Democrats and Republicans Agree to a Budget Deal Compromise: More Spending on Everything!

New deal would suspend the debt limit, raise spending by $80 billion over two years.



The good news about the budget deal? It's a budget deal. The bad news? Just about everything that's in it.

The two year agreement, which comes with just days until the nation hits the debt ceiling, would suspend the debt limit until March 2017 in exchange for lifting the spending caps imposed by sequestration in equal amounts for both domestic and defense spending, avoiding a government shutdown in the process. Overall, the deal would boost spending by $80 billion over the next two years. 

That's the compromise: Republicans in Congress get more defense spending; Democrats, led by the White House, get more spending on domestic policy.

Republicans have been pushing to lift the sequester's spending caps on defense spending for a while, and Democrats have been arguing in return that it's only fair that non-defense spending get a boost too. As CBS News reports, one of the White House's priorities this round was "raising spending equally on both sides of the federal budget."

In theory, the spending hikes will eventually be offset with cuts almost a decade from now, in 2024 and 2025. Raise spending now, in other words, and pay for it by making cuts at the end of the 10-year budget window. There's almost no chance that these delayed cuts will ever go into effect. Republicans in Congress have agreed to raise spending and pay for it with imaginary spending cuts. 

The scheme, which has been used before, barely rises to the level of a gimmick. It is more of a permissable way for everyone involved to agree to not cut spending as required by the sequester, without quite explicitly saying that this is what's going to happen. 

In the very broadest sense, it's positive that there's some sort of budget deal in place. A drawn-out fight over the debt limit would have thrown the government into crisis mode, provoking a needless and perhaps extended standoff that likely would have resulted in little meaningful policy improvement. But this is a very low bar to have met.

A budget deal to raise the debt limit should ideally focus on finding ways to restrain or even (gasp!) reduce spending, with an eye toward heading off the need for debt limit showdowns in the future. The continual last-minute, last-ditch nature of these deals virtually ensures that they will be bad, and that those looking for budgetary reform and restraint will be in a bad negotiating position. Conservatives are, somewhat understandably, objecting to the deal's terms, which are indeed pretty bad. But the time to improve things is before the deadline nears and timer starts blinking red.

This is as much a process problem as a policy problem, and the good news is that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), who is now virtually certain to be the next Speaker of the House, says he'll work on fixing it. Via Politico:

"I think the process stinks," said Ryan, who is expected to be elected speaker on Thursday. The Wisconsin Republican added that he hadn't gone through the details of the agreement, which was released Monday night.

"This is not the way to do the people's business," Ryan said. "And under new management we are not going to do the people's business this way. We are up against a deadline — that's unfortunate. But going forward we can't do the people's business. As a conference we should've been meeting months ago to discuss these things to have a unified strategy going forward."

Whether or not Ryan will be able to successfully alter the process in a way that leads to productive results is an open question, but at least there's someone who is aware there's a problem and has indicated a desire to fix it.  

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  1. Democrats and Republicans Agree to a Budget Deal Compromise: More Spending on Everything!

    What was the compromise?

    1. I think you’re correct. I think of a compromise as not only the sides both getting something, but the sides both giving something. I only see the first part here.

    2. “The Conservatives wanted 6 dreadnoughts, Labour 4 – so they compromised on 8”

      1. Damn, Swiss. I was coming to post that exact quote. I think its from Churchill.

  2. That’s the compromise: Republicans in Congress get more defense spending; Democrats, led by the White House, get more spending on domestic policy.

    I should have read further in.

    So Dad gets a new speedboat and RV, mom gets new curtains.

    1. compromise means everyone gets everything they want. And someone else gets to pay for it. Happy days again.

    2. Hmmm. I don’t think that’s an equitable distribution of resources. Curtains are more affordable than a speed boat and RV. If the curtains are made from Scalamandre fabric then possible. Otherwise, a Louise Vitonne or Channel handbag is also required.


  3. Fuck you ?

    Cut spending ?

    Cut spending now

  4. “pay for it with imaginary spending cuts. ”

    Imaginary promised future decreases in projected increases in spending is more like it I’d bet.

    1. They’re going to keep using this trick until, eventually, it gets to the point where the theoretical, planned budget for ten years from now will be a negative amount.

    2. “We’ll gladly pay you some Tuesday a decade or so from now–unless we pass a law overriding it between now and then–for ten trillion hamburgers today.”

  5. A drawn-out fight over the debt limit would have thrown the government into crisis mode, provoking a needless and perhaps extended standoff that likely would have resulted in little meaningful policy improvement.

    Is there no one who agrees that spending cuts are going to be brutal and ugly and worthwhile in every effort to achieve?

    1. yes, that small group of tea people that catches shit from both directions.

