The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

Cut, cap and roll the dice

Shiftless adults playing dice and telling lies in the middle of a summer afternoon. I’m talking Congressional Republicans and the not too calculated gamble they took with the recent Federal debt ceiling deal. The talk was of “cut, cap and balance,” but it was just talk in the end. The debt ceiling was raised and the Republicans in Congress dug a deep pit for themselves.

As I write this on October 2, 2011, the second full day of the Federal government’s 2012 fiscal year, the headlines read, “Republican budget hawks cut 2012 defense spending by $100 billion.”

You will never actually read that headline because nobody in or out of government believes it will end up that way, even if it is the way it temporarily stands today. Personally, I have no reason to believe it either.

Nevertheless, while dancing their “cut, cap and balance” dance, the Republicans insisted that fiscal year 2012 Security Category spending not exceed $684 billion, and for some strange reason they also arranged it that about $130 billion in funding for the Global War on Terror was not included in that amount. The plan is to have a special emergency appropriation for such overseas operations that would automatically boost the spending cap.

The problem is that the $684 billion Security Category spending cap is law, and the special emergency military appropriation has not happened. There has even been some talk that President Barack Obama and the  Democratic members of Congress might use the situation as leverage in negotiating Obama’s jobs bill and revenue increases.

I’m just saying that the Republicans bragged openly about the tough bargain they won in the debt ceiling deal, and in this context it would by very difficult to blame massive defense cuts on the Democrats. The Republican’s got what they wanted, and nobody force them to lie about it.

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Written by Tom Fox

10/02/2011 at 10:20 pm

Posted in Politics

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