Monday, November 21, 2011

Best reason yet to throw 'em all out

It appears to be all but over: the Super Committee won't get a deal done in time to stave off automatic cuts to Defense spending and Medicare. Why? Because the two sides can't agree on fundamentals: should the debt be reduced primarily by cutting spending or primarily by raising revenue.

But let's consider what we're really talking about, here. The Debt Ceiling agreement--the Budget Control Act of 2011--was signed into law on August 2nd of this year. The terms were relatively simple, as far as legislation goes: the debt ceiling was raised in return for some $917 billion in spending cuts across the next ten years, coupled with another $1.2 trillion in cuts that would be hammered out by the vaunted Super Committee. If the Super Committee falls short of that goal, the difference would be made up in automatic across the board spending cuts. Obviously, if the Super Committee does nothing--which now seems to be the case--the full $1.2 trillion in cuts happen.

Still, those cuts are across the next ten years. For persepctive, the federal budget for 2012--submitted by the Obama administration--was for over $3.7 trillion. Here's a chart from the CBO with projected budgets:

Having budgets of over $3 trillion a year looks to be a foregone conclusion. So, the total $2.1 trillion in spending cuts over ten years means cuts of $200 billion a year. That's not even a ten percent cut. And it says nothing about emergency spending or the actions that future Congresses might take, since they will not be permanently constrained by this agreement, at all. In other words, it's a drop in the bucket. But the Super Committee can't get it done.

However, that's not the most troubling thing here, in my opinion. This is (from the first link):
Rather than making a final effort at compromise, members of the special deficit-reduction committee spent their final hours casting blame and pointing fingers, bracing for the reaction from financial markets that are already jittery over the European debt crisis... 
Almost every congressman has left Washington for the week-long Thanksgiving break, so the legislative reaction to the committee’s failure will not come until early next month. The impasse leaves a host of other must-pass items, such as extensions for unemployment insurance and the payroll tax holiday, without any vehicle for passage before year’s end.
The bastards aren't willing to step up to the plate and do their stinking jobs. The administration is more worried about reelection than it is anything else, as are many Representatives and Senators. The rest look more interested in turkey and football than in solving the nation's problems.

Maybe it is time to throw them all out...

Cheers, all.


  1. If you didn't know better, you would think that there is a well designed plan to economically ruin the middle class by allowing (and with government support from welfare programs) cheap labor to exist while taking away jobs americans WILL do. To add to that there is a plan to stifle development of our vast energy resources (as well as Canada's, our closest and best neighbor).Developing our energy means jobs AND affordable energy. Defend our borders, enforce our immigration laws, and get the price of gas to an affordable rate and/or compete with natural gas and coal.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Anonymous. You're right about energy and jobs, certainly.