Democrats Not at Fault for Debt Impasse

President Barack Obama (Getty Images)
President Barack Obama (Getty Images)

The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson is taking politicians and commentators to task for perpetuating the "patently false" idea that the GOP and Democrats are equally at fault for the impasse on the debt-ceiling debate. Robinson says that the truth is that Democrats have made clear they are open to a compromise deal on budget cuts and revenue increases. Republicans have made clear that they are not. The fact that Democrats want to debate the issue should not be read as a rejection but merely as a response to a GOP proposal that is not sustainable.


Robinson does not want readers to get it twisted — the debt -eiling crisis is looming because of the GOP, not Democrats. Check out what he has to say about the matter in an excerpt from his op-ed in the Washington Post. What are your thoughts?

Washington has many lazy habits, and one of the worst is a reflexive tendency to see equivalence where none exists. Hence the nonsense, being peddled by politicians and commentators who should know better, that "both sides" are equally at fault in the deadlocked talks over the debt ceiling.

This is patently false. The truth is that Democrats have made clear they are open to a compromise deal on budget cuts and revenue increases. Republicans have made clear they are not.

Put another way, Democrats reacted to the "grand bargain" proposed by President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner by squawking, complaining and highlighting elements they didn't like. This is known throughout the world as the way to begin a process of negotiation.

Republicans, by contrast, answered with a definitive "no" and then covered their ears. Given the looming Aug. 2 deadline for default if the debt ceiling is not raised, the proper term for this approach is blackmail.

Yet the "both sides are to blame" narrative somehow gained currency after Boehner announced Saturday that House Republicans would not support any increase in revenue, period. A false equivalence was drawn between the absolute Republican rejection of "revenue-positive" tax reform and the less-than-absolute Democratic opposition to "benefit cuts" in Medicare and Social Security.


The bogus story line is that the radical right-wing base of the GOP and the radical left-wing base of the Democratic Party are equally to blame for sinking the deal.

Leave aside, for the moment, the fact that in the Obama-Boehner proposal, there would be roughly three dollars' worth of budget cuts for every dollar of new revenue. Don't pause to ask whether it makes sense to slash government spending when the economy is still sputtering out of the worst recession in decades. Instead, focus narrowly on the politics of the deal.


Source: the Washington Post.

In other news: Michelle Obama and Former First Ladies Gather for Betty Ford Funeral.


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