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Hullabaloo


Friday, December 16, 2011

 
Compromise! Not that Dems will get credit for it from the media.

by David Atkins

So a government shutdown has been averted, quelling the collective media panic. TPM has details:

House and Senate leaders have reached an agreement on a deal to avoid a government shutdown, and are nearing a separate deal on legislation to renew a soon-to-expire payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits, and a “doc fix” measure to prevent a steep, automatic pay cut to Medicare physicians.

The breakthrough comes just over 24 hours before funding for the government was set to run out, though the principals continue to squabble over policy measures and payfors attached to the payroll bill.

Democrats have officially dropped their push for a small surtax on millionaires as one means of offsetting the cost of the bill. And it’s unclear what they got in return, aside from a pledge from Republicans not to jam Democrats with their partisan payroll tax bill.

With the millionaire surtax gone, most of the cost of the bill will likely be paid for with budget cuts agreed to in Super Committee negotiations, which ultimately failed. To make up the difference, Democrats are insisting that the GOP abandon other, conservative payfors, such as greater means-testing in Medicare. Instead, they’re pushing Republicans to accept ideas like ending a tax benefit for corporate jet owners, and counting war savings toward the cost of the bill. Emphasis added

So as I said before the deal was even announced, the Dems were the ones doing all the real compromising on big issues. And that's while leaving on the table unfinished the actual payroll tax extension, which Republicans will still try to take hostage (yes, you read that right: the conservatives will take a tax cut hostage!) in exchange for getting the climate-kiling Keystone pipeline fast tracked.

But will Democrats get credit for bending over backward from the compromise-obsessed "liberal" media? Of course not.

Retreating from their harsh partisan sniping, and perhaps fearing public rebuke, Congressional leaders said Thursday that they had agreed on a large-scale spending measure to keep the government running for the next nine months.

But an accord on extending a payroll tax holiday set to expire at the end of the month remained elusive, with Democrats weighing a possible short-term extension, setting the stage for another fight with Republicans over how to pay for it.

On Thursday, lawmakers began to strike a conciliatory tone as they came together on an 11th-hour deal to keep the government from shutting down after Friday, with weekend work probably required to finish their business.

Both sides take the blame, no matter what. If the New York Times told the truth, why, that might be...partisan! And then they would be (gasp!) part of the problem. If the truth is one-sided, it's very important to pretend it isn't. Because otherwise nothing would get done in this country and our government would be ineffective.





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