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We're Still Marching to Oblivion

Debt deal is just meaningless political theater, says Matt Miller
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2011 3:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – Oh, about that historic deal on the debt ceiling, the ceiling that nearly caused the US government to default on its debt and worldwide economic chaos? Well, the deal is meaningless political posturing that changes nothing, writes Matt Miller in the Washington Post. With the US government set to spend $46 trillion over the next 10 years, $2.1 trillion in cuts is minor at best. “We’re no longer running toward oblivion, we’re walking toward it," said Sen. Lindsey Graham yesterday.

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And the deal does nothing to boost jobs or economic growth. All it achieves is cheap politics, grouses Miller. Republicans get to say they didn't raise taxes. Obama gets to avoid another debt ceiling drama during 2012 elections. Even the infamous "trigger" to enact more serious spending cuts won't begin before 2013, when the Bush tax cuts were set to expire anyway, so the net effect will be close to zero—assuming whoever is elected next year doesn't change everything anyway, Miller notes. "Taken together, then, the deal is an almost perfect blend of policy punt and political ploy," says Miller. "That’s what passes for 'accomplishment' in Washington nowadays." (Read more debt ceiling stories.)

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