Mumia Abu Jamal – A Grand Bargain… For Surrender
A ‘Grand Bargain’–for Surrender
[col. writ. 8/6/11] ’11 Mumia Abu-Jamal
The recent debt-ceiling kerfuffle, which was ‘resolved’ at the 11th hour amidst political and economic chaos, was less a deal than a defeat.
For deals are made when both sides succeed in getting what they want without significant loss.
This is known as a win-win.
But this only occurs when both sides have similar strengths, and are able to bring them to bear.
In the recent debt-ceiling crisis, one side, the Tea Party-backed Republicans, were able to put pressure on the administration and the Democrats, and hold out while the clock ticked towards default.
Terrified at the possibility of default, the Administration caved, and a deal was struck to cut spending, no tax increases, and the pass-off of tougher, deeper cuts down the line by a so-called bi-partisan ‘super committee’.
This deal was greeted by the credit-rating agency, Standard and Poors, with an unprecedented down-grading of U.S. credit liability, from trlple-A (AAA) status to double-A+ (AA+). What this means is, when the U.S. borrows money now, it’ll cost more, for interest rates will rise. And not only for the government. For businesses, for students–for all consumers.
The S & P took this step because the political process, the brlnksmanshlp, the very threat of default (even if unlikely) pointed to the unreliability and instability of the government, and by extension–its ability to pay its bills.
This wasn’t a political decision; it was a business decision.
And the double-A rating meant: bad deal.
Politics may shift with winds, but business works on profits.
The loud and public rift over what is essentially an arbitrary number–the congressionally- created national debt ceiling–has dealt a blow to the real-world economy.
And it makes the lives, property and the future prospects of millions of people, that much more tenuous.