Five Things for Liberals to Like in the Debt Ceiling Deal

As the broad strokes of the debt ceiling deal began to leak out over the weekend, progressive groups filled reporters’ inboxes with outraged e-mails. “Seeing a Democratic President take taxing the rich off the table and instead push a deal that will lead to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefit cuts is like entering a bizarre parallel universe — one with horrific consequences for middle-class families,” Progressive Change Campaign Committee Co-Founder Stephanie Taylor wrote. “This deal is the exact opposite of what the majority of Americans support, and all Democrats in Congress should oppose it.” “MoveOn’s 5 million members, along with the vast majority of Americans, will not stand for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefit cuts–not now, and not six months from now,” wrote Justin Ruben, Executive Director of, “Congress should reject both ‘triggers’, and a ‘Super Congress’, and pass a clean debt ceiling bill that doesn’t force the middle class and the poor to bear the brunt of this crisis.” But as the details of the compromise emerged, it seemed there was actually a lot for liberals to like about this bill. If and when the House passes the bill on Monday, it will likely be with the help of a lot of Democrats. Here’s why some liberals are actually happy with this deal: The 2012 budget: At one point in the negotiations, the 2012 budget was to be slashed by $36 billion. The final number of cuts: just $7 billion. And just to ensure we don’t have another bruising government shutdown fight over cuts in September, the deal deems and passes the 2012 budget. Yes, that’s right, the old Gephardt Rule or Slaughter Solution, is back. What’s deem and pass? It’s a legislative trick that essentially means that Congress will consider the budget passed without ever actually having to vote on it. The trigger: This is counterintuitive, but the trigger is actually pretty good for Democrats. For all that MoveOn thinks that it would force benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, it actually wouldn’t … Continue reading Five Things for Liberals to Like in the Debt Ceiling Deal