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November 29, 2012
Erskine Bowles: We're Going to Go Over the Fiscal Cliff, and It Will Be "Horrible"
Obama and the Democrats seem to be playing for the long game, unlike most other politicians and movements. They seem willing to plunge the nation into short-term recession (more misery) in exchange for winning on large structural issues that will become part of the nation's almost-unchangeable fiscal DNA for a decade or two.
I suppose there's something laudable in that -- or, let me put it like this, we on the right might think it laudable if our own politicians were pursuing a similar strategy.
The Democrats are doing this. But the media won't say so. This is a tradeoff, a sacrifice of short-term political standing in exchange for long-term structural political victory. Or it should be a tradeoff, but it's nothing of the sort, because the media won't state that the Democrats are doing this. Instead, the media pushes for Democratic wins in both short-term and long-term. In the short term, they just blame the Democrats' choice to go over the fiscal cliff on Republicans.
I'm conflicted on all of this. I'd prefer a lot of things -- not having a Depression, for example, and not creating a socialist mega-state.
But I feel like, given the media's intention to not only hand the Democrats the long-term win but also blame the short-term consequences of that on the wrong party, we conservatives have little to gain here, whatever we do. So I'm feeling amenable with the Let It Burn people -- if the Democrats are determined to do this, and we cannot stop it politically, then let the Democrats at least have full ownership of the mayhem.
I'm also having trouble with the idea of pressuring Boehner and McConnell not to cave -- because I know they will cave.
According to Politico, Boehner is willing to sign off on as much as $1.2 trillion in tax hikes over the next ten years in exchange for as little as $400 billion in Medicare cuts that do not even begin to take effect until 2013. That’s right: Boehner is about to sign off on a deal of $3 dollars in tax hikes now in exchange for $1 dollar in spending cuts 10 years from now. There is no way House Republicans will sacrifice their political careers for such a “grand bargain.”
Enough will. The Democrats only need 25 or so "brave Republicans willing to compromise (and be branded heroes by the media)" to do this.
As I know we're going to cave -- we always do -- I feel a futility in arguing against the inevitable.
I'm also wondering why we shouldn't just give the Democrats what they want and Let It Burn.
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