Politics and Policy. If the Tea Party has done nothing else they have at least changed the tone of what our elected officials are talking about. For example, they have effectively eliminated the tried and true American Political tradition of adding earmarks to budgets to garner those straggling votes. I haven't seen the final version of the debt-ceiling deal, but my guess is that Cowboy Poetry didn't make the list. Bummer, huh? It seems to me that the Republicans got what they wanted out of the deal and the Democrats got nothing but a guarantee that the debt ceiling debate won't come up again until after the 2012 election. That, in and of itself, should tell us something. The Republicans wanted to use the debt ceiling as leverage to make sizable changes to the way government garners and spends the taxpayer's money. The Democrats, and in particular the President, simply wanted to make sure this pesky issue didn't come up again until after his re-election. How do I know this? I have special a contact close to the discussion (Agent 86) who was able to tape a discussion between the President and The Speaker. Transcript follows:
JB: Mr. President, we have a golden opportunity here to put the government back to work for the people.
BO: Not following you there John, isn't it supposed to be the other way around? I mean it's our money right?
JB: (Audible sigh)
BO: John you still there?
JB: Um, yes sir.
BO: Good, 'cuz we got a real problem here. This whole debt thingy is really harshing my mellow. Do you know how many fundraisers I've missed since this thing started?
JB: Fundraisers sir?
BO: Yes fundraisers, you know the things I have to go to and belly-ach about all you gun-toting bible-clingers and then corporate jet owners give me a load of cash? Although in truth I've not seen many of the jet owners as I did in 2007 for some reason.
JB: Um, yes sir I know what a fundraiser is, I'm just not sure what it has to do with reducing the size of government.
BO: Reducing the size of… now wait just a minute who said anything about that. I thought we were talking about raising taxes, oops, I mean "adding revenues". You know, a balanced approach. By the way that tested really well in the focus groups.
JB: I'm sure it did sir, but we are talking about raising the debt ceiling two and a half trillion dollars. We just don't have it.
BO: No problem, I'll just get my boy Bernacke to print some more. He owes me a favor anywho.
JB: Sir, it's not as simple as that. If we print more money it will simply devalue it.
BO: Devalue? Money is money right?
JB: Sir, if you print more money then there is more of it but it's chasing the same number of goods, and that causes..
BO: Dang it John, you know you guys give me a headache when you start talking all economicy on me.
JB: Sorry sir, I forgot.
BO: Okay, mister smarty pants, what's you solution?
JB: Sir, we have to start being responsible by living within our means.
OB: Not following there.
JB: We need to cut our spending.
OB: Easy for you to say, you don't have an election next year.
JB: Actually, sir, I do. Members of the house are elected every 2 years.
OB: No kidding, you learn something new every day. Well if you have an election how are you going to get elected is we cut spending? I mean Duh!
JB: Sir, I'm not thinking re-election right now, I'm more concerned with getting the country's fiscal house in order.
OB: Not following again.
JB: (Audible sigh). Sir, we have to do this for our future generations. We can't stick them with all this debt.
OB: Still don't see how this helps me get elected. (muffled sound then OB speaking to someone else) Hey, Carney, put that picture of Karl Marx down and get my magic 8 ball, looks like I got a decision to make here.