So the government managed to avoid a shutdown this past week. It was in the 11th hour that an agreement was finally made and it appears that there has been some compromise on both sides. Or is it more about selling out?
The Republicans wanted to see cuts totaling $61 billion, so the agreement of $38.5 billion is quite a substantial differenceÖjust as much as it is substantially higher than what the Democrats wanted.
Some on the left are upset because Obama caved, while some on the right are upset because they donít believe enough cuts were made. What do Americans think? According to preliminary results in a CNN poll, 58% of Americans approved of the budget agreement and 38% disapproved.
So who is getting the credit? According to another CNN poll, 48% give it to the Democrats and 35% attribute it to the Republicans. Now keep in mind that this particular polling was done with a very small number of Americans.
At any rate, this may be good news for Obama as he moves toward the 2012 elections. But there is more to this than just spending cuts.
To me it seems the real losers in this are the Republicans. They wanted to cut funding for environmental regulations, NPR, Planned Parenthood, Obamacare and PBS.
In the end, to some, the Democrats look weak for compromising and the Republicans the same for the same reasons.
But it isnít over. The spending cuts that were made might not mean much if Obama now has his way. Whatís next on the table? Tax increases. Back when he was still campaigning, he had proposed ending the Bush tax cuts for those families who earn more than $250,000 a year and individuals who earn more than $200,000. But that got pushed aside and it sounds like he is ready to resurrect it.
Raising taxes at this time is really not a good idea. We havenít even gotten back on our feet yet. And as we venture closer to the start of campaigning for the 2012 election, Obama might be digging himself a hole.
So now the finagling begins. The fight really isnít over. At this point all that has really been accomplished is a dent in government spending and the avoidance of a government shutdown. Both sides still want to see changes.
But what do Americans want? Most of us want less government, less spending. We want to see this economy get up off the ground. While itís great the government avoided the shutdown, it seems that no one is really satisfied.