The Senate and the House of Representatives have passed a landmark plan to avoid the dreaded “fiscal cliff” that loomed up with the new year. Brokered in the 11th hour by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the deal allows Bush-era tax cuts on those earning over $450k to expire, while putting-off spending cuts until later in 2013. The deal is widely seen as a huge win for President Barack Obama.
When it became apparent that any deal would involve raising taxes House Speaker John Boehner stepped back as if he were facing a snake and insisted that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would have to take-up the negotiations. When it became apparent that any deal would include spending cuts Reid ran and hid like a frightened child.
That left McConnell, who is being sacrificed to the wrath of conservatives, and Biden, who really has nothing to lose at this point.
“My career is essentially over anyway” McConnell said. “After something like twenty terms in the Senate I was going to retire after this one, anyway – so I might as well take it in the neck so that chicken-shit Boehner can say he had nothing to do with this.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell thought he would lure Democrats into a trap that would make them lose a key vote on Thursday, but as it turned out Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had set a little trap of his own.
President Barack Obama and House and Senate leaders announced today they have reached an agreement on the U.S. debt. The plan calls for increasing the nation’s debt ceiling to avoid default, and then convening some kind of congressional committee later sometime to do something about reducing the deficit, maybe.
The plan might reduce spending by a trillion dollars someday, and there might also be tax reform to increase revenues, although no one is sure.
The agreement does clear the way for both Republicans and Democrats to move forward with their election campaigns without the distraction of taking care of the nation’s business, and without being pinned-down to any real policy that might prove unpopular with one or the others’ constituencies.
So after weeks of fighting, arguing, whining, moaning, crying, threatening, and acting like spoiled children, the nation’s leaders have decided to go back to business as usual.