A Ghastly SpectacleAnthony Gregory • Sunday July 31, 2011 4:42 PM PST •
The workings of Congress are nauseating in the extreme. Senator Harry Reid has reportedly agreed to a deal with Republicans over the debt ceiling controversy that has dominated the political news for weeks.
Although the same news reports indicate there are still some details to be fleshed out. It seems Congressional Republicans are hesitant to approve the small defense spending cuts proposed by Democrats. Anything that reduces funding for the U.S. empire, you see, is bound to make Republicans recoil much like vampires who have caught a glimpse of a crucifix dangling on a prospective victim’s neck. Surely, they would never approve cutting the military back to its funding levels from the end of the Bush administration—that would be most reckless.
Yet when all the smoke clears, what are we looking at here? “There seemed to be broad agreement that any deal reached would include at least $2.5 trillion in spending cuts over the next 10 years, of which $1.2 trillion would be approved now,” reports the New York Times.
All this hubbub over the approval of $120 billion of cuts per year for the next decade. $120 billion is something like 1/13 of the budget deficit. That is to say, the amount the government is now spending above what it is receiving in revenues is something around thirteen times the annual cuts that the two parties are agreeing to. In other words, all this deliberation has amounted to something so closely resembling exactly nothing that we might as well call it exactly nothing.
The debt ceiling will be raised. The incredible borrowing will continue.
On the bright side, Obama will likely still be able to have his 50th birthday party this week, now that the country’s problems have been addressed. Not that I am complaining. I wish he and all the folks in Congress just spent their time partying every day, even at taxpayers’ expense. It would be unseemly and parasitic, but it would pale in comparison to the immense damage they inflict voting on appropriations for war, welfare, and other socially destructive programs on our behalf.