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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Better than a shutdown, but only just

If there is any consolation it's that the Tea Party/right wing blogosphere has gone ballistic over the Republican traitors in Washington.  One can hope that enough of them might get discouraged sufficiently to not bother voting in the next election.  One can only hope.

On the downside the narrative has been taken out of the Democrats hands.  The riders were thrown in by the Republicans to take away the heat from the fact that virtually all the cuts hurt the less powerful.   A better strategy may have been to double down on the Republicans and challenged them by proposing an equal amount of cuts to farm subsidies or other programs favored by the right or even some cuts to the military such as new weapons programs to at least bring those issues into the conversation.

Another battle looms with the raising of the debt ceiling.  The Republicans are going to use that ro once again hold the Democrats and government in general hostage.  The issue will be far more obtuse for the average American and this could allow the Democrats to be a lot less flexible.  They could then have an unlikely ally in that battle; Wall Street who are very well aware of the consequences of the debt ceiling not being raised.

Obama had no option on the shutdown that to claim victory and support the cuts that have been passed.  It's time to go on the offensive against the Ryan budget, on corporate tax avoidance and on the growing wealth gap.  The fact is that we don't just have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem.   Revenue is currently under 15% of GDP, far short of even the level proposed in the Ryan budget.    There is only one way to solve the revenue problem and that is to find that revenue where the money is. 

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