The deal put an end to the stalemate in Washington, but it did not actually do much in terms of policymaking
Joshua Roberts / Reuters
Bill Gale of the Brookings Institution provides an excellent summary of the good and the bad in the debt limit deal. The major “good news” is that if this breaks the impasse on passing an increase in the debt limit, the U.S. will avoid immediate default on its debt. The “bad news” is there wasn’t much movement in terms of actual bipartisan policymaking, and the Democrats seem to have totally caved in to the Norquist-led entrenchment of the Republicans on taxes–as in No New Ones.
There are no revenue increases in this first round of deficit reduction, and if the second round’s special committee of sitting members of Congress (yet to be named) fails to agree on enough deficit reduction, the triggered automatic cuts will leave tax policy untouched as well.
Bill puzzles over the Democrats’ poor negotiating strategies on this issue:
[T]hat leads directly into the remarkable politics of the situation. The deal that was enacted is, politically, a complete capitulation by the Democrats. There are no tax increases as part of the initial trillion-dollar package. That package is all spending cuts, which was the original Republican position.
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