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Obama’s future, post-debt deal


Obama’s future, post-debt deal

Adam Russett August 2, 2011

A lot of commentators have been looking past the almost-minted debt deal and into the future, as they try to decide whether the agreement has helped or hurt Obama's cause. There seems to be a lot of argument on the subject, as some praise the President for becoming a chief negotiator, while others argue that he betrayed the liberals and far-left constituents of his party. 

When it comes down to it, it's easy to see the bill as a defeat for Obama, who just last month was emphasizing the importance of balancing deep spending cuts with revenue increases through taxes on the wealthiest Americans. While there was some significant spending cuts, there were absolutely no new taxes. That means that social services will take a hit, but there will be no boost to the economy to compensate for the impact.

This may be all a matter of political tactics and posturing for Obama, who must have 2012 on his mind. The problem is that moving to the center in order to attract more moderate voters is now equivalent to moving to the right. Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) went so far as to call the deal a "sugar-coated Satan sandwich," according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

William Greider writes for CBS News that the agreement is proof that Obama has shifted to the right and essentially abandoned the Democrats.

"Obama’s facile arithmetic essentially scrapped the Democratic Party’s longstanding commitment to progressive taxation and universal social protections. The claim that cutting Social Security benefits will strengthen” the system is erroneous," Greider explains.

Democratic groups were still steadily funding Obama before the debt deal. The President raised $3.2 million in May and June, according to Yahoo.com. One has to wonder now whether this agreement will slow down the cash flow or donors will keep on giving on principle.