History's Actors

History's Actors

by digby

Nobody can rationally accuse him of not reaching out that's for sure (although the irrational right will certainly do so):

President Barack Obama says he's willing to make deeper spending cuts if Congress can compromise on a budget deal that would end the threat of a government shutdown.

Obama's appeal for common ground came Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address, but lacked specifics on how to bridge the $50 billion gulf that divides the White House and Democratic budget proposal from the deeper reductions offered by Republicans.

The competing plans are headed for test votes in the Senate in the coming week; neither is expected to survive, setting the stage for further negotiations.

The government is running on a temporary spending bill that expires March 18, so the parties have until then to come up with a plan to pay for the remainder of the budget year through September.

"We need to come together, Democrats and Republicans, around a long-term budget that sacrifices wasteful spending without sacrificing the job-creating investments in our future," Obama said.

"My administration has already put forward specific cuts that meet congressional Republicans halfway. And I'm prepared to do more," said Obama.

But the claim that Democrats are meeting Republicans halfway only stands up under the Democratic explanation of the intricate numbers game being played on Capitol Hill.

Isn't that special? The administration has staked out a position that it's willing to meet the Republicans halfway and now beyond. Surprise! Now the issue is what "halfway" really means. Is he going to allow the GOP to shut down the government over a dispute about that definition? I'd say it's unlikely. Indeed, I'd say that we are going to end up with at least 50 billion in cuts at the very least. And that's just to keep the government funded until September.

I'd suggest that they just throw in the towel and accept all the cuts except those to Planned Parenthood (for the purpose of demanding our gratitude forever more) except that a total capitulation will almost certainly require the Republicans to insist on defunding Planned Parenthood. It's just how they roll. So, I guess we'll have to play this out.

I won't be surprised if at the very end they'll agree on draconian cuts and the Republicans will insist that the cuts were much higher than they are and the Dems insist the opposite.(After all, the numbers are now hopelessly confused.) The Villagers will extol the virtues of bipartisanship and everyone will be happy. Except the people affected by the budget cuts, of course, but we'll just blame that on "the deficit" and cut some more next year.

The only one's who will know are some cranky liberal economists who nobody pays any attention to anyway. After all, those who care about real numbers are people like you, people who:

*...believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. That's not the way the world really works anymore. When the oligarchs act, they create their own reality. And while you are studying that reality—judiciously, as you will— the oligarchs will act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. The oligarchs are history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what they do.

* slightly modified, but just as pertinent.