more. If Congress does not approve those additional cuts by year’s end, automatic spending cuts go into effect. The package sets an important new precedent that debt-limit increases must be “paid for” with commensurate cuts in spending. According to Sen. Rob Portman, a former White House budget director, if we cut a dollar of spending for every dollar we raise the debt limit, we will balance the budget in 10 years — something that even the Paul Ryan budget would not achieve. And all this is accomplished with no tax increases.
The tea partiers pride themselves on adhering to the Constitution, which was intended to make political change difficult. Yet in this deal they've forced both parties to make the biggest spending cuts in 15 years, with more cuts likely next year. The U.S. is engaged in an epic debate over the size and scope of government that will play out over several years, and the most important battle comes in the election of 2012.

Tea partiers will do more for their cause by applauding this victory and working toward the next, rather than diminishing what they've accomplished because it didn't solve every fiscal problem in one impossible swoop.
The debt-limit deal relies on gimmicks (see: baseline budgeting, the doc fix), the credit rating is still at risk, and our massive federal debt will continue to grow like a malignant tumor. And there's a real risk of tax increases.

How is this a victory for the Tea Party? I'd say it's a very modest victory, at best.


Linked by the Reaganite Republican (to LCR). Thanks!


If you think this was a good deal for Conservatives, the Tea Party or Libertarians, read this and this.


This is the largest debt hike in the history of the United States of America! Winning!

Discussion: Memeorandum

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