The Wall Street Journal put out a solid editorial this morning in support of last Friday’s budget deal between Congress and the White House:
Yes, we know, $39 billion in spending cuts for 2011 is less than the $61 billion passed by the House and shrinks the overall federal budget by only a little more than 1%. The compromise also doesn’t repeal ObamaCare, kill the EPA’s anticarbon rules, defund Planned Parenthood, reform the entitlement state, or part the Red Sea.
On the other hand, the Obama-Pelosi Leviathan wasn’t built in a day, and it won’t be cut down to size in one budget. Especially not in a fiscal year that only has six months left and with Democrats running the Senate and White House. Friday’s deal cuts more spending in any single year than we can remember, $78 billion more than President Obama first proposed. Domestic discretionary spending grew by 6% in 2008, 11% in 2009 and 14% in 2010, but this year will fall by 4%. That’s no small reversal.
The budget does this while holding the line against defense cuts that Democrats wanted and restoring the school voucher program for Washington, D.C. for thousands of poor children. Tom DeLay-the talk radio hero when he ran the House-never passed a budget close to this good.
This deal, of course, has come under criticism in conservative corners. Andy McCarthy at National Review Online was completely unimpressed:
The only thing Boehner won is future assurance that GOP leadership can safely promise the moon but then settle for crumbs because their rah-rah corner will spin any paltry accomplishment, no matter how empty it shows the promise to have been, as a tremendous victory.
While the WSJ doesn’t address McCarthy directly they do respond to general conservative disenchantment with Boehner by stating “conservatives are misguided if they think they could have done much better than Mr. Boehner, or that a shutdown would have helped their cause.” The editorial concludes with the WSJ raising The Tea Party’s hand in victory as it is able to “take credit for spending cuts that even Mr. Obama feels politically obliged to sell as historic.”
I don’t think conservatives got everything they wanted out of this deal but I do think they got more than crumbs.