Does the Super Committee stand a chance of success?

posted at 4:15 pm on November 7, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Chuck Schumer says “no,” for what that’s worth. In general, though, that actually is the consensus: No way the Super Committee will be able to achieve in a short time frame what the full Congress was unable to achieve in a much longer period of time.

If Congress is to have time to vote on whatever package the Super Committee ultimately presents, then the Gang of 12 essentially must strike a deal by the end of this week.

But Democrats are not sufficiently motivated by the sequestration triggers to present a plan Republicans find palatable. In fact, Democrats want the automatic defense cuts. Nor have the $900 billion in automatic cuts to discretionary spending done anything to dissuade Committee Dems from demanding tax hikes. Schumer says Republicans oppose “net revenues,” but that’s hardly the case. Republicans oppose an increase in tax rates — but want an increase in revenue no less than Democrats. WSJ’s Stephen Moore explains:

But raising rates and raising revenues are different. Eliminating loopholes in exchange for making the Bush tax cuts permanent after 2013 is on the table—and by broadening the tax base, this could bring in tens of billions of new revenues each year. Says Mr. Hensarling: “Republicans want more revenues. We want more revenues by growing the economy; we’re not happy with revenues at 14% of GDP, but we don’t want to do it by raising rates.”

Meantime, Democrats don’t match the Republican commitment to spending cuts — the most important of which could come through entitlement reform. The Democrats’ plan offers less than $1 in spending cuts for every $1 more in taxes. They propose $1.2 trillion in tax increases in exchange for just $1 trillion in entitlement reform.

Republican entitlement reform proposals are simple and straightforward: Raise the Social Security and Medicare retirement ages, raise co-pays and premiums for Medicare and make adjustments to the cost-of-living benefit formula. These reforms are fair: They ask those directly benefiting from these entitlement programs to shoulder a bit more of the budget-busting burden. Asking the rich to pay more in taxes “just because they can” isn’t.

Keep in mind, too, that whatever cuts the Super Committee makes will be cuts spread out over a 10-year period. In other words, they’ll be future cuts — what Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin calls “phantom cuts.”

The Super Committee story underscores one depressing truth: The debt-limit deal John Boehner struck this summer — the deal that engendered the Super Committee in the first place — wasn’t a victory for conservatives. It all but assured cuts to defense spending and did nothing to ensure entitlement reform. Republican Committee member Jeb Hensarling says the defense spending cuts will surely not materialize. At some point in the next 10 years, he says, the American people will say: Wait a minute. We can’t afford to cut defense spending. While that’s comforting in the defense context, it’s not so much from the substantive cuts standpoint. What cuts will materialize?

Everyone has to get over the idea that an easy solution to the deficit and debt crisis exists: The necessary cuts — and also the necessary tax reforms, including potential new limits on deductions for charitable donations or mortgage interest payments — will be painful.  The electorate has to be prepared to reward lawmakers who make the tough decisions and to punish those who take the easy, politically savvy route.

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Does the Super Committee stand a chance of success?


The “Super-committee” was merely a tactic designed to give Democrats more money to spend no matter what: the Republicans who signed onto this ploy are SUCKERS!!!

When failure occurs, Obama gets control of the budget – ceded to him by a stupid Congress.

landlines on November 7, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Whatever it takes….

… the boys on Capitol Hill and the Beltway Barnacles can continue to feed off the American future.

“Revenue Increases” with “cuts” that either are not really cuts or are just cuts in programs that start sometime in the future. Just to scam the CBO projections.

GREECE……..ITALY……….The Teater Nation (the U.S.A.) is right behind you.

PappyD61 on November 7, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Obama gets control of the budget – ceded to him by a stupid Congress.

as it has been planned to be (by our Beltway Lords in both parties).

PappyD61 on November 7, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Not when it was designed to fail, but at least Mitch McConnell is really, really smart or something.

SouthernGent on November 7, 2011 at 4:30 PM

this was a win/win for the dims from the get-go.

either cut defense or you’ll be vilified for cutting Medicare. heads we win, tails you lose

r keller on November 7, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Super Committee?

