Stockman: Budget deal a ‘joke and betrayal’

Posted: December 12, 2013 in Economy, Politics
Tags: ,

By: | Producer, CNBC.com

Published: Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 | 1:44 PM ET

House Republicans “capitulated” in agreeing to the two-year budget deal reached last night and left the country to deal with an unsustainable fiscal situation until the peak of the presidential primaries in 2015, when nothing will get done, former federal budget director David Stockman told CNBC on Wednesday.

“First, let’s be clearit’s a joke and betrayal,” Stockman, who served under President Ronald Reagan, said on “Squawk on the Street.” “It’s the final surrender of the House Republican leadership to Beltway politics and kicking the can and ignoring the budget monster that’s hurtling down the road.”

Stockman added that the budget deal means lawmakers would take a “two-year vacation” from dealing with the country’s fiscal situation and revisit it in 2015 at around the same time as the Iowa straw polls. Without an incumbent in the presidential race, both political parties will be too busy to touch the budget, he said.

While some hailed the budget deal as a breakthrough in Washington’s political gridlock, Stockman compared the accord to “kicking the can” into “low Earth orbit.”

“There’s plenty of room, but they’re unwilling to make the tough choices,” he said. “Now, I understand Democrats doing that. The only hope of getting our fiscal situation under control is if the House Republicans stand up. And they’ve totally capitulated.”

The two-year deal averts deeper cuts to military spending, but Stockman said that’s where lawmakers should have looked for savings. The U.S. no longer faces threats from developed countries and has been “fired as the world’s policemen,” he said.

Any meaningful changes to the budget wouldn’t happen until nearly 2020 if lawmakers don’t address them now, he said. Washington still has a chance to duel over the debt ceiling this February, however, and over unemployment benefits in the shorter term.

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said lawmakers should vote to extend unemployment benefits before their Dec. 31 deadline.

“The speaker is holding that up,” Van Hollen said in an earlier “Squawk on the Street” interview. “He’s making that very clear.”

—By CNBC’s Jeff Morganteen. Follow him on Twitter at

@jmorganteen

and get the latest stories from “Squawk on the Street.” Reuters contributed to this report.

 

 

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