As Paul Ryan and Patty Murray take a tepid victory lap for having reached a budget deal today, critics are combing over the specifics, finding little for ordinary working and out of work Americans to be pleased with.
President Obama gave tempered praise for the deal, which totals $85 billion, stating;
“This deal doesn’t include everything I’d like — and I know many republicans feel the same … but that is the nature of compromise…”
And indeed it is, at least a modern sense of the word.
Many Republicans are incensed at the deal, claiming it doesn’t do enough to reduce the debt, while inversely many progressive Democrats are voicing objections over the deal’s complete omission of any real job stimulus or extended unemployment protection for those still seeking work.
Of the $85 billion total, $45 billion serves as relief from the 2014 sequester cuts, with another $40 billion split between doing the same for 2015 cuts and overall deficit reduction. With unemployment extensions off the table, overall sequestration cuts still in play and derivation of revenue primarily rooted in federal fee hikes for travelers and reductions in pension contributions for federal workers, the sequestration relief itself is split evenly between defense and non-defense spending.
In net effect, as a result of this budget deal, which many arch-conservatives see as a failure for its lack of structural changes to medicare, social security or other entitlement spending, does little to help the average American. In some cases it actually increases the burden on them, placing higher fees on air travel and leaving those still looking for work without a safety net as jobs numbers remain shaky and Congress remains (still) without any form of a jobs stimulus bill.
The reality is that this compromise, much akin to the one being considered around in the current farm bill debate, does not just fail to help struggling Americans who are in many cases, desperate for jobs, functioning public services and a semblance of stability in their representative halls of power, but rather it continues to obligate them to shoulder the weight of a system intent on preserving the tax cuts and loopholes for wealthy individuals and corporations, while providing limited, if any, relief to them directly.
As Republicans continue to fight tooth and nail to deconstruct the social safety nets put in place under the New Deal (which incidentally lead to a substantially more stable, secure, fair and prosperous nation,) more and more Americans are falling into poverty. With this lukewarm compromise measure finding support on the right solely to avoid another embarrassing and costly government shut down, it is unlikely their assault on public trusts in the name of supporting a corporate oligarchy is coming to any sort of end.
To quote Robert Reich;
About the only good thing that can be said about the budget deal just patched together by House Republican budget chair Paul Ryan and Senate Democratic budget chair Patty Murray is that it’s opposed by the right-wing Heritage Foundation and the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good deal for the country.