Saturday, June 3, 2023

Biden, Wealthy Republican Donors, and the Debt Ceiling Settlement

(I lack insider information to confirm this, but I do think it is likely.)

I'm glad there is a debt ceiling deal, that the the world financial system is still standing, but I think it is more of a temporary ceasefire than a great victory.

Biden is being lauded for his negotiating skill. There is something missing from the equation: the money Republican representatives get from the very rich. I think the very wealthy Republican campaign donors mostly don't want a default, not yet anyway, maybe not ever, and they leaned on the House Republicans, so that they made a deal. I think also that those same donors very much want the Democratic left frozen out of the Congressional governing coalition. They don't want stronger labor laws, higher taxes on the extraordinarily wealthy, or environmental regulations that make fossil fuel reserves valueless and so they're prepared to make a deal, even with the hated Democrats. (It is, I think, not a coincidence that weaker regulation on fossil fuel development is part of the deal.)

I think this gives Biden a lot more credit than he deserves, though I do give him credit for taking yes for an answer. He had a lot of support from the people who fund his opposition. The opposition is still fascist and, independent of their funders, would happily burn the world. They're fascists. They prefer violence to compromise. 

 This deal also affirms the dominance of wealth in our politics. The problem with this approach, as I wrote in 2010, is that “sooner or later there's nothing left to give to the rich.”

I'm glad there is a deal, but it still seems to me more of a temporary ceasefire than a great victory.

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