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Debate: US debt ceiling deal

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Was it an acceptable deal? What are the pros and cons?

Background and context



  • US debt deal reaffirms core social institutions. Daniel Markovitz. "How the GOP lost on the debt deal." Los Angeles Times. August 2nd, 2011: "Progressives have reason to lament the incremental cuts in the deal. But that which does not kill a social contract may make it stronger. And neither progressives nor the country should lose sight of the fact that the core institutions of ours — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — have all been reaffirmed."


  • The debt deal does not cut spending enough. Jerry Moran, Sen R-KS. "Debt deal not good for America." August 2nd, 2011: "This plan may be considered a good deal in Washington, D.C., but it is not a good deal for the future of America. There are virtually no spending cuts in this bill – in fact, it only slows slightly the growth of spending. The amount of spending that is reduced is about $21 billion next year. Given the fact that we borrow $4 billion more each day than what we take in – those savings will disappear in less than a week. It’s unfortunate the country has been through this long drama about raising the debt ceiling and it’s even sadder that the accomplishments are so few.”
  • Debt deal cuts spending too early for recovery. Michael Hitzik. "Debt ceiling deal ignores real driver of deficits: healthcare costs." Los Angeles Times. August 2nd, 2011: "The debt ceiling fight evaded the point that now is not the time to become preoccupied with limiting government spending, which is close to the only spending propping up a stagnant economy. It should not have escaped anyone's notice that the slowdown in the recovery reported last week, just as congressional pontificating kicked into high gear, coincided with the tailing off of government stimulus. Government layoffs are mounting, while private hiring hasn't materialized; the result is a sapping of consumer demand that will brake recovery even more."




  • The debt deal ignores/distracts-from unemployment Rick Newman. "3 Ways the Debt Deal Fails America." News and World Report. August 2nd, 2011: "It shows total disregard for the jobs problem. Surveys repeatedly show that Americans' No. 1 concern isn't the national debt. It's unemployment. And they're right about that. The lack of hiring is the biggest single problem in the economy right now. There are still 14 million Americans out of work, and perhaps an equal number who have stopped looking for work. The unemployment rate is stuck more than four percentage points higher than it was before the recession. The weak job market is the biggest reason the housing bust persists, spending is weak and the whole economy has been going sideways this year. Washington has now spent the entire summer obsessed with a deal that does absolutely nothing to address the jobs problem. Politicians will return from the traditional August recess with no jobs agenda."

Pro/con sources


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