Friday, January 18, 2013

GOP's slow-mo cave on debt ceiling

The GOPers held a little retreat this week and figured out they can't blow up the world economy without dying in the explosion themselves so they came up with a new strategy to save face for John Boehner. Johnny announced today, well okay House will agree to pay the bills for the next 3 months. But it comes with a catch:
Under the bill, Congress would increase the debt limit through mid-April — long enough, House Republicans say, to give both chambers time to pass a budget agreement. Turning up the pressure on the Senate, the measure would withhold Congress’s paychecks if either chamber fails to adopt a budget by April 15.
It's being lauded around the interwebz as some kind of major breakthrough but it still looks like stuck on stupid tactics to me. In what world is it acceptable to agree to a deal that keeps our country and our debt holders in a perpetual state of uncertainty? Leaving aside the fact that it's not even legal to withhold their pay, (more's the pity), passing a budget is a nonsensical waste of time. Budget is just a non-binding political document. The only thing that counts for real in national bookkeeping is appropriations. Hard to believe everyone has forgotten this point.

This is just another attempt to trick the Dems into taking ownership of the GOP's hotly desired cuts to the social safety net programs. On the bright side, this is as clear an admission as we're going to get from the GOPers that all they have is empty threats. So there's that. [graphic via]

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