The highly publicized debt ceiling debate has drawn to a close. Politicians and commentators from both political parties are hailing this as a victory for the Tea Party. I am not so sure. In fact, I am disposed to judge this a victory for President Barack Obama.
According to the conventional narrative, Obama is the big loser in all of this because, as Pat Buchanan said, the Republicans, thanks to the Tea Partiers, achieved some of what they wanted while Obama and the Democrats received virtually nothing in return. The President originally demanded an unconditional increase in the debt ceiling. Then, when he recognized that this wasn’t going to occur, he indicated a willingness to negotiate some spending cuts while insisting upon tax increases. The Republicans, though, held firm, and in the end, Obama conceded to spending cuts in spite of having abandoned his hope for any tax hikes.
This wisdom, I am afraid, is but a species of wishful thinking at best, deception at worst.
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Jack Kerwick, Ph.D. (photo)