The budget deal

The federal government won’t shut down, which is a good thing. But no one should mistake the deal that kept the lights on as a good thing.

As Steve Benen pointed out this morning, the final deal is actually considerably worse than the Republican’s initial offer. It would be like going to a used car dealer who was asking $5,000 for a beater. You haggle for months, and end up paying the guy $6,000. Sure, you’ve got a ride, but you got taken for a ride first. America was taken for a ride last night.

Let’s not forget that everything Democrats said about that original deal is true: These cuts will cost jobs and they will slow an already faltering recovery. There’s a genuine possibility the cuts, combined with rising gas prices and even more drastic cuts at the state and federal level, could tip us back into recession.

This “deal” is nothing to celebrate. Oh, and the fun isn’t over yet. The United States will soon reach its debt ceiling. Congress will need to raise it, and Tea Party Republicans will undoubtedly demand further cuts before agreeing to that – even though they know the alternative would be global financial disaster.

The House is in the sway of the most radical and uninformed bloc of representatives the nation has ever seen. The next 21 months will be neither pretty nor fun.

Nor productive.

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