Daily Archives: 08/01/2011

Debt Ceiling Compromise

(Community Matters) Gotta read the details before coming to conclusions – assumptions are critical. Are they reasonable?

It sucks that the GOP again hijacked what’s previously been an administrative matter (debt ceiling legislation) and forced ideologically rigid, uncompromising terms in order to preserve the good faith and credit of the United States of America. I suppose it sucks to traditional Republicans that their party has been hijacked by the Tea Party and Grover Norquist.

While, it’s true that spending cuts must be a part of any fiscal solution, jobs aren’t prioritized as part of this agreement, unemployment benefits aren’t extended, but tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans & tax loopholes including subsidies for oil companies are maintained. The next election must convincingly convey to Americans the differences in priorities of our two parties and our ability to deliver.

Light at end of the tunnel? Per the terms of the agreement expected to be approved today by both chambers, we’ll see $1 trillion in upfront cuts over the next 10 years plus an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, the details of which are to be promoted by a super congressional committee by Thanksgiving 2012. Devil in the details -if Congress doesn’t pass a bill detailing the next $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, cuts will be spread 50/50 between domestic programs and defense. Our optimism that we’ll extract concessions for slightly higher taxes on the wealthy and the ability to close some corporate tax loopholes rests on the assumption (correct under 41) that Rs won’t allow such cuts to defense.

The only true silver lining (aside from avoiding default – admittedly a really critical one) may be unraveling of the Tea Party – for this too we’ll have to wait and see. (Not to mention Reid & Boehner must still pass this compromise)

update: I’ve learned that the President insisted that the largest cuts to discretionary take place in 2013 and beyond to protect a fragile economy.

Too Hot to Go Home

(Community Matters) Literally. Forecasts predict 107F in Austin the rest of this week while we’re having highs in the 90s (no humidity) and lows in the 60s in Marfa. If I wasn’t co-hosting the Pres’ Austin satellite birthday celebration, I might not return until Friday morning, just in time to jump on the plane for Montana (expecting mid to low 80s and 50s). hmm, then again there is my 85F pool and a quiet home . . . what to do, what to do . . .

Steven returned with Joe Christie yesterday but is off to NY this morning.  Why am I not going to NY???

Steven, Joe & I had dinner at Julie Speed’s Saturday night. Mark Holzbach and Doug Fitch unexpectedly (& quite pleasantly so) joined us for dessert. Gotta see Doug’s Peter & the Wolf in NY later this year. Last night, dinner at Bridget Weiss’ Marfa Table with Emily Keeton, Tim Crowley, Matt Crowley, Caitlin Murray & Tim Johnson.