The outcome of the debt-ceiling negotiations in Washington “was a near total defeat for Republican conservatives”, say Jonathan Weisman and Ashley Parker in the New York Times.
Having engineered the budget gridlock as a way to de-fund President Obama’s healthcare reforms, they not only failed in that objective, but also suffered several self-inflicted wounds in the process.
“The shutdown sent Republican poll ratings plunging, cost the government billions of dollars and damaged the nation’s international credibility.” And for all that, the Grand Old Party only secured some minor administrative rule changes for the Affordable Care Act in return.
“In political terms this spat has been bad for Republicans,” agreed The Economist, but “if the Democrats have won this round, it is a victory that looks a lot like a defeat”.
For while they might not have conceded much in the negotiations, they haven’t really gained much either, “unless you take the view that opening the government and avoiding default is a concession to Democrats”.
“What has Obama really won?”, agreed Tim Stanley in The Daily Telegraph. He may have protected his reforms, but he still faces “the same gridlock”.
Indeed – “the can hasn’t been kicked very far down the road”, says Felix Salmon at Reuters. And once the next ceiling arrives in February, there is every chance the Republicans will be even more intransigent, having badly let down their Tea Party backers.
As Jonathan Chait says in New York Magazine, “you anger business and lose face with your supporters when you capitulate. Once Republicans come to believe they can’t win, they’ll stop playing”.
New to MoneyWeek?
Welcome, and thank you for visiting us.
Here at MoneyWeek, our aim is simple. To give you intelligent and enjoyable commentary on the most important financial stories of the week, and tell you how to profit from them.
If you've enjoyed what you've read so far, I've got something you'll definitely be interested in.
Every working day the MoneyWeek team sends out a hard-hitting email, 'Money Morning', giving you a rundown of the latest financial events, and revealing what you should do to maximise profits and head off losses…
And with your permission, I'd like to send you Money Morning for FREE.
To sign-up enter your email address below.
We hope you enjoy your stay on the site. Good luck with your investments!
Digital Managing Editor, MoneyWeek