Sunday, October 01, 2023

Before You Throw A Fit Over The Debt Limit Deal, Consider This…

I recognize that a lot of conservatives on social media, and surely a not-insignificant portion of RVIVR’s readers, aren’t too pleased with the debt limit deal which passed the House yesterday and now heads to the Senate on its way to Joe Biden’s desk.

And as a conservative, I’m not going to tell you that you’re wrong for wanting more.

That said, it’s important to stay grounded in reality. So for those who think that the GOP didn’t do a decent job on the “debt ceiling deal,” you might want to consider the following facts:

1. Joe Biden said many times, in no uncertain terms – although he only speaks in “uncertain” terms, as you know – that he would not even negotiate on the debt ceiling. According to his demands, Republicans had to raise it with absolutely no concessions whatsoever. A few weeks later, a poll was released showing Biden’s approval rating at 33%. Biden then immediately invited McCarthy to the White House for budget negotiations. That in itself is a win.

2. Mandatory spending makes up roughly 66% of the federal budget, and that was off the negotiating table. We’re nowhere close to the point where the GOP has political stroke enough to alter mandatory spending in this country.

3. Military spending makes up roughly 23% of the federal budget, and that was off the negotiating table. Just look at the histrionics of Sen. Lindsey Graham over the deal’s provision for increasing military spending below the rate of inflation and you’ll understand how unproductive it would be to attempt to cut defense spending.

4. That left congress and the White House with only 11% of the federal budget to negotiate over. Within that framework, McCarthy was able to get Biden to agree to add work requirements to much abused entitlement programs like food stamps. Biden also had to agree to tap the brakes on his insane environmental policies that do absolutely nothing for the environment but are choking businesses while devastating an economy already in recession. Those are wins. They shouldn’t be disregarded.

5. Nancy Pelosi would regularly draft 1,000-page bills and refuse to let members read them before voting. The latest budget deal is only 99 pages and McCarthy gave all members time to read it prior to voting yesterday.

6. McCarthy forced Biden to cap spending increases at 1% through 2025 in exchange for suspension of the debt limit, and he passed the deal despite an unhappy group of his most fiscally conservative members, knowing full well that current rules allow only one of those members to call for a vote to replace the speaker. Even if you’re one of the unhappy fiscal conservatives you’ve got to appreciate the narrow lane he had to navigate here.

Is the deal perfect? Of course not. Is spending and debt by the federal government obscene and out of control? Absolutely. But when you take the time to actually study and understand the process, including its restraints, then you have to admit that it could have been much worse.