A point that may seem obvious but might not be to many people is this: the GOP did not have to threaten to bring down the economy to get the spending cuts it apparently achieved last night. The president, with backing from most Democrats in Congress, would almost certainly have yielded on those cuts, and probably more, in the normal course of bargaining over the next budget if the Republicans had also been willing to yield on tax increases. It’s important to understand this, because Republicans are going to want to portray their extortion strategy as necessary to achieving the goal of cutting spending and reducing the deficit, but it was not. It was a choice they made in order to get leverage over their opponents. The two parties were bargaining over fiscal matters, as they do every so often, but this time, one side pulled out a gun. That’s essentially what happened. It was an act of crime, not of necessity.
Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly.
iStockWill Anti-Wall Street Pressure Force Centrist Democrats to Back Impeachment?It may not be a coincidence that Rep. Jim Himes came out for a formal inquiry after being ...read more
Mike D/FlickrThe Democratic Primary Isn't Just a Contest Between Biden and SandersMost Democrats are willing to consider a number of candidates as they learn more about them.
Phil Roeder/FlickrBernie Sanders Goes Big With a Complete College Loan Forgiveness ProposalIt's bold, but it will have plenty of detractors from the left, right, and middle of the ...read more