Couldn’t be a super committee even if Superboy, Lightning Boy, Saturn Girl, and Cosmic Boy were sitting on it.

It was and is all a sham to provide cover for a Reid Senate unwilling to actually address real issues and allow actual votes; and gives the Dems in the House a fig leaf for their non-action for the past several years when they could have easily produced a budget. But most of all, it was a ruse to allow for an increase in the debt ceiling so Obama could spend even more of our money and borrow more money from China.

The amount the Dems want to cut from defense is incredible…yet they will not cut social programs nor allow for any addressing of the huge amount of non-discretionary spending, the auto-pilot expenditures, that far, far, far exceed even the entire defense budget.

As most ignore the obvious, the Constitutionality of such a committee doing what the House and Senate are charged to accomplish by the Constitution, even if it were “constitutional,” this committee has zero chance of success even if it were somehow Constitutional.

Does the phrase “we’ve been had” ring a bell out there?

coldwarrior on November 7, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Anything other than a flat-out denial of any increase in the debt ceiling was an admission of congressional failure. That they punted it down the road and stuck it on the heads of 12 people was just window-dressing.

cthulhu on November 7, 2011 at 4:42 PM

Democrats’ plan offers less than $1 in spending cuts for every $1 more in taxes.

Translation: Status quo.

GarandFan on November 7, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Says Mr. Hensarling: “Republicans want more revenues. We want more revenues by growing the economy; we’re not happy with revenues at 14% of GDP

That’s a bad thing, not a good thing.

hawksruleva on November 7, 2011 at 5:01 PM

Was there ever one person who thought the Super Committee was a good idea? Every committee Congress comes up with punts. This one is no different. This is the consequence of no term limits. No one in Congress wants to make tough calls because they will not get re-elected. What’s the old adage, a lame duck president is a dangerous president? Well a NON-lame duck Congress is MORE dangerous than anything you can imagine. Weak, sniveling and self serving members of Congress will never put their country first!

inspectorudy on November 7, 2011 at 5:26 PM

They propose $1.2 trillion in tax increases in exchange for just $1 trillion in entitlement reform.

This is the problem. Even if they suceed in cutting out $1 trillion out of the budget over 10 years, we are still dead in the water. Now if they can come to an agreement to cut out about $12 trillion over the next decade we might be making some small measure of progress. Eliminating less than one years budget defecit over a decade is going to help nothing. They aren’t even talking about any real changes in Social Security or Medicare.

This from the SS administration in their 2001 Trustees report:

Projected long-run program costs for both Medicare and Social Security are not sustainable under currently scheduled financing, and will require legislative corrections if disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers are to be avoided.

The financial challenges facing Social Security and Medicare should be addressed soon. If action is taken sooner rather than later, more options and more time will be available to phase in changes so that those affected can adequately prepare.

By the Trustees:

Timothy F. Geithner,
Secretary of the Treasury,
and Managing Trustee

Hilda L. Solis,
Secretary of Labor,
and Trustee

Kathleen Sebelius,
Secretary of Health
and Human Services,
and Trustee

Michael J. Astrue,
Commissioner of
Social Security,
and Trustee

Johnnyreb on November 7, 2011 at 5:45 PM

The Super Committee with equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats was doomed to fail–everybody votes the party line, and we’ll end up with a bunch of 6-6 votes unless somebody caves.

This Congress, with a Republican-controlled House and Democrat-controlled Senate, can’t do any better–everything that passes the House dies in the Senate, although the Republican House has put the brakes on the wild spending of Obama’s first two years.

Get rid of Obama in ’12, and with a Republican Senate, MAYBE something will get done in 2013.

Steve Z on November 7, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Steve Z: Until the GOP start fighting, it doesn’t matter.

And they haven’t fought since Reagan was in office, if then.

Scott H on November 7, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Does the Super Committee stand a chance of success?

What exactly is the definition of ‘success’, as pertains to the Super Committee?

listens2glenn on November 7, 2011 at 6:27 PM