      1. Those are the people who want the governments hands off their Medicare, aren’t they?

  6. This kind of talk is alarmist and irresponsible: America Needs its Money Hole.

    1. America needs Kim Kardashian.

    2. I love the warm glow from the burning cash in The Money Hole.

      It’s a family tradition like smores.

  7. Ah I’m too lazy/busy at work to Google, but during the last big budget fight didn’t Reason post an article on how bad it was for the Republicans to shutdown the government because of Obamacare?

    1. There are certain editors and writers for Reason that still love government spending – as long as it is the right kind. Also, cocktail partaze.

      1. “There are certain editors and writers for Reason that still love government spending”


        1. Try “Medicaid Funded Abortions” in your next article search

          1. Sorry, I’m from the old school where the person making a claim has the burden of providing some scintilla of evidence for it.

            1. ENB loves the funding of abortion via Medicaid.

              That’s the good spending.

              1. So, again, is there a citation for this claim?

              2. ENB loves the funding of abortion via Medicaid.

                I’m not sure that is an entirely accurate description. I think it is more like, if we are going to have medicaid, what it pays for shouldn’t be limited in highly politicized or arbitrary ways.

                1. From the lack of citation after repeated requests I kind of figured it was something like that.

            2. ” I’m from the old school where the person making a claim has the burden of providing some scintilla of evidence for it.”

              I’m from the older-school where when I tell exactly what you need to fucking “look up if you care”, you get off your ass and do it

              But i keep forgetting what a dumb, lazy cunt you are

              Fiscal conservatives prone to bristling over the low-income insurance program in general seem especially incensed by the idea of “taxpayer-funded abortions.” But anyone who’s actually more concerned with cost efficiency than punishing people for their choices should see that covering an abortion?which can be as little as $300-$500 in the first trimester, or up to $1,500-$2,000 in the second?is a heck of a lot cheaper than covering pregnancy and labor costs.

              There’s a few more of the same argument available.

              1. That still doesn’t quite support “loves government spending”. One can have an opinion on how best to do a thing without being a supporter of that thing.

                1. ‘One can have an opinion on how best to do a thing without being a supporter of that thing”

                  Sure, but as noted, she’s made the case for that particular government benny a few separate times. While the “cost/benefit” angle is always eventually claimed, its always in the context of a moral “access” argument which posits that there’s a social right to get preggos and then nuke whenever convenient.

                  I’m pro-choice = but I find the claims of “more public spending = money saved” both morally disgusting as well as statistically dubious;

                  She pretends “every baby a poor person nukes is one less welfare recipient”

                  as though the assumption that every govt-funded abortion is both a baby that will otherwise be guaranteed to be carried to term (because if its not ‘free’, why, no one will ever cough up the few hundred bucks to prevent a lifetime obligation! that’s crazy!) …. as well as guaranteed to remain a drain on public coffers for life (because we all know that children of the poor are simply doomed to their status and do nothing but eat welfare $ )….

                  I think there’s probably a case for govt funded *contraception* that could be justified along these lines… but abortion? forgetting the wholly flawed arguments of “cost-savings” (why not just cut welfare?)…. i think the moral arguments – which i disagree with – are nevertheless sufficient to justify a refusal that people’s taxes pay for them.

              2. Of course, that entire discussion was about anti-abortion types making an economic argument against taxpayer-funded abortion. Which Elizabeth holed at the waterline.

                Her actual and quite factual argument was swallowed up in the emotionalism their argument is really based on.

                1. I’d love to see you recite that “economic” argument rather than simply allude to its marvelous, winning ways

              3. That doesn’t seem to support your argument. The passage you cite defends the policy (in the context of Medicaid existing in the first place) on the grounds that it would cut government spending.

                1. “on the grounds that it would cut government spending.'”

                  If you believe every abortion is of a person guaranteed to become a lifetime drain on the welfare system, sure.

                  Who believes that?

                  its some specious “modeling” to create the impression of ‘savings’

                  1. It’s not fair to assume that every abortion eliminates a lifetime welfare case. But it is probably fairly safe to assume that most medicare funded abortions would probably become medicare funded pre-natal care and births without the abortion.

                    I say stop funding abortion and pregnancy/birth care. It’s your own damn problem (usually) if you get pregnant. Safety net, fine, but these are things people can plan for.

    2. Yes.

      “A drawn-out fight over the debt limit would have thrown the government into crisis mode, provoking a needless and perhaps extended standoff that likely would have resulted in little meaningful policy improvement.”

      At least they are consistent.

      1. And probably correct.

        The last government shutdown saw the GOP gathering on the steps of Congress to stress the importance of NIH cancer research and the sacred importance of national monuments and memorials. And that was the side that was supposed to be anti-government. These things don’t end with less government or attitudes for the same.

