Did Paul Ryan Provide A Debt Ceiling Compromise Fig Leaf?

Tyler Durden's picture

Late last night, Paul Ryan wrote a WSJ op-ed titled "Here's How We Can End This Stalemate" in which some suggest he gave the framework for what a possible fig leaf offering on the government shutdown and debt ceiling compromise could look like. While on the surface this may be grounds for optimism, the reality is that Ryan, whose entire proposal is based on the assumption that Obama is willing to negotiate which for now he has shown repeatedly he won't, merely fell back to his traditional "grand bargain" talking point made so clear during the Mitt Romney presidential campaign.

To wit: "If Mr. Obama decides to talk, he'll find that we actually agree on some things. For example, most of us agree that gradual, structural reforms are better than sudden, arbitrary cuts. For my Democratic colleagues, the discretionary spending levels in the Budget Control Act are a major concern. And the truth is, there's a better way to cut spending. We could provide relief from the discretionary spending levels in the Budget Control Act in exchange for structural reforms to entitlement programs."

Obviously, the issue that Ryan focuses on is not the short-term funding gap, but the longer term deficit, captured best by the CBO's most recent long-term forecast best captured by this image:

In light of his proposal, Ryan gave some suggestions on how to generate a more viable long-term budget for the US, including increasing revenue, reducing spending, changing Medicare premiums, reforming Medigap plans, asking Federal workers to contribute more to their own retirement, and all those other talking points which have been tried before. Unsuccessfully. Because why bother with long-term sustainability when the #1 enabler of an irresponsible government, Ben Bernanke, is about to be replaced with an even more dovish person?

Nonetheless, Ryan made it clear this was not another "Grand Bargain" proposal:

This isn't a grand bargain. For that, we need a complete rethinking of government's approach to helping the most vulnerable, and a complete rethinking of government's approach to health care. But right now, we need to find common ground. We need to open the federal government. We need to pay our bills today—and make sure we can pay our bills tomorrow. So let's negotiate an agreement to make modest reforms to entitlement programs and the tax code.

Nonetheless, what Ryan does suggest is yet another angle to a common bargaining position, one which would be certainly more palatable to Obama:

That's why I want a budget agreement—because if we don't make the tough decisions now, we'll face only tougher decisions later. We can work together. We can do some good. All it takes is leadership—and for the president to come to the table.

The reason it would be "palatable" is that in order to get both parties happy and reach a compromise, all that would happen is for various long-term assumptions would be changed, with zero actual, real current impact - something politicians are good at, because it does not generate an adverse impact during their tenure (afterwards, it becomes someone else's problem).

In other words, yet another episode of can kicking, one which resolves the near-term stress points and pushes all the hard decisions to the future. As for the key issue on the table, Obamacare, it will be quietly, pardon the pun, tabled. Which, just as Bank of America said, is the compromise option. As long as the ACA is a topic of discussion no agreement can be achieved.

Which is why we tend to agree: ultimately this will probably be the loophole used by Boehner and the republicans to fold once more. The only question is when, and how big of a catalyst will we need for everyone to get into a room and lock themselves until an agreement is reached. In this regard, we agree with Deutsche Bank that only a big enough market drop will force things to where both sides have no choice but to sit down. And as explained, the outcome of such a "sitdown" would be trumpeted as yet another semi-grand bargain, which however would achieve absolutely nothing.

Finally, another take on the Ryan overture is from New Hampshire senator John Sununu who largely covered all these points in a Bloomberg TV interview earlier.

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williambanzai7's picture

Starting with the Millenials...

Cult_of_Reason's picture

Who was the first liberal Democrat?

Answer - Christopher Columbus.

He left not knowing where he was going, got there not knowing where he was, left not knowing where he'd been and did it all on borrowed money.

Liberals are like seagulls: all they do is squawk, eat crap, and they are protected by the government.

Freddie's picture

Paul Ryan is a pro-amnesty RINO douchebag like John Sununu. 

Cult_of_Reason's picture

What do you call someone in US Congress who is honest, ethical, intellectual, law abiding, and truthful?

A tourist.

XenoFrog's picture

And much like Democrats, Columbus ended up killing a shitload of indians.

Popo's picture

...just the Republicans trying to frame the next GOP presidential candidate as a "centrist".   

DaveyJones's picture

"because in order to get both parties happy"

at this point, that's the last thing I want to do 

McMolotov's picture

If both parties are happy, it means they're tag-teaming us from behind.

Renewable Life's picture

Paul fucking Ryan is exactly the poster boy for why I've been saying for years now, that the tea party or liberty movement or whatever the fuck we call ourselves on any given day, NEEDS ITS OWN PARTY!!!

Being the rebels in the GOP is like calling yourself a humane executioner, it's bullshit and no one believes it!!!

And ya ya I've heard all the reasons GOP media hacks have listed for why it can't happen, what I want to know is when is someone in the movement gonna try and see WTF happens, I'll bet big money, "no one will have seen it coming", people are fucking pissed off and they want someone to stand the fuck up and stop the BS and articulate a new path!!

Zer0head's picture

and guess what?

that's what - Obama wants that too

split the enemy and it will be Hillary 2016, Hillary 2020 and Chelsea 2024



scraping_by's picture

Actually, look back at the Dems in 1968. The pros used party machinery to push through mushy Johnson puppet Humphrey, then got nothing when they went around talking about 'Party Unity.'

