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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

 
Kabuki on acid

by digby

I don't know how this will end up, but it sure looks like they're getting their ducks in a row for some sort of Lame Duck Grand Bargain. With virtually every liberal in the universe giddy with excitement at the prospect of "winning" by getting fabulously wealthy people to throw in tip money in exchange for agreeing to begin the process of cutting the monthly stipend for 90 year old ladies, it looks like we're gonna have ourselves a deal:

The very real possibility that defense programs will suffer deep, across the board spending cuts early next year has major defense contractors and their allies making an unusual plea to members of Congress: Put everything on the table to avoid the so-called sequester — including higher taxes.

That might not sound like an extraordinary ask. But it’s typical for incumbent interests to leave all questions of ways and means to Congress. And given the defense industry’s enormous power and historic alignment with the GOP, it could have enough force to finally break the GOP of its anti-tax absolutism.
[...]
“Compromise will be necessary to avoid sequestration,” NAGC’s VP for communications Simon Brody said in a statement to TPM. “Considering whether to increase revenues or make funding cuts will require careful consideration by legislators, but examining all alternatives is certainly preferable to letting sweeping automatic cuts take effect.”

That’s a real break with the prevailing GOP insistence that higher taxes must not be part of any plan to avoid the sequester. And it’s the rift Rep. Andrews was hoping to expose in his line of questioning.

“I was very pleased with that answer,” Andrews told TPM in a hallway interview Thursday. “I think the defense leaders have been really public spirited and open-minded about this, and I think they’re acting very responsibly and I trust and hope that they will speak favorably about a balanced approach that includes revenue and spending cuts that neither side wants but that will avoid the sequester and reduce the deficit.”

Andrew’s said he’s had private discussions with other senior defense executives who shared the same view, but declined to provide further details.

“I do think you’re going to see a coalition of responsible people emerge — unfortunately it’s going to be in the lame duck, not prior — that’s going to support entitlement support[cuts] that Democrats don’t want, revenue increases that Republicans don’t want, but deficit reduction that everybody wants, without mindless, across the board cuts in programs.”

Early indications support that view. A group of Republicans led by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have proposed staving off or eliminating the sequester with a package that could include revenue from higher service fees and tax loophole closures, but not from rate increases.


Oooh, that's quite the sacrifice. Be sure to clap much, much louder that you ever have before when it happens.

And once again, keep in mind that this alleged "necessity" to cut trillions from the budget is completely arbitrary. It wasn't sent down from Mt Sinai or written into the constitution. It's a thuggish demand that the wingnuts made during the debt ceiling talks last summer and they could easily just pass a bill negating the sequester and, assuming the president would sign it, start all over. This is the most elaborate kabuki I've ever seen ... and I've seen some kabuki.


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