        1. Oh so instead of a drawn out fight about cutting spending the GOP should just cave on whatever Obama wants?

          Great strategy! Glad to see the GOP reminding everyone it doesn’t matter who you vote for as they will tell you to go fuck yourself regardless.

          1. The shutdown became a big commercial for federal government agencies. How did that help anything?

            1. If the GOP hadn’t caved they might have been able to defund Obamacare. Instead they caved and now we are getting fucked every year with higher premiums and worse coverage.

              I don’t see how this was a commercial for big government. It was an example of hos it doesn’t matter what team you vote for, there aren’t enough principled ones there to live up to why they were voted in.

              1. Because what we saw was the inevitable story after story of federal agencies that were prevented from doing their really, really, really critical work because of the shutdown. The GOP actually fed this too.

                It’s better to be patient and think long term politically, though I admit there’s probably not much hope there either…

                1. How is losing the fight a better strategy?

                  The GOP base (ie. the Tea Party) elected people like Cruz to stand up to Obama, especially Obamacare. Instead the vast majority of them caved at the first sign of struggle. The government gets shutdown all the time and no one cares. They had a chance to stand up for their principles and they blew it.

                  They lost. All of this budgetary stuff now is simply a victory lap for Obama the Dems and the Rinos. The rest of us get to eat our shit sandwich.

                  1. “The government gets shutdown all the time and no one cares.”

                    I just don’t think you’re right. The GOP establishment are weasels without much in the way of principle, but they do believe in holding power, and I think they rightly calculated that a prolonged shutdown was not a political winner for them (or persuading people to actually have a smaller government in the future). Obama was never going to cave and he was never going to be seen as responsible for the shutdown.

          2. Team Red doesn’t care about cutting spending. If they did they would be able to find at least one dollar in the military budget that the government doesn’t need to spend.

            1. What you say is true, but there’s something interesting going on with Team Blue as well. I seem to remember a time when some of them would oppose certain spending on its merits, corporate welfare and defense spending. Now that, perhaps pretense all along, seems to be abandoned as their stance here seemed to be not ‘it’s wrong to spend that much money on defense’ but rather ‘it’s wrong to spend that much money on defense while not also spending an increased amount on these domestic programs.’ They’ve become the Team that finds no spending objectionable. I wouldn’t find it surprising to see them agree to a bill funding anti-abortion centers as long as it funded pro-abortion centers too.

              1. spending=stimulus.

                It’s good for the economy.

                We need shovel ready abortions!

                1. shovel ready abortions!

                  Somebody’s hoo-ha gonna need some stitchin!

                2. We need shovel ready abortions!

                  I like the way you think. You’re hired.

            2. Yeah. Saying that the GOP gave in and lost the battle is obviously either not true, or it’s not a battle I would want them to win. There are a few R’s who genuinely want to reduce the size of government. But the party overall isn’t going to do shit to reduce spending overall, even if it had super-majorities in both houses and the presidency.

    3. Different writers took different positions. IIRC Suderman and Welch took that position (mostly out of the viewpoint that they weren’t going to get anything positive out of it in the end) and Gillespie took the opposite POV.

      In this situation, passing a budget that didn’t remove the spending caps for either type of spending would have been far more preferable than this, and it would have been more difficult for them to be painted as the bad guys at the same time. But in the end, this is Exhibit #89053803 as to why most Republicans (especially the pols) don’t actually give a shit about limiting spending, particularly if it means limiting military spending at the same time.

  8. Short version: There is no budget ceiling.

    1. How can you have a ceiling when there’s nothing left to cut?

    2. Well, at least i have my spoon

      1. You didn’t build that spoon.

        1. He was born with it.

          On a more serious note, there was supposed to be some reform of SSDI. Anyone know what that was?

          1. Not reform. They also passed the “doc fix” to adjust payment rates and make sure the COLA didn’t reuslt in automatic SS cuts.

            1. Not SS cuts but medicare premium increases. There was supposed to be something about SSDI.

    3. The forms must be obeyed. The substance, maybe not.

  9. Ryan’s full of shit. Boehner just gave him an 18 month pass where he doesn’t have to handle another shutdown scenario. I’ll put money down that he was aware of and gave tacit approval to cutting the deal.

    Classic politics, let the lame duck take the blame so the new guy can campaign against it and look important.


  11. The truly astonishing thing, to me, is that the Republicans apparently believe a complete falsehood: that they are punished in the next election if they get blamed for a government shutdown.

    They actually get rewarded. Can’t find it now, but they either pick up seats, or do better than you would predict at that point in the cycle.

    1. They are punished by their cronies, which fails to reward their coffers.

      1. +1 Chamber of Commerce

    2. That assumes that the Republicans are only doing this because they’re afraid of how they’ll be perceived in a shutdown. I think the much likelier answer is that most of them don’t care about increasing spending as long as military spending gets increased.

