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Debt deal hangover: Was the debacle worth it?

August 5, 2011 |  3:21 pm


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.” 

-- National Review Online: “Better Than Nothing” by Michael Tanner

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.”

-- Politico: “After debt deal mess, Americans lose” by L. Douglas Wilder

“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.”

-- The New York Times: "Washington Chain Saw Massacre" by Maureen Dowd

“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.”

-- Los Angeles Times: “A squandered deal” by the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board

“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.”  

-- The New Republic: “Why the Global Economy Is Tanking” By Simon Johnson and Peter Boone

“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 Cato Institute: “The Debt Deal: Failures of Leadership and Resolve” by Jagadeesh Gokhale

“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.”

-- The Boston Globe: “Now, the next battle” by Joshua Green

“It’s not too late for Obama to play hardball, but I fear that it is just not in his nature.”

-- The Fiscal Times: “Debt Crisis was fueled by Obama’s weak negotiations” by Bruce Bartlett

“But, like most one-eyed-jack politicians, Obama has rarely embraced the admirable qualities he advocates -- a fact increasingly evident to a skeptical public.”  

-- RealClear Politics: “Spare Us the Sermons, Mr. President” By Victor Davis Hanson

“Maybe he hasn't noticed or doesn't care, but the country is giving up on him.”

-- New York Post: “Scapegoater-in-chief” by Michael Goodwin

“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.”

-- The Weekly Standard: “Pin The Tail On The Economy” by Mark Hemingway

 “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?’”

-- Washington Post: “The debt deal and Obama’s 2012 problem” by George F. Will


Disgusted by Washington

What the debt-ceiling deal didn't do

Decoding the debt deal: What it means for you

Deficit reduction: Who matters now in Washington?

Debt ceiling deal: A win for the 'tea party'? A loss for the American people?

-- 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

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