Before we even get into the proverbial “meat and potatoes” of the debt deal, we can acknowledge one thing: neither progressives nor the Republican crazies are happy about it, which probably means it’s a good deal. That’s what negotiation is about; each side must give to meet in the middle. The good news is that the ceiling will be extended through January 2025. The deal will also limit spending through the same period and will make changes to social welfare programs. Of course, we must keep in mind that this is merely a “deal in principle” and that neither the House nor the Senate have signed off. According to Politico, the Senate is “cautiously optimistic.”
Instead of looking at what isn’t in the deal, let’s look at what it does accomplish. Remember, it’s always best to be a “glass half full” viewer of virtually every situation. Work requirements under TANF and SNAP aren’t as bad as they seem on the surface. If people on those programs are already working, this has no impact on them, and the homeless, veterans, and former foster children (up to age 24) are exempt. Many do already work but cannot make ends meet, and those who aren’t working and can, should.
As White House aides shared, things could be much worse. One official told reporters during a briefing: “It protects the historic economic gains we’ve made, really allowing one of the strongest recoveries on record to continue by taking the threat of default off the table into 2025.” Most importantly: “It beats back a set of extreme demands in the House GOP debt limit bill.” Indeed, Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes new funding to the IRS to combat wealthy and corporate tax cheats, remain intact. While the IRS amount is reduced, it remains in play. The Democratic climate agenda remains untouched. That is all very good news. Besides, even as Politico reported that Kevin McCarthy is “taking a victory lap,” his lap may be cut short by the more extreme members of his party, who are not happy merely because there is a deal.
Rick Wilson, a former GOP strategist, commented during an appearance on MSNBC that part of McCarthy’s caucus is “very angry,” and he went on to tell a truth that is shameful: “No matter how good it is for the country not to default, it’s not going to please the chaos caucus of the GOP.” Lauren Boebert is a prime example, taking to Twitter to voice her disdain, though her tweet makes no sense. While she said that they didn’t “fight so hard” to get the majority only to compromise with President Biden, she then said: “Our voters deserve better than this. We work for them,” but she would have been okay with a default. This is merely an example of how twisted the far right is, and it’s good to know sane Republicans still exist in Congress to help get something passed that will overall be good for the American people-raising the debt ceiling. A default would have created worldwide chaos, not that the far-right cares.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years