  12. OT: I’m at a conference right now, listening to a piece of shit FCC functionary laying out his collectivist dream. As always, the ends sound great if you ignore the means. Very hard not to do a Joe Wilson moment.

    1. My advice: Drink as much as you can while not drawing attention to yourself. Makes for a much more pleasant world.

      1. No, it is time (assuming you won’t lose your job) to stand and tell this little emperor that he
        is a slaver.

  13. Heard the WSB reporter on conservative talk radio say that this was OK since discretionary spending had only gone up 2.6% during the Obama administration.

    I’m back now so I will fill you Peanuts in on the truth for the rest of the day.

    1. Are you sure it wasn’t 8%?

    2. this was OK since discretionary spending had only gone up 2.6% during the Obama administration

      Who gives a fuck about “discretionary” spending? That is a fake and misleading category.

      Its ALL discretionary. All of it. Congress has the authority/discretion to zero out any and all transfer programs, the budget for any agency, even the military.

      1. Yes, they do. But mandatory (non discretionary) entitlements create dependency, don’t you know? They become sacred to voters.

        1. It’s all sacred. Every spending category has a constituency.

      2. Very well put.

        1. My comment was to RC.

    3. Cool story bro.

    4. Cool story bro.

  14. Also this bill cuts SSDI eligibility – which has been seriously abused of late. Fake docs, fake illnesses/disabled.

  15. I really don’t understand this. How can the government spend more money than it takes in for decades? Don’t tell me it doesn’t work. It seem to, with some caveats. Why not go full Krugman and spend a zillion?

    1. It does work, until it doesn’t.

      Just like me spending gobs of money by taking out 2nd, 3rd, 4th mortgages and supplementing my lifestyle. So long as interest rates stay low and I don’t lose my job, I’m fine.

    2. Investors are willing to loan the government plenty – even at today’s low rates.

      1. “Investors..”


      2. Those “investors” are mostly the Fed, which has bought an enormous amount of Treasuries over the last several years.

        They have to. If the auctions don’t clear to stupid low interest rates, rates will have to rise, regardless of what the Fed wants.

      3. Fuel Fix Blog had a post today about all the people who gave oil speculators their money for junk bonds, and are now getting 40 cents or less on the dollar as they try to dump their no longer solvent bonds and shares. Even in rational markets there are pockets of irrationality. This isn’t even a rational market.

    3. As long as the government can be counted on to forcibly extract money from its citizens to pay the people who buy the bonds, then people will buy the bonds. When the parasite finally sucks its host dry, then people will stop buying the parasite’s debt.

    4. That homeless guy you saw by the 7-11 this morning did not get there by not paying his mortgage.

      He there because he’s a bit crazy. ‘There, but for the grace of God, go I’, is incorrect. It seems we would need a full meltdown to get that point through.

  16. Woman gun enthusiast demonstrates how to carve a pumpkin for Halloween using a RIFLE – and creates a perfect smiley face

    Pro shooter Kirsten Joy Weiss has made a ‘gun-o’-lantern’ for Halloween
    She advises using a semi-automatic .22 rifle instead of a carving knife
    Her YouTube video describes pumpkin shooting as a fun, creative activity


    I’m gonna have to try that this weekend. Looks like fun.

    From the comments:

    What happens when the boyfriend threatens to leave her? “You WILL be my boyfriend”… Bang bang…the sound of sirens screaming ” Get down on your knees, NOW.”, the sound of handcuffs being locked in place….

    Total Brit-derp.

    1. I really like her striped boat-neck, 3/4 sleeve t-shirt.

      1. I really like her ass.

          1. Shouldn’t she be shooting into a backstop?

            1. I’m sorry, was she shooting at something?

            2. There’s a mountain over there somewhere.

              Maybe she was using rat shot or something.

        1. Just about all of her parts and shooting skills are pretty damn appealing.

          1. Way too skinny for John.

    2. No thanks. Gun porn does nothing for me.

      1. She might.

    3. She can put a smile on *my* face without even using a gun!

  17. That’s the compromise: Republicans in Congress get more defense spending; Democrats, led by the White House, get more spending on domestic policy.


    And hidden in the Democrat’s side is largess for their big business cronies, and hidden in the Republican side is red state “welfare” transfer in the form of defense spending.

    The Republicans and Democrats are mirror images of each all the way up and down. Slight variances in the raison d’etre, but not much.

    1. The Republicans and Democrats are mirror images of each all the way up and down. Slight variances in the raison d’etre, but not much.

      A number of posters here assure me that Team Red is right on the brink of libertarianism.

      1. Only the posters in your head, retard.

  18. It is what DC does.

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