You’ll recall when the GOP took our economy hostage over raising the debt ceiling and brought it nearly to the brink of default, President Obama offered a $4 trillion grand bargain that would have substantially reduced the deficit, gave them more of what cuts they demanded than they deserved and the only thing they had to do was agree to raise revenue by eliminating loopholes, tax breaks and deductions, mainly on large wealth holders. The tradeoff was roughly 3 to 1 in favor of cuts versus revenue. They didn’t take the deal because they simply refused to eliminate any tax breaks on the super rich by a single penny. Thus in the end, they agreed to different deal that hinged on the success of a bi-partisan Super Committee to hammer out a longer term agreement.
The deal was very clear. If the Super Committee failed then automatic cuts would kick in, half in defense programs and half in social safety programs, so both sides would have the proverbial skin in the game. As we all expected the Super Committee did indeed fail because the Republicans simply walked out of negotiations when it became clear that the Democrats were going to insist that raising revenue be part of the deal. Again, Republicans refused to deal because the super rich wouldn’t get to keep their current tax breaks even though they would still end up with less of a tax burden than they were paying under the Clinton administration.
So the time has come, as per the terms of the agreement, to pay the piper. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn the Republicans are now reneging on the deal. Once again, they want to protect their cronies in the defense industry and lay the entire burden of spending cuts on middle class workers.
Boehner is now saying he has great concerns about cutting anything from our bloated defense budget while the Senate Republicans are already floating a plan to further reduce the federal workforce and continue to freeze federal pay in lieu of some of the defense cuts Republicans agreed to when, as Boehner put it at the time, he had gotten 98% of what he wanted out of the bargain made to avoid default. In other words, the Republicans’ promises are worthless. So the only question that remains is why would anyone trust a word they say?