Obama could not have picked a better 2nd man.

This is classic Biden to those of us who have watched him grow over the years… There is of course much denial-ability, so it will never get proven, … but the track marks are there… and I’m beaming, I’m so proud to be a Delawarean today…

If any of you have ever been in a decision making position, most of you know that you are being asked to decide the future of events that on paper you have jurisdiction over, but in reality, are way beyond your control.

The best way to get what you want is to point those larger forces in the direction you want to go,… so they carry you along in their current….

If Democrats and Republicans do not agree to another $1.5 trillion in cuts later this year, then automatic cuts of about $500 billion in both national security and Medicare provider spending will be triggered, beginning in 2013. Republicans think the threat of cutting Medicare will force Democrats to bargain, and Democrats hope that the threat of defense cuts will force Republicans to bargain

But what is really happening is something else: Both Democratic and Republicans leaders have realized that they don’t have enough political heft on their own to cut a deal. So they are pointing a gun to the knee caps of corporate lobbyists for the defense contracting and medical provider communities and saying, “Help us, or else.”

This is the part Biden helped craft….. And this is also the part to which Eric Cantor subscribed, giving him the rare praise of being a “smart man”. John Boehner and President Obama, also joined in….

“Under the agreement, a failure to reach an agreement in December would lead to $50 billion in cuts per year in the 50% national security spending account for the next 10 years. So to save their own skin, military contractors, who spent $146 million lobbying Congress in 2010 with more than $16 million in political donations from PACs, will have to get in the game, urging Republicans to find savings in other places. In practice, that will likely mean new revenue, collected by ending corporate tax breaks and eliminating expenditures. If the plan works as Democrats would like, Republicans will be forced to raise taxes with the help of the military industrial complex.”

Ah Ha! Gotchu!

Oh, but wait a minute….. isn’t there another half?

“The other half of the trigger would cause a 2% decrease in reimbursements for Medicare providers (not recipients), pulling about $50 billion a year off their bottom line for a decade. That means lobbyists for hospitals and doctors will also have a dog in this fight. Hospitals and nursing homes alone spent more $107 million lobbying Congress in 2010.”

“Hospitals have already started running ads on cable television protesting the potential cuts, under the banner of a group called The Coalition To Protect America’s Health Care.”

“Like defense contractors, they are the hostages now, and they must advocate for Democrats and Republicans to come together on a final deal in the fall, before the trigger gets pulled. In the deficit debate, Congress has proved itself inept at fighting for the common interest. In turning the gun on special interests, they are essentially outsourcing that job to Washington’s most effective actors.”

(Btw. Hats off to Michael Scherer; I’ve quoted him rather extensively for his writing was done so well. I could find little to improve upon)…..

Somewhere in the discussion, hopefully over a glass of Maker’s Mark, came this question: how can we make our enemies (the lobbyists) be an integral part of this plan, thereby insuring it will pass?

(Note: Lobbyists are the biggest enemy to good government. Far worse than evangelists, socialists, and communists.)

So the brilliance of this agreement, is that it addresses the question: of how can we get the forces of Eisenhower’s “military industrial complex” who’ve always scuttled budget control in the past, and the forces of the AMA, hospitals, insurance giants, and pharmaceuticals, who’ve always scuttled any attempts to control skyrocketing medical costs, to work together with Republicans and Democrats on controlling the budget deficit…..

We do it by pulling the trigger on a large chunk of their change, if an agreement is not forthcoming……

It’s brilliant.

It’s Biden

His good sense didn’t come from Scranton, so it must have been Delaware, that put it in there…. 🙂