Debt deal hangover: Was the debacle worth it?
Was the frenzy around raising the debt ceiling worth it? Did the world have to halt so that we could watch an elaborate production of what CNN’s Fareed Zakaria called, “a crisis that we have manufactured out of whole cloth”? Would it have been more prudent, perhaps, to focus on the unemployment crisis rather than spend the month of July seizing Americans with fear as the rest of the world watched on? Considering the outcome -- more debt, a global fallout and a “Satan sandwich” -- we’d say the answer is yes. And opinionators from across the political spectrum agree.
“To say that Congress labored mightily and brought forth a mouse is an insult to mice.”
Meanwhile, voters must now look in the mirror and realize we were deluded in believing that we have the nation’s biggest brains working on our national problems. It is obvious we don’t.”
“We continue to be paranoid, gripped by fear of the unknown, shocked by our own helplessness, stunned by how swiftly one world can turn into a darker one where everything can seem familiar yet foreign.”
“One of the most striking things about the proposed agreement, which the House approved Monday, is how little progress was made in the months of talks. It doesn't slow the growth in entitlement spending or curb the exemptions and deductions that have proliferated through the tax code.”
“The chaotic conclusion to the U.S. debt ceiling debate, meanwhile, only makes the future look bleaker, because it signals that U.S. politicians, like their European and Japanese counterparts, may be incapable of responding in a timely fashion to these momentous issues.”
“If a ratings downgrade actually occurs, the negative economic fallout will interrupt this deal's framework of achieving spending cuts -- by forcing future lawmakers to renege on the cuts. Today's failure to deliver deeper spending cuts will then be correctly viewed as the missed opportunity that it is.”
“The fact that military expenditures are being sacrificed to keep tax rates low reflects the new balance of power within the Republican Party, one partly brought about by the failures of Cheney and the defense crowd.”
“It’s not too late for Obama to play hardball, but I fear that it is just not in his nature.”
“But, like most one-eyed-jack politicians, Obama has rarely embraced the admirable qualities he advocates -- a fact increasingly evident to a skeptical public.”
“Maybe he hasn't noticed or doesn't care, but the country is giving up on him.”
“After enduring Obama's speech earlier Tuesday on the debt ceiling agreement, I have to say I liked it better when the president wasn't talking. At least then there were fewer opportunities for the president to haphazardly point fingers and duck blame.”
“America may be one-third of the way through a lost decade — or worse, toward a lost national identity. So, Republicans have their 2012 theme: ‘Is this the best we can do?’”
-- Quotes compiled by Alexandra Le Tellier, Julia Gabrick and Samantha Schaefer
Photo: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 60.93 points, or 0.54%, to close at 11,444.61, the blue-chip index's worst week since 2009. Credit: Andrew Gombert / EPA