Monday, August 1, 2011

Temporary end game: Debt

What, me, worry?

The Clarion Content could not disagree more with the assertion of the New York Times editorial page this morning that President Obama should have used the 14th Amendment to make an end run around Congressional obstructionists and unilaterally raise the debt ceiling. It is a suggestion straight out of the Dick Cheney playbook. It advocates that when checked by a legitimate institutional disagreement, presidential power should be expanded so that the executive can still get his or her way. It is the methodology of Empire and dictatorship, the road to ruin.1

We are glad President Obama did not pursue this course.

We do not think that he made a great deal on the compromise to raise the debt ceiling. We disagree with kicking the problem further on down the road, by appointing a bogus, super-committee to make the hard decisions Congress has been putting off for a generation.2 President Obama already ignored the recommendations of his own deficit committee.

We are in no way impressed by President Obama's facetious claim that the Bush II tax cuts for the uber-rich will go away in 2013. Firstly, Obama would have to get re-elected, his prospects look pretty dismal right now. Secondly, he would have to keep his promise to let the tax cuts end, something he has not managed to do in his first term.

Bottomline on the debt deal, typical Washington, an ugly boiler room compromise that solves nothing and only delays the reckoning. It highlights the desperate need for a third party to break the political gridlock.

Obama was right about one thing change is coming, the only question left is the agent. If not Obama...this month has highlighted some of the more extreme alternatives.

1President Obama has already showed his willingness to follow the Bush II-Cheney guide to concentrating power in the Executive Branch. Signing statements, extraordinary Presidential Czars, Afghan policy, etc.

2Nothing stops progress from happening like a committee.

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