Two months, that is basically how long until we see a re-run of this “we must stop this manufactured crisis moment so that means we must cut entitlements” game. This current tax deal delays the sequestration cuts for two months. In addition, the debt ceiling limit should also be reached in two months.
Whether these events will be treated as two separate “cliffs” or will be combined into a single manufactured crisis, there is little doubt in two months we will see a renewed push for austerity.
Many top Republicans see the debt ceiling fight as a way to force more spending cuts just like they did last time. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) is calling on his fellow Republicans to let the country default if necessary to force Obama to agree to cuts.
Obama continues to claim he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling again, but his credibility on the matter is not good. The sequestration delays also conveniently give Obama a fig leaf to save face.
President Obama has already said he plans to pursue more deficit reduction when the sequestration delays end, saying “and there will be more deficit reduction as Congress decides what to do about the automatic spending cuts that we have now delayed for two months.” Obama could claim to only be negotiating over the sequestration cuts when in reality he is primarily negotiating over the debt limit.
We don’t know exactly how it will happen, but we know the when. The next government by manufactured crisis is only two months away.
Photo by Gage Skidmore under Creative Commons license