So, a Budget Deal Has Been Struck

And this about sums it up: "House and Senate budget negotiators reached agreement Tuesday on a budget deal that would raise military and domestic spending over the next two years, shifting the pain of across-the-board cuts to other programs over the coming decade and raising fees on airline tickets to pay for airport security."

Ezra Klein details the specifics of the deal here, noting that Republicans compromised on raising spending "only because there are many Republicans who really hate the defense cuts." So they begrudgingly agreed to restoring some domestic spending just to restore defense spending. The result: "Democrats flatly got beat on sequestration. Republicans are keeping — and increasing — the deficit reduction without ever giving up a dime in taxes."

There was, as expected, no extension of unemployment insurance: "During the negotiations, Republicans proved hostile even to limited extensions in unemployment insurance. Right now, the House is expected to vote on Friday to pass the budget deal and delay the SGR's cuts to Medicare's doctor pay. They're expected to let unemployment benefits for 1.3 million long-term unemployed expire."

And yet, it's largely being regarded as a good deal, because the obstructionist Republicans have set the bar so getting anything done. Said President Obama: "This agreement doesn't include everything I'd like — and I know many Republicans feel the same way. That's the nature of compromise. But it's a good sign that Democrats and Republicans in Congress were able to come together and break the cycle of shortsighted, crisis-driven decision making to get this done."

So that's where we are. Bad deals for the country, to avoid catastrophe manufactured by indecent stewards.

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