The day after the fiscal cliff deal there were hundreds of headlines about Obama and Biden winning the fiscal cliff battle over the Republicans: “Obama Riding High, Wins Fiscal Cliff Showdown” – The Daily Beast; “Obama Wins Big, Gets His Tax Hikes” – New York Post; “Biden May Be Most Influential VP Ever” – National Journal; “Obama Took Republicans to the Cleaners” – MSNBC; “Decent Deal for Liberals” – Paul Krugman; “A Fleeting Victory for Democrats” – New Republic; and many more just like it.
There are many reasons why these headlines from liberal outlets have it all wrong and are prematurely celebrating. First, most liberals are in full agreement that if we went off the fiscal cliff Democrats and their ideology would have won for numerous reasons – 1. The public would have blamed Republicans 2. Democrats would have gotten huge tax increase on all Americans and 3. Most of the spending cuts would have affected the military and nothing else. This is all a win – win scenario for Democrats.
Although I would agree from a political standpoint that Democrats won on most points in the new fiscal cliff deal – they got their tax hike on high income earners; they got their extension of unemployment insurance benefits; they won the battle of no entitlement reforms and essentially no spending cuts. Still, the Republicans maintained one bargaining advantage in future fiscal fights – the debt ceiling limit. Maybe they can earn budget cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling in two months.
But there is one thing that these giddy liberal media outlets are completely forgetting about and ignoring. Time will tell if this is a good deal. If the economy remains sluggish or even worse we go into a double dip recession, then will liberals continue to be giddy and think Obama is the winner if Americans remain out of work, incomes continue to decrease, and government spending threatens the fiscal wellbeing of future Americans? Maybe they will, to liberals, it is all about their ideology and they care very little about the economy.
The bottom line, I do not understand how people can count political points in a time when people are suffering. Liberals will still point to Obama winning political fights even if the unemployment rate and economy is stagnant when his second term expires. They will point to ObamaCare as a big win even if the implications are more debt and a stagnant economy. It is sad when our ideology rules over the economy.