StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between

The 5 Big Budget Deal Losers

12 Dec 2013
Posted by Stan Collender

Regardless of whether it's actually adopted, five individuals, groups and organizations stand out as being the biggest losers from the budget deal announced Tuesday evening. They are:

1. Fix The Debt. FTD is the high-profile corporate-funded organization that has been pushing hard for a grand bargain dealing with the long-term budget issues. In spite of the statement FTD issued, this deal was a total rejection of what FTD has raised and spent so much money trying to get Congress to do. You might even call it a smackdown. Not only will there be no Fix the Debt-preferred agreement in 2014, the deal closes the door on that type of agreement in 2015 as well. And does anyone really think Congress is going to take on Social Security and Medicare just before the 2016 presidential election?

2. Paul Ryan. Yes, I know that many are giving House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) high fives for putting the deal together. But there's little doubt that he has hurt his credentials with the tea party wing of the GOP and it is critical to anyone who wants to run for president some day as Ryan supposedly wants to do. Ryan committed at least three sins in the eyes of the tea partiers: He collaborated with the enemy when he compromised with Patty Murray, he agreed to things that some tea parties are calling tax increases and he agreed to higher spending than would occur have occurred without the deal. Still don't agree? Watch how many tea partiers, or representatives and senators with tea party primary challengers, vote against the deal.

3. Health Care Providers. The the threat of mandatory program spending cuts from a sequester, which primarily affect health care providers under Medicare, ended ended in 2021 before the deal but were extended to 2023 in the deal.

4. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI). With the prospects of another deal on the budget now gone through the 2016 presidential election, the chairs of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees are now going to find it even more difficult to push their colleagues to consider comprehensive tax reform any time soon. There might not have been much of a chance to begin with (I've been saying 2019 for a while), but this agreement pretty much seals the deal.

5. Deficit Hawks. In spite of how House Republicans leaders are trying to sell it, this deal does virtually nothing to reduce the deficit and it puts further deficit reduction on hold through the end of 2015. That may well be the correct fiscal policy given the fact that the other contributors to GDP aren't currently contributing that much, but the deficit hawks ought to be feeling seriously deflated. Not only was their position almost completely rejected, after years of being seen as the voice of angels, the deal makes them voices in the wilderness for some time to come.

Paul Ryan

I am no fan of Paul Ryan and his Randian budget fantasies - but perhaps the 2012 election was his maturing moment as a politician. Regardless, I think your assumptions that the Tea Party has to be catered to in order to become President from the GOP side is based on the climate this moment. Remember the Tea Party didn't exist five years ago and since their peak in the 2010 Congressional Elections they've lost wide spread appeal at ever turn. They certainly control the primary process in some very conservative states - but let's see what happens if a few typically solid Republican seats turn blue as the nominees are just too conservative for the general population. If we assume Ryan won't be running for President until at least 2020 - the Tea Party will likely be irrelevent by then.

Good analysis

Good analysis, I would only add the 99-ers (or 79-ers, depending on what state they live in) were also big losers (those relying on long term unemployment benefits.)

On Ryan - It's interesting how we seem to get these last minute "sellout the base" deals around Christmas. Perhaps it is a deliberate ploy to take advantage of the fact that many are too busy to pay attention.

In 2010 it was Pelosi and Obama who threw their liberal base under the bus as they agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts which almost all became permanent last year.

Think about how much better the deficit picture would be now if they hadn't shamelessly pandered to the establishment. And the whole sequester probably wouldn't even have been necessary.

Now it is Ryan's turn to play Judas. He's finished as a national figure, fawning DC elites notwithstanding. I am personally going to be donating money to his Democratic opponent in Wisconsin, and I generally vote for conservatives.

Too bad we don't have a two party system anymore.

Confused on process?

Not sure I understand the process here. Is this a budget resolution/budget deal. Or is it an approps/revenue bill. Can't Murry and Ryan only do budget resolutions?

6. The unemployed

No extension of unemployment benefits. This means that more people will not be able to pay their bills. A lot of the unemployed have debt and small business that extends credit is going to take a hit.

We have an unemployment crisis and the government is ignoring it.

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