Well, there appears to be a deal on the debt ceiling impasse, and it looks like President Obama got the things he wanted most out of the deal. And I’m all right with that.
President Obama went into this crisis with several goals, and he got most of them. First up, he was the one who got to go on TV and announce that the deal had been reached. He got all the glory and renown, while the true extent of his involvement is still unknown. This will be called by many as his great victory, and that is how he wished it. That’s his style — he makes the big speeches, lets others do all the hard work, then swoops back in to grab the credit.
Next, he got the matter settled through the next election. This whole debt ceiling mess is poison to his re-election bid, as it’s a constant reminder of just how profligate he has been with the public coffers. Spending has skyrocketed since he took office, as has the annual budget deficit and the federal debt. And this mess has been a constant reminder of that inconvenient truth. With this deal, the matter hasn’t been taken off the table, but pushed off the front burner — at least he hopes.
As for the details of the deal — to Obama, they’re pretty much irrelevant. It’s a ten-year deal, and the worst of it is backloaded past the next election — which will be, in all likelihood, Obama’s last race. He won’t need public approval any more past November 2012.
For the rest of us, though, those actually concerned with the details and how they’ll play out past that day, is the deal a good one?
I dunno. James Pethokoukis — who I generally trust — says that it pretty much makes tax hikes impossible, and while I don’t quite follow his logic, I’ll go along with that. And a lot of liberals are whining about the deal, so that’s another point in its favor.
It’s almost impossible for the average person to decipher big deals like this one. And I certainly have neither the patience nor the training to do so. Instead, I’ll rely on reading the augurs to come to my judgment.
Here, several people whose judgment I respect back it, while I lot of people whose judgment I have found sorely lacking in the past are opposed. On that basis, I’m going to tentatively say this is probably an acceptable deal.