Democrats think they’re winning this one (and they might be right)


The congressional super-committee is supposed to come up with ways to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion – either spending cuts or revenue increases. They have to do that, or else a series of automatic cuts kick in.

From the New York Times:

For the first time since Republicans won control of the House nearly a year ago, Democrats believe that they have the advantage — a result, administration officials say, of terms they negotiated in the August compromise that many liberals denounced as a sell-out.

Under those terms, Republicans cannot threaten a default again to get their way, because the deal increased the debt limit enough to cover borrowing through 2012. Also, the automatic cuts in 2013 would hit military programs hard — an outcome Republicans are more eager than Democrats to avoid — while Medicaid and Medicare benefits are exempt.

Another factor increasing Democrats’ leverage: the Bush-era tax cuts expire after 2012. Mr. Obama vows to sign an extension only for households with taxable income under $250,000; not extending the Bush rates for higher incomes would raise about $1 trillion over a decade — though, of course, if Republicans control the White House and Congress in 2013, they could try to renew the cuts for the wealthy.

Really, seriously, the deficit comes from the Bush tax cuts. Also, Americans like the idea of raising taxes on the rich, so Democrats stand to gain by letting that happen.

Democrats think they're winning this one (and they might be right)