Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I don't know how anyone can proclaim the debt limit agreement as evidence of the "death of the Socialist left".

The agreement takes but a tiny bite out of government spending. It reduces by a sliver the percentage of GDP consumed by the government.

And this happens only if the terms of the deal are not scuttled by future Congresses and Presidents. Given that there's no guarantee that the Socialist left will lose control of the Presidency and the half of Congress they now control, I wouldn't bet against their doing just that.

In addition, the deal exposes defense spending to the risk of bearing a huge part of the cuts, and so much so that pro-defense conservatives have taken to criticize the deal for doing that. What wouldn't the Socialist left love that?

Nor does the deal reduce the scope of government power. The deal dismantles not a single social program. It eliminates not a single government bureaucracy. It repeals not a single restriction on business. It doesn't reduce crony capitalism. It doesn't improve the climate for entrepreneurship and business development.

And finally, the deal doesn't preclude higher tax rates and reduced or eliminated deductions and credits. As best as I can tell, not a single taxpayer (and especially not the taxpayers who create most of the job growth) will see their tax bill go down.

So tell me, how is this deal so bad for the Socialist left? Only in a world where they expect to get and keep everything they want could this be construed as even a small setback. This is no death. At worst, it is but a mere flesh wound.