Following the recent S&P downgrade, Republican budget-hawk Paul Ryan has indicated on Fox News that he would consider raising revenues as part of a deficit reduction plan. The deal he said he could support is eerily similar to the one that his party walked away from in the Boehner/Obama negotiations just weeks ago — which sparked the S&P downgrade in the first place!

Ryan said he would be open to a plan that had $3 – $4 in budget cuts for each $1 in revenue, and had a major tax code reform — which the Administration has indicated they are also open to. During the Obama/Boehner negotiations over raising the debt ceiling, the president proposed several comprehensive plans — referred to as a “Grand Bargain” — that would have reduced spending by $4 trillion for modest revenue increases. Republicans refused every one.

So, we’re kinda weirded out that now the GOP is open to the very same deal that just weeks ago they described as, “going to be nothing more than a tax hike on the American people.” So, if it was a bad deal then for the American people, what could be the explanation for the change of heart?

Well, the logical conclusions could lead us to believe: 1)The GOP knew that the president was offering a good deal for the American people, but walked away from it for political reasons that might include “not letting Obama have any kind of win”; or 2) The GOP was so naive they didn’t believe that the credit rating agencies, like S&P, would downgrade the country’s rating — and so they decided to gamble with the nation’s future in order to get their own way.

Ryan didn’t acknowledge that he’d shifted his position, but the new “openness to the deal” DID come right on the heels of the S&P downgrade — which placed much of the blame on the GOP’s refusal to raise revenues.

So, the good news is: Maybe the president will get his “Grand Bargain” after all; the bad news is the country had to take an embarrassing and potentially damaging hit in our credit rating in order to break through GOP intransigence.

Add a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment