MSM hysteria against GOP growing as debt deadline nears

Some headlines this morning:

GOP turns hard right on debt

Budget experts raise concerns over McConnell debt limit fallback plan

71% shun GOP handling of debt crisis

In case you haven't noticed, the drumbeat has begun in earnest to blame Republicans for the failure of talks on the debt limit and any bad reaction to it from the markets.

Today's hysteria is being generated because the GOP wants to include the unreasonable, the radical, the extreme notion that the government - eventually - should have to live within its means.

The balanced budget amendment doesn't mandate cuts in the budget. It will force a cut in the rate of growth in government spending, gradually bringing to down to 18% of GDP - with increased GDP growth accounting for most of the difference. And the amendment says, that if you want to fund a study to find out whether the penis size of a gay man is connected to his sexual health, you have to get 2/3 of the House and Senate to agree that this is something on which the government should be spending tax dollars, if the cost of that study would cause a deficit to accrue.

Who is being unreasonable? Politico:

Final revisions made Friday submerge conservative demands to reduce all federal spending to 18 percent of gross domestic product - a target that threatened to split the GOP by requiring far deeper cuts than even the party's April budget. But Republican congressional leaders still want a 10-year, $1.8 trillion cut from nondefense appropriations and have added a balanced-budget constitutional amendment that so restricts future tax legislation that even President Ronald Reagan might have opposed it in the 1980s.

Indeed, much of the deficit-reduction legislation signed by Reagan would not qualify under the new tea-party-driven standards. And even the famed Reagan-Tip O'Neill Social Security compromise - which raised payroll taxes - passed the House in 1983 well short of the 290 votes that would be required under the constitutional amendments being promoted by the GOP.

Would Reagan have objected to a 2/3 vote in congress to raise taxes? My guess would be that if The Gipper were swept into office with the national debt approaching $15 trillion, it is more likely that he would have supported such a plan than not. Worse, it is ridiculous to make the attempt to reach back in time and pull events forward, trying to make a lame point about how congress would have voted in any given circumstance. That's not even good alternative history. The debt situation is 7 times more dire than it was during the 1980's, while the deficit is 5 times larger today than it was during the Reagan administration. Only a rank partisan hack would even make the attempt to draw similarities between two extraordinarily dissimilar situations.

Forget Reagan, what about Obama?

"Leadership requires a partner," Lew said on NBC's "Meet the Press." And he returned to the same theme on ABC's "This Week," putting the focus on Boehner.

"I think the speaker knows quite well how far the president is willing to go," said Lew. "And I think the president has shown that he's willing to move into space that is a very hard place for Democrats to go. ... We need a partner to work with."

Oh, nonsense. Obama has failed to show he is serious about anything except trying to manuever the GOP into getting the blame when his "reasonable" proposals are not accepted. Why should the Republicans commit political suicide by pulling Obama's chestnuts out of the fire? He is not entirely responsible for the mess we are in, but any rational person would have to agree that his policies haven't helped, and have hurt the economy in many respects.

And repeating something that I have stated before, the idea that anyone on the Hill doesn't think that out of the more than $40 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years we can't find $4 trillion to cut without raising taxes a cent is balmy. They just don't want to take the political hit of cutting the rate of spending growth from favored constituencies that vote in elections.

The vote tomorrow on "Cut, Cap, and Balance" will probably pass the House but be a non-starter in the senate. But the hysteria being generated in the press about Republican extremism and instransigence is setting the stage for the rash of condemnation that will flow to the GOP if the debt ceiling isn't raised by August 2.

It will be a hard narrative to buck once it gets going. And the MSM appears to be getting an early start.

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