However, these days American elections are a question of who counts the votes. And the Diebolds are mostly run by the right wing, both direct employees and stooges.

So if they want the Dem brand lackey, they'll run a Scary Clown for the GOP. Like one of the doinks in the House.

Sleep peacefully. It's all taken care of.


DaddyO's picture

You forgot the occasional Bush, for good measure...


Jumbotron's picture

You're going to get 8 years of Hillary and Chelsea no matter what.  The Republicans are finished forever.  It's a proven fact with all the push for amnesty by the Repukes.....including Rubio and Ryan.

Ruffcut's picture

I'll give them all the fig leaves there are if they used their fuck sticks on themselves and not on us.

JLee2027's picture

To all Republicans in the House:

Stop trying to solve someone elses problem morons. If the Democrats do nothing, then do nothing in return.

fonzannoon's picture

Ryan is a stinky vagina face.

It's funny, when was the last time a stupid american paid one of these guys a visit at their residence? You throw a few interceptions on the other hand...



Bay of Pigs's picture

You beat me to the punch. I was going to call Ryan a wimp and a fag.

I've seen bigger arms on a clock.


fonzannoon's picture

If you put Paul Ryan next to Joe Biden and told me I could only punch one of them I would punch Ryan as hard as I could. Then while everyone was standing there surprised I would kick Biden in the nuts.

Dr. Engali's picture

Biden has nuts? I thought he lost them with the hair. I heard he has nut plugs for men.

Jumbotron's picture

Every hair plug on his head IS a nut plug.

starfcker's picture

simple but truly great wb7. i hates a traitor. on second thought, i would guess ryan lurks on these pages. fuck you ryan, you polesmoker

jcaz's picture

Of course- because this is entirely about Barry's marketability post-office, nothing more...... 

Stupid chimp.....

Geruda's picture

Another clueless right wing moron speaks up.   If you think Obama needs to do anything to boost his marketability you are even more stupid than most.  

Even cheney's monkey gets more money to show up at wingnut gatherings than you'll earn in your lifetime.


Iam_Silverman's picture

"Another clueless right wing moron speaks up. "

Wow, the emergence of another one of O's paid trolls.  I thought your earlier post in another thread was hilarious - you know, the one where you misspelled the word idiot.

Geruda's picture

I know many of the maroons that hang out here are truly ungifted remedial dumbfucks like you but please please tell me you honestly believe anyone would be stoopid enough to pay money to have someone throw peanuts into this monkey cage.


What do you figure it would be worth to someone and what would be the payback?  Gawd I hope you are truly that stuppid to believe such a thing - it would explain so much.

Iam_Silverman's picture

Well, if nothing else, you are a very persistent troll.  To top it off, your spelling and grammar are indicative of the urban, Obama Lovin' youth produced from our public education system.


It's "stupid", stupid.


If what we say upsets you so badly, go hang out at the Daily Koos or HuffPo.  We are pretty much like-minded individuals here that discuss things amongst ourselves.  We do not always agree with each other, but for the most part we keep it civil - to a point.

RacerX's picture

so how do you negotiate when one side isn't willing to?

fonzannoon's picture

 how do you negotiate when there is one side?

RacerX's picture

I think the main issue is Team D (and many from Team R) want to stick it in the Tea Party's grill.

Bay of Pigs's picture

The real Tea Party no longer exists in Wash DC. It was coopted quite awhile ago.

Just a phony label and scapegoat now.

Iam_Silverman's picture

"It was coopted quite awhile ago."

By those reptilian replicants?

Shell Game's picture

No, worse, career politicians.  Damn critters only know how to attain and keep power.

Iam_Silverman's picture

"career politicians"


Now that's a scary film title!  What, rated R for violence and rear nudity (as we take it the Hershey Highway once again)?

scraping_by's picture

It began a lobbyist's tool and nothing more.

These days, it's shorthand for yapping pinhead.

fonzannoon's picture

The tea party had their big chance 2 years ago when a few people actually gave a shit about the debt. They folded. 

Geruda's picture

Tea baggers had their chance when the bimbo from Alaska was hotter than Britney Spears and Paris Hilton combined.  They should have all focused on voting for her daughter when she was dancin with the stars and they could finally have celebrated the fact they accomplished something to make their existence worthwhile.   Now they should all be put on trial for sedition.  Well, not that kind of trial but a trial program of using rendition on resident citizens.   


And Ryan...has that lying, backward baseball hat wearing fool made up any more impressive marathon times lately?

Serfs_Up's picture

At least he likes negra tail... cant say that for his fellow actor oBoZO.

Geruda's picture

Well pigface, now we're getting down to it.  The kernel of the substance of what all this right wing bullshit is about.  Got nothing to do with love of country.

Shell Game's picture

Tyler, can we switch out Geruda for francis_sawyer?  Seriously. I'm disappointed you all stooped to censoring him...

DaddyO's picture

FREE francis_sawyer



fonzannoon's picture

I think Francis is free. It is very hard to dethrone the king

wtf1369's picture

Damn Geruda, you're rackin' up the junks but at least your posts are intelligible today.