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Debt-Ceiling Deal Mostly Saves Biden’s Priorities, Including Bad Military Priorities

President Joe Biden spent the Memorial Day weekend securing a deal to raise the debt ceiling with radical Republicans who took the global economy hostage. What did the hostage-takers get for their efforts?

According to a senior administration official granted anonymity to describe the lobbying strategy, the argument being made to Democrats to vote for the bill has focused on how Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, the Inflation Reduction Act, CHIPS and other programs are “all being preserved and funded” under the agreement. This is, the official added, “basically what would have happened in a standard budget negotiation with a GOP House later this year. A good outcome, consistent with past bipartisan budget agreements” [Jennifer Haberkorn, Holly Otterbein, and Adam Cancryn, “White to Dems: The Debt Deal Could Have Been a LOT Worse,” Politico, 2023.05.29].

So President Biden gets Republicans to accept putting off any further debt-ceiling shenanigans until after the 2024 election, and all Republicans get is the budget deal they would have gotten anyway this fall, with President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act climate-change policies and student debt relief intact? Not bad, Joe!

But whether we agree to it now or wait until the fall, the budget deal includes a variety of flaws, including this fundamental misappropriation: we’re going to cut $400 million from the CDC’s Global Health Fund but spend 3.3% more on the military.

Hold on: coronavirus has killed over 1.1 million Americans over the last three years. Foreign invaders have killed zero Americans. We can’t shoot covid or the next big cootie with tanks and missiles. If we really have more money (or IOUs) to spend, shouldn’t we spend it on real threats to American life and liberty?

Alas, even President Biden is conceding that candidates can run against the CDC and scientists and public health, but they can’t run against never-ending, never-declining funding for the military.


  1. John 2023-05-30 08:56

    Senator-president Joe will regret the day he acted weak by caving into debt-ceiling talks with the same fools who ran up the nation’s debt.
    Senator-president Joe likely gave up any enthusiasm among young voters by caving into sacrificing student loan debt relief.

  2. O 2023-05-30 09:34

    Eisenhower was right in his warning about the military industrial complex. THIS drains our economy order of magnitudes more than all the “welfare queens.” And as Jon Stewart notes, within that vast unaccountable spending, our service men a women go without food security and health care. Pro-military is just pro-corporate.

  3. sx123 2023-05-30 10:07

    Nature is a far bigger threat to humanity than humanity (i.e. mosquitos!), yet we load up on military spending. I wonder what we could accomplish if we weren’t busy prepping to kill each other or killing each other?

  4. e platypus onion 2023-05-30 15:53

    Off topic…. Biden aide, Tara Reade, who accused Biden of sexual assault, defected to Russia with the help of Maria Butt in a Sling, who is asking Putin to fast track her citizenship.

  5. larry kurtz 2023-06-01 07:34

    I had to laugh like Hell when Jon Hansen waved on the B-21 to protect America from the Chinese even though contractors doubt it will even be ready for deployment until 2030. But, which will it be: a bomber base in South Dakota or is a state law targeting pregnant people already jeopardizing military readiness? TriCare pays for some abortions chosen by military personnel so after Kristi Noem becomes some Earth hater’s Veep choice will a Governor Larry Rhoden sue to overturn a winning ballot measure codifying Roe?

    According to Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO) the interim US Space Command Headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base near Colorado Springs is near or even at full operational capability so moving it to deep red Alabama where women’s rights have been eviscerated seems politically motivated. But so far, the Biden administration insists access to reproductive care is not part of its strategic decision.

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