Negotiating Towards Different Goals

The discussions in Washington DC have been reported on ad nauseam.  There are more reports on the politics than the actual issues, which is typical.  Another popular storyline is the concern over the fiscal cliff.  The idea being that any deal must get done in order to avert automatic tax increases and budget cuts set to occur at the end of the year.  One interesting aspect that has not been discussed very much is the goals of the participants.  The republicans and democrats seem to be trying to solve two completely different problems, and the President has the upper hand.

The republicans think they are trying to solve the problem of our huge federal debt, and how we can set ourselves up to not add a trillion dollars to it each year.  The concern is that it is only a matter of time before this will lead to a debt crisis.  Devalue of the dollar, hyperinflation, economic turmoil, and a much worse standard of living would be the ultimate result of their worst fears.  A real possibility in the eyes of republicans is the crisis going on in Europe, and that if we do not curb our spending we will end up like Greece.

The democrats think that the debt has always been there, and the real problem we face is that the United States is not a fair place.  These negotiations are a way to implement policies to fix the disparate results of our system.  One can simply look at the president’s proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff.  This included double the tax increase than just letting the Bush tax cuts expire on the top 2% of earners would garner, and no further cuts in entitlement programs.  There is also an additional stimulus of $50 billion and elimination of the debt ceiling, which limits the government’s ability to borrow.

This is just the latest example that the debt is of no consequence to Mr. Obama and democrats.  He has been in office for 4 years, and has never suggested any changes to entitlements, which all agree are unsustainable, and the main drivers of our long term debt.  Perhaps they believe that all of this excess borrowing hasn’t hurt us yet, so let republicans worry about it.  They have much more pressing problems to deal with like income inequality.

Until the republicans realize that they are not negotiating toward the same goal, they are not really in the game.  The high debt can be used as an excuse to raise taxes now and in the future.  These types of negotiations have been in the past compared to Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown.  Republicans, of course, are always represented by Charlie Brown.  That comparison seems too mild.  Maybe if Lucy hit Charlie over the head with a baseball bat it might be more appropriate.  These negotiations may determine how often the President will be able to play whack-a-republican in the future.

Author Bio:

Michael has been an editor and contributor at the website for over 2 years. He has over 20+ years of diverse business experience, from running complex operations where he managed hundreds of people, to starting and running small businesses such as He is blessed, or perhaps cursed, with a logical mind which he uses to analyze government, media, politics, and culture. He believes that his life experiences help him bring a unique perspective to the issues of the day.
  • Bob Cordon

    The republicans’ vision is to shrink government and people’s dependence on it. The democrats, on the other hand, feel their job is to “level the field” and redistribute incomes so that everybody is equal. Obama’s vision is to see income redistribution and as close as possible to complete dependence on governement, so as to grow government control over the individual. Large government v smaller government.
    Redistributionist/socialist economics v capitalism and free markets.

  • Shane

    I’m afraid that you are correct, but you left out one other motivation of Obama and some Democrats. They want to totally destroy the Republican party, by going over the fiscal cliff and putting all the blame for it on the Republicans. Of course, the liberal MSM will go along with this narritive and the GOP will get the blame for the crashed economy and the rise in taxes. Because of this strategy, it makes sense for the GOP to just go along with the tax increases in exchange for some spending cuts.

  • Anna S.

    Or More appropriate would be if the Republicans WERE the football! Grat analysis Michael!