Big budget blow back: Where do we go from here?

Travis Quezon

In what’s been described as a dubious debt deal, this week’s big budget compromise left Tea Party supporters reveling in victory, and Jon Stewart on the brink of insanity.

And as President Barack Obama celebrates his 50th birthday, White House officials are trying to control the blow back caused by the budget compromise in the form of a nifty infographic titled “The Bipartisan Compromise.”

Jon Carson, the Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, blogs on the White House website about why he thinks the compromise is “a win for our shared agenda” and goes into a myth vs. fact comparison:

Myth: President Obama caved.

Fact: President Obama laid out key priorities that had to be part of any deal. Those priorities are reflected in this compromise. First, we avoided default which would have plunged the economy into a deep recession, imperiling the well-being of millions of Americans. Second, the initial down payment on deficit reductions does not cut low-income and safety-net programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Third, we set up a path forward that will put pressure on Congress to adopt a balanced approach. And finally, we raised the debt ceiling until 2013, ensuring that House Republicans could not use the threat of default in just a few months to force severe cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Myth: Republicans got everything they wanted

Fact: They won’t admit it publicly, but when push came to shove, Republicans backed down on their key demands. For months, Republicans called for a budget that would have ended Medicare as we know it, made catastrophic cuts to Medicaid, or cut investments in education by 25 percent, clean energy by 70 percent and infrastructure spending by 30 percent. As if that wasn’t enough, they also demanded that we repeat this debt-ceiling crisis, just a few months from now. None of these of these demands made it into a final deal.

Myth: This deal cuts Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Fact:  There are no changes to these programs included in the initial phase of this agreement. In the second phase of the agreement, everything will be on the table – and the President has made clear that the committee must pursue a balanced approach where reforms to programs like Medicaid, Social Security or Medicare would only be acceptable if coupled with higher revenues from the most fortunate.”

The 2012 Obama campaign machine is also looking to take an aggressive stance.

Ben LaBolt, an Obama campaign spokesman, told the L.A. times: “A president that prevented another depression, stood up to special interests to pass Wall Street reform, and is fighting to create the jobs of the future,” versus a Republican nominee who supports policies that “would eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs and erode critical programs like Social Security.”

The tough attitude comes at a time when disapproval of Congress has reached historic proportions, the New York Times reported. A recent poll, however, suggests that Republicans in Congress shoulder more of the blame for the difficulties in reaching a debt ceiling agreement.

The big hurdle, some might argue, is whether the President can get the progressive movers and shakers back on his side.

The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto blogs: “The Obama presidency has reduced the liberal left to an apoplectic rage. His Ivy League credentials, superior attitude, pseudointellectual mien and facile adherence to lefty ideology make him the perfect personification of the liberal elite. Thus far at least, he has been an utter failure both at winning public support and at managing the affairs of the nation.

Obama’s failure is the failure of the liberal elite, and that is why their ressentiment has reached such intensity.”

What do you think about the big budget compromise? What needs to happen in order to return confidence in our administration and our Congress—and, more importantly, our economy? Please let us know in the comments below, or by emailing [email protected]