Today the Senate will pass the debt-ceiling bill and later President Obama will sign it.  That is appropriate because (despite what you may read in the New York Times), Obama is the hands-down winner in this epic.

The fact is this whole debacle, in the popular mind, has turned Obama from a liberal into a moderate, and the Republicans from free-market rationalists into economic vandals.

The fact is Obama has emerged from this crisis as a reborn centrist.  He sat back and played the defender of the federal government’s popular entitlement programs. The success of his approach reflected the paradoxical mood of a public that wants to reduce the deficit but not cut welfare.

This crisis gives us an idea of what the 2012 election will look like:  Obama the centrist vs. a Republican candidate in hock to a Tea Party that forced the nation to the economic brink.

And by the way just think of what Obama will be up against in 2012.  Romney is an opportunist and Palin is irrelevant.

Is Obama the big winner in the debt crisis debate?

What do you think?


  1. 1
    Barbara Says:

    I’d like to think you are right, Neil. As I so often tell you, it is too soon to tell. All depends on whether there is an improvement in the economy between now and November 2012. I doubt if this compromise will have a salubrious effect on the economy (although no compromise would have tanked it!).

  2. 2
    Neil McKenty Says:


    In my view this deal will have a negative effect on the economy. It provides for government spending cuts later this year. What the economy needs now is not cuts but stimulus. Then it all depends who gets blamed for this stupid policy.

  3. 3
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Yes, Obama is the big winner.

    $2.5 trillion reduction n spending over 10 years is nothing.

    A huge victory for big government.

  4. 4
    Neil McKenty Says:

    A huge victory, Tony, for the middle class and the poor (no immediate cuts) which will be even bigger when Obama lets the Bush tax cuts expire on the very rich.

    Happy birthday, Mrl. President.

  5. 5

    Neil, do you ever give consideration to what will happen if interest rates go up? Please do the math: in 4 short years, the national debt will be at least $20 trillion. What happens if interest rates go up to 10%? Neil, do you think that’s possible? Do you think it’s possible for rates to go up to, say, 10% (we’ve seen 20% in our lifetime)? What is 10% of $20 trillion? And what will this interest expense be as a percentage of the entire U.S. budget (which is currently about $3.8 trillion)?

    Where will the U.S. get funds to pay for all those programs for the poor that you allegedly care about?

    When you have the answer to these questions (and please do the math and report back to us what your answer is) then tell us, Neil, how the funds will be obtained to pay for much of anything…

    You just may conclude that the only entity that actually cares about the poor is the one most strongly advocating for a balanced budget (hint: it starts with a “t” and ends with a “y”).

  6. 6
    Neil McKenty Says:


    I have no quarrel with your figures. However, a country that cannot arrange its monetary affairs so that the most vulnerable are protected. is not a great country.

    Let me add that the U.S. now spends almost $two billion dollars a day on military defense. Isn’t that ridiculous>

  7. 7
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Neil: if you have no quarrel with my figures then you are on the side of the Tea Party and opposed to Obama.

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