STEVE CHAPMAN: “Whoever wins this battle, the government’s sea of red ink will keep expanding. The publicly held debt now stands at about $11 trillion. Obama’s budget would have pushed it up to around $20 trillion by 2021. Under either the Boehner plan or the Reid plan, it would exceed $17 trillion.

All this screaming and squabbling, and for what? For a huge increase in the amount of borrowed funds that you and your descendants will have to repay.

Freshmen Republicans in the House rallied behind the “cut, cap and balance” plan, but it amounts to yet another stack of alluring promises. The cuts, $111 billion next year, are not itemized. Neither are the programs that would take a hit from the caps.

The “balance” refers to a constitutional amendment to ban deficit spending. But such an amendment—even in the very unlikely event it could be passed—wouldn’t balance the budget. It would merely commit Congress and the president to approve cuts in spending or increases in revenue that would eliminate the fiscal gap.

It’s not a solution. It’s a promise to come up with a solution, somehow, someday.”

[Read more of Steve Chapman’s “Washington’s Budget Theater” at Reason.com]

DARJEELING: What have we learned with this debt-ceiling “crisis”? NO ONE gets between Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Socialists and their ability to spend your money. Republicans — Tea Party or not — always cower in fear at cutting meal-tickets, if it means alienating moderate voters (Republicans lost this battle for the simple reason they weren’t able to properly articulate why the world wouldn’t end if the debt-ceiling wasn’t raised). Moderate (“wishy washy”) voters always favor compromise for compromise’s sake because they don’t pay enough attention or have enough principle to know better. And the mainstream media always knows how to dumb the nuance out of any discussion about making real spending cuts and sending our country down the path of fiscal solvency.


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