The budget deal passed by the House and soon to be made law will cost me, and other current conflict veterans, thousands of dollars in lost retirement pay.* I have plenty of reason to oppose it, yet I think the deal, warts and all, was a stroke of genius by Rep Paul Ryan. Conservatives will win both politically and in the best interests of the country.
We all know the federal debt is a gigantic problem that threatens to bankrupt our country, and our children will pay the price for our recklessness. But the cliff of deficit spending is still likely a few years away. In contrast, the massive failure that is Obamacare, if left in place, will drain the willpower and vitality from America within just a few years. The window for repeal is closing quickly, and the only avenue to repeal runs conservative control of the Senate. Getting rid of Obamacare is in the best interests of the country.
Think back to American history. On Dec 7th, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and dragged the US into WWII. But America realized that Germany was the larger threat, and the collapse of England was imminent. The policy of 'Germany First' was controversial to the Navy and the families who lost loved ones at Pearl, but it was sound tactics. Take care of the most pressing threat, then circle back to take care of the threat that got you into the war. The US marshaled all of its resources into Europe, allotting only enough in the Pacific to keep Japan in check. The build-up of troops and resources in Asia was barely under way when the atomic bomb cut the process short.
Likewise, the booming federal debt was the shock that woke the Tea Party. Fiscal conservatives rallied around the notion of balancing the budget and saving our country from run. But Obamacare has now moved into first place as a threat to the American economy. Billions of dollars in implementation costs, billions more lost as businesses decide not to invest or expand, and tens of thousands of jobs are likely to moved overseas to escape the Obamacare tax.
In a medical metaphor, America has cancer with the long term national debt, and it will kill us eventually. But Obamacare is threatening to give us a heart attack at any moment, and that will kill us immediately. Any doctor worth their salt (i.e. those refusing to accept Obamacare plans) knows that you may have to suspend chemo therapy to keep the patient alive while treating them for signs of a heart attack.
Politically, the budget deal averts the fear of another government shutdown, which no matter how much you stomp your feet, hurt conservatives in the public's eye. We can't afford another debacle like that, and the budget deal takes that fear off the table. Honestly, I am surprised the Dems are agreeing to the deal, as the crisis of a shutdown is their last desperate hope to get the failure of the Obamacare website and massive cancellations out of the news cycle.
*The budget deal requires military veterans under the age of 62 to take a 1% per year cut in the COLA increase of their retirement pay. We are literally balancing the budget on the backs of the very men and women that the country has relied on so heavily over the last decade. This provision makes me sick to my stomach, yet I still support the overall deal. Without this deal, the US economy will stay stagnant, meaning deeper cuts to veterans in the future.