NYT to Dems: Go Ahead, Shut It Down

by Andrew Stiles

In an editorial titled “Holding Firm on the Budget,” the New York Times urges Senate Democrats not to budge another inch on spending cuts, declaring: “This is not a moment for another difference-splitting deal,” in reference to the bipartisan agreement on tax cuts hammered out during the lame-duck session. In fact, the “paper of record” blatantly suggests that shutting the government down would be preferable to a compromise that meets Republicans anywhere close to half way:

Republicans claim they will not agree on a penny less than $61 billion, which is too little for some more aggressive freshmen. If the Democrats try to compromise on even half that amount, they will be still be doing enormous damage to many programs and threatening a recovery that is starting to show signs of real life.

[. . .]

Though Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, called that “outrageous,” Democrats are under no obligation to cut more. As bad as a shutdown would be, heading much further toward the Republicans’ number would do far more lasting damage to the economy. 

And not to worry, because it would obviously be Republicans’ fault:

Mr. Biden and the Senate should make it clear to the freshman House members who are really driving their chamber’s position that they will not permit reckless cuts this year. Then let the freshmen explain to an angry public why they closed the government’s doors to score ideological points.

No doubt they’ve already written a “Tea Party Treason” editorial to run in the event of a shutdown. Would be a shame for them to have to cut it.

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