Larry Elder
So, who "won" the debt ceiling standoff? President Barack Obama -- for two reasons.

First, the tea party-influenced GOP stopped his job-killing bucket list: higher taxes, more "stimulus," union card check, and cap and trade, among the items. Whatever the economy does going forward, it will be better than had Obama and the Dems not been whacked. The policies of the last two-and-a-half years -- ObamaCare, "stimulus," bailouts, regulation, "green technology investments," "quantitative easing" (or as normal people would say, printing money), taxing and threatening to raise taxes further -- have failed. The debt-ceiling debate -- plus the new Republican majority in the House and the Democrats' loss of their Senate supermajority -- changes the game for the rest of his presidency.

Even as the President's policies harm the economy, there is an absolute boom in manufacturing excuses for the dismal results. One member of the administration's economic team blamed the debt ceiling debate: "(The problem) is the cloud of uncertainty that comes from the American public thinking that we are on the verge of default. And that has hurt confidence and hurt our economy over the last few months. No question." Well, yeah, except the weak economic numbers long preceded the debt ceiling debate.

The hysterical left says that only the tea party won. The "cuts" were not offset by "new revenue"! "Millionaires and billionaires" kept their current tax rates! The "corporate loopholes" for "oil companies" and "corporate jet owners" remain! The tea party-led GOP acted "like terrorists" who "held America hostage"! This "small band" of "extremists" and "hard-liners" managed to "impose their will on the rest of America" and fed us, according to one particularly unhappy Democratic congressman, a "Satan sandwich"!

Such B.M.W. over a potential slowdown -- not even a reversal -- of government spending! Under the deal, the real mechanism for controlling spending -- a balanced budget amendment -- is only promised a future vote. The spending continues. The debt grows bigger. Whether under the John Boehner, Harry Reid or cut/cap/balance plans -- or the imaginary, unwritten "Obama plan" -- spending continues to grow. Under the recently passed "cuts," the national debt, currently at $14 trillion, could still double over the next 10 years -- absent major surgery.

Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit