The McDonald’s commercial with the cute pet-name chick where the dude thinks to himself “OK, I’m smart enough to notice that my favorite sweet tea is on the dollar menu, so, I can handle this right?” Every time I see this I think “Is that what passes for ‘smart’ in 2011? Noticing the presence of something on a menu?”
Monthly archives for August, 2011
After opening a couple of tickets with my web host’s support team it appears we’ve gotten both the performance problems and the commenting issue resolved. So now when I toss up my every-other-month post you should be all set.
There are so many things to loathe about the Debt Ceiling deal, beginning with the fact that for the first time in history a “deal” was necessary to raise the debt ceiling. But it helps to focus your anger, so I’ll pick the one piece of this catastrophe that truly fills me with contempt: The Trigger.
You know the Trigger, right? That’s the threat hanging over the heads of the new Debt Reduction Star Chamber that Congress is going to form to investigate more ways to reduce the debt. Where’s the Extra-Super Congressional Panel on Job Creation, you ask? Fuck you, America’s financial and political elite reply.
The Trigger gets triggered if the Star Chamber doesn’t come up with an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction by Thanksgiving. (Most reports, tellingly enough, describe this figure as $1.2 trillion in additional “cuts” but Democrats insist revenue increases could factor into the agreement as well. Insert snark about bridges for sale here.) If the new committee does not come to an agreement, automatic cuts equal to the target figure will go into effect. These cuts will be split 50/50 between defense and discretionary spending.
That’s the Trigger, and here is where I note that, for Democrats, it contains both insult and injury.
The injury is that this automatic package of debt reduction came in a form that was 100% cuts. Considering that this gimmick was designed as an incentive to get the two parties to deal, why wasn’t the half of the package meant to prod Republicans composed of tax increases? Oh, that’s right, because the ass end of the Republican Party had a gun to the nation’s head and Obama and the Dems agreed to negotiate with them under those conditions instead of telling them to go to hell.
The insult is that the 50% of the cuts that is meant to offend Republicans is to defense. Because, obviously, only Republicans care about Defense spending. Democrats are all hippie peaceniks. To be clear, I’m not defending defense spending per se. I just find it nauseating that the old, tired, Republicans-are-the-Party-of-the-Military trope was baked into this shitty little clause in this even shittier piece of legislation.
So there you have it: The Trigger is a shallow, stupid gimmick that pokes Democrats in the eye and, like everything else in this “deal” flies in the face of sober economic thought. Good job, everyone!