As far as political theatre goes, the pre-debt ceiling gameshow was fair to good. I think most Americans were confused, exhausted and not all that interested in the day to day antics. We’ll see what the beltway news reports today and tomorrow on how it all came together the past few days. It is not a great solution, but it could have been much worse if the Republicans did not control the House.
I think the manufacturing data was the big news yesterday, however, that gem was smothered by the ping pong news coverage of the debt ceiling discussions. The past few days have not been good for economic news. And the Obama team should be concerned, while Republicans should not celebrate too much about the debt ceiling solution.
Just last week we learned that the economy grew way too slow to make any meaningful dent in unemployment. And yesterday’s manufacturing numbers were equally not so good. What does this all mean in DC political terms? That the Obama Administration has a huge political problem in the making.
My one take away from the Balanced Budget Control Act debate is that maybe, just maybe, a policy process has been set in place that could fundamentally shift how the federal government spends our money. Some folks will try to use the process to raise taxes, however, the chances of that succeeding are slim. Members in tough 2012 re-election battles do not want to alienate voters by raising taxes the year before elections.
Let’s hope folks on our side temper expectations because Republicans only control one chamber. Regardless, the fall promises to be interesting in these parts, a season of political and conservative policy opportunity await. There will be plenty of time this year to keep pressing less taxes, less regulations, and keep setting the stage for a strong 2012 showing to support candidates that share these and other conservative ideas.
Finally, who receives the intramural “who won” award? The Speaker of the House John Boehner and his policy staff. Why? Maybe its because I’ve been in this town since 1992 and worked up there long enough to appreciate how difficult this process can be when you only control the House, you’re constantly under attack by the establishment, and folks that just do not understand that you can only do what he votes allow you to do.
The issue is not all that complicated and the Speaker and his leadership team explained it simply: its about the debt. we’re spending more than we take in. They avoided economic alphabet soup talk and couched the impact of proposed reforms in plain English. No one appears to have been duped by the social welfare traps laid by the White House or the liberal Congressional caucus. For the voters that matter, we won many points that will pay off in the long run.