I really don’t like to be cynical but this latest spiel around the debt deal has me wondering if both sides would rather duck the decision making all together and let the automatic cuts kick in so they can each hide for political cover. After all, any cuts that come from the super committee would go into effect immediately. Automatic cuts won’t kick in until 2013 or until after next year’s elections. I’m not sure either side really wants to he holding that ball if the so called Hail Mary pass they are looking for comes to light between now and the super committee’s deadline this Wednesday. Democrats don’t want to admit they took a whack at Medicare and Social Security. Republicans don’t want to be blamed for enacting a national sales tax or allowing deep cuts in defense spending. At least if the across the board cuts of 1.2 trillion dollars kick in, which they will if a compromise isn’t achieved by Wednesday, each side can claim to have held the torch for its core constituency. Each side is afraid to ignite the base when I would argue they should be afraid to tick off the Moderates. Next year is going to boil down to moderate voters, to the Republicans who voted for Obama because they believed he was a smarter Democrat who understood we can’t afford to alienate business with an unemployment rate of 9% or who voted for him because they wanted to be part of a historic moment. It’s going to boil down to conservative Democrats who have to admit things aren’t better, they’re worse. Those conservative Democrats who believe in doing good but not at the expense of doing well are ripe for the picking right now. They can’t afford their mortgages or the mandates the Obama administration has put on their businesses. Funnily enough, this latest version of a moderate voter is only moderate in its ability to switch hit between both parties. It’s their allegiance to the extremes that has been mitigated. Their sentiments are anything but moderate. They are mad. Which is why Congress’ approval rating now matches the unemployment rate – 9%. The cuts will kick in across the board. The entitlement programs that are running out of money have to be addressed. Instead of blaming big business for our problems, we need to give the business community the confidence to create jobs. The next President will be the guy or gal who has the nerve to say that and not the candidate who panders to the extremes. Here’s to the candidate who speaks practically and not politically.
This is a great article from the New York Times that compares the debt deal, that is slowly dying while Americans are conveniently distracted by Thanksgiving, to a round of fantasy football. I would just be shocked if anyone involved found it enjoyable.