Free Exchange looks at the federal budget compromise and is not impressed.
Everyone involved should be embarrassed. But few journalists seem to think that this absurd sequence of events will in anyway reduce the likelihood of an even greater mess down the road when it comes time to raise the federal debt ceiling. The case for raising the debt ceiling is incredibly strong. For one thing, not raising the debt ceiling could be end up being really bad; the government would have to engage in major gymnastics to avoid a default. For another, not raising the debt ceiling would not address the government’s deficits; deficits and debts are residuals. If you want to actually limit them you have to identify spending that should be cut and taxes that should be raised. What’s more, the leaders of both parties say that the debt ceiling should be raised. Most everyone wants to do something which most everyone agrees should be done.
And yet, the government will likely be pushed to the edge of crisis. These fights are risky and counterproductive. Sadly, I suspect that the reaction of most of the Washington press corps will be to—once again—get so caught up in the tick-tock of the dramatic showdown that they’ll neglect to point out just how magnificently the elected leadership in Washington is failing its citizenry.