Budget Deal Reached…

…Reagan Triumphant: Debate now not whether to cut, but how much to cut

B. Daniel Blatt

According to the Hill, in this morning’s wee hours:

President Obama and Democratic and Republican congressional leaders reached a last-minute deal Friday to avoid a government shutdown.

The agreement, which came after days of partisan sparring and rhetorical drama, would fund the government through the end of September and cut $78.5 billion compared to Obama’s proposed but never enacted fiscal 2011 budget.

Not sure if this counts as the “net spending cut” Obama promised in the 2008 campaign, but at least as Kristen Soltis (via Glenn Reynolds) put it while negotiations were still ongoing,  the big takeaway from all of this: We are currently debating how much to cut rather than debating whether or not to cut.[Emphasis CAJ]

Philip Klein thinks the deal is one “conservatives should be happy about“:

To be sure, conservatives didn’t get much of what they wanted. They didn’t get $100 billion in cuts, or even $61 billion. Planned Parenthood won’t be defunded, neither will ObamaCare. And the EPA won’t be stripped of funding to regulate carbon emissions. But let’s get real. There’s a liberal president and a liberal Senate — House Majority Leader John Boehner cannot impose his will on the rest of the government.

But he did use what leverage he had to get a lot more out of Democrats than they wanted to give up. Democrats didn’t want any spending cuts, and President Obama’s original budget proposed spending that was $78.5 billion higher than what was agreed upon tonight. (The House and Senate are passing a six-day stopgap measure that will cut the first $2 billion and give lawmakers more time to craft a final draft of the bill.) The deal includes a provision that would deny federal funds to pay for abortions in Washington, DC and would allow for Senate votes on the Planned Parenthood funding ban and repeal of ObamaCare — both of which will force vulnerable Democrats into tough votes. And keep in mind that the ban on Planned Parenthood funding would have expired at the end of the budget year — Sept. 30 — anyway…

The article continues at GayPatriot

Related: Commander in Chief’s Appalling Action with Our Troops, Sarah Palin on Facebook.

Also by Philip Klein, What liberal deficit reduction would look like

Liberals wasted no time attacking House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan’s fiscal reform plan.

On Tuesday morning, an hour before the proposal was publicly released, the liberal Campaign for America’s Future sent out a press release dubbing it “Ryan’s Roadmap to Ruin.”

In the release, the group’s co-director Robert Borosage attacked the plan as “corrupt,” fuming that “Rep. Ryan is not charting America’s Future; he is burying the American Dream.”

The assault has not abated. Liberals and Democratic lawmakers have continued to tee off on Ryan, arguing that his GOP budget would cut the deficit on the backs of the poor and elderly, while doling out benefits to the rich.

Yet conspicuously absent from most liberal criticisms is any comparable attempt to confront the nation’s unsustainable long-term debt crisis.

This is no accident.

It’s much easier to attack a plan when the comparison is an imaginary world in which Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security can remain intact with little action from Washington, than it is to present a counterproposal that itself could become a target.

But thanks to the Congressional Progressive Caucus, we may soon have an idea of what a liberal deficit reduction plan would look like.

Next week, the group of progressives plans to introduce its alternative to Ryan’s proposal, called “The People’s Budget.” Based on an advanced peek provided by a senior Democratic aide, it promises to return the nation to surpluses by the end of the decade and reduce the debt, only with a much different approach from Ryan’s.

To extend the long-term solvency of Social Security, it would propose dramatically increasing payroll taxes on both the employer and employee side, and funneling the money into even more generous benefits.

Payroll taxes are economically destructive, because they make it more expensive for employers to hire new workers, meaning lower real wages and higher unemployment…

Update: At Gay Patriot, Mr. Blatt also wrote, Sorry, Charlie, your party’s to blame for running up the debt

…(Via Ann Althouse.)  Sorry, Charlie, the reason Tea Party conservatives have such clout is because their outrage at the increasing size of the federal government has resonated with the American people, leading to the election of Republican legislators (and at least one Senate Democrat) who want to hold the line on spending.

If Americans had the facts, they won’t blame House Speaker John Boehner, but instead hold Democrats to account for the shutdown.  Nick Gillespie reminds us why Congress is still voting on their FY2011 budget — six full months after that fiscal year began…

Read the whole thing.

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