Bipartisan coalition to Super Committee: Why not actually do something?

posted at 3:40 pm on November 16, 2011 by Tina Korbe

As the Congressional Super Committee struggles to agree to just $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years, a bicameral, bipartisan coalition says: Hey, you know what would make this whole process easier? If y’all tried to cut $4 trillion from the nation’s next 10 years of borrowing!

Actually, the idea makes a lot of sense: In the first place, cuts of $1.2 trillion in 10 years will barely make a dent in the debt if the U.S. continues to run the kind of deficits it’s run during Obama’s first term (deficits of $1,101 billion, $1,299 billion and $1,293 in FYs 2010, 2011 and 2012). But secondly, both sides might be more willing to make concessions for the sake of a larger figure to tout.

Not to say that neither side has made a concession: Republicans rolled out a proposal a week ago that included $300 billion in new revenues. Democrats objected because the revenues came from a tax code overhaul that would include cuts for the wealthy. That’s pretty blatant bias, if you ask me: They object to new revenues just because “the rich” might benefit, as well as the middle class, from certain tax reforms.

But no matter. Perhaps if the Super Committee’s target was $4 trillion, Republicans might come up with a proposal that offers even more in down-the-line revenue increases for, say, $1.2 trillion in upfront spending cuts. Wouldn’t that be a pleasant change? Cuts that are guaranteed to materialize, tax hikes that might not?

Sadly, all of this is fantasy: The Super Committee appears squarely destined for failure. In the end, the inability to complete a task everybody agrees must be completed — that is, to take a meaningful step toward reducing the debt and deficit — underscores that deficit reduction for its own sake isn’t actually a priority to the left. They’re happy to use the deficit and debt as an excuse to raise revenues, but they’re not interested to actually shrink government. Why? Because their vision for America hinges on Big Government. They think expanded government programs and increased regulation increase U.S. global competitiveness and enhance quality of life for individual Americans.

For all the gains the Tea Party has made over the past couple of years, it turns out that the debate hasn’t shifted so far as we thought. This summer, I rejoiced to think the question was not whether to cut but what to cut. Turns out the question is still “whether,” after all.

We still have to make the case that out-of-control government spending and costly regulations burden the economy and hamper our ability to compete in the world. Consider just one small piece of the puzzle: We’ll continue to have little clout to censure China for its cheating until we clean up our own fiscal act and stop allowing the PRC to own more and more of our debt. To do that, we can’t borrow more. We have to cut.


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Bipartisan coalition to Super Committee: Why not actually do something?

They can’t because they are lazy. But they can’t help it. That’s just how Americans roll.

Lily on November 16, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Because CNN viewers have already declared Republicans are at fault. Never mind nothing has happened yet, Republicans are at fault. Certainly not an intelligent bunch.

MNHawk on November 16, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Republicans got played. The urgency to accomplish something evaporated when they upped our credit limit to past the election.

pedestrian on November 16, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Any committe with racist James Clyburn on it is destined to fail–on purpose.

SouthernGent on November 16, 2011 at 3:54 PM

I’m still trying to figure out why the GOP is being criticized for not wanting to raise taxes when the Dems controlled all branches for two years and didn’t do it. In fact, they extended all the Bush cuts for two years in the lame duck session after the midterms.

Mark1971 on November 16, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Republicans rolled out a proposal a week ago that included $300 billion in new revenues.

This would be yearly. 3.0 trillion over ten years.

agree to just $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years

This would be $120 billion per year in cuts.

So we raise taxes by $300 (3.0 trillion/ten years) and cut $120 billion ($1.2 trillion/ten years) and this is called progress?

sharrukin on November 16, 2011 at 3:55 PM

“They think expanded government programs and increased regulation increase U.S. global competitiveness and enhance quality of life for individual Americans.”

Ummmmmmmmm…

… They had all branches of government for two years and implemented expanded government programs and increased regulation.

The only people I see who’s quality of life has been enhanced are government regulators, bureaucrats, politicians, and those who contributed to Obowma…

… One would think that shouldn’t be too hard to point out to the American people.

Seven Percent Solution on November 16, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Rubio just said on Cavuto that he didn’t support the Super Committee in the first place…..

…But he voted for it!

FloatingRock on November 16, 2011 at 4:12 PM

And as of this afternoon the United States total debt now exceeds…(Dr. Evil close-up)…15 TRILLION DOLLARS!

Mike Honcho on November 16, 2011 at 4:13 PM

the debt will continue to amass until the bubble pops, at that point, it will get messy.

maineconservative on November 16, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Time to get real. If they can’t cut $200B from a budget with $1.3T in deficit spending what makes anyone think they’ll tackle $400B? There is no will or incentive to cut anything. The pedal is on the metal and this bus is going into the wall at full speed. Get used to it, and prepare as needed.

Scotsman on November 16, 2011 at 4:41 PM

The Republicans have offered solutions and the Democrats refuse them because (1) it fits their narrative and (2) they do not want to reform entitlements and cut spending. So unless the Democrats suddenly decide to get serious, nothing is going to happen.

youngTXcon on November 16, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Trying to get the government to clean up their ranks and lower spending and taxes is like asking a corrupt police department to do the same. There is a code among both of them and what they say promise and do are altogether different. After the 2010 elections the hope of newly elected officers making a difference fell into the pits with the rest of the elite fraternity ignoring the people who put them in office. We joke about our corrupt Congress but in reality it is no joke. Next year will be smoke and mirrors as usual and nothing will change. Pitiful, but the truth.

mixplix on November 16, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Bipartisan coalition to Super Committee: Why not actually do something?

Because there are 6 Democrats on the Super Committee who won’t cut spending without raising taxes, and the American people can’t afford higher taxes.

Note to Tea Partiers: The House isn’t enough. To cut spending, we need a GOP President and a majority in the Senate.

Steve Z on November 16, 2011 at 5:36 PM

Congress had better consider this: The American people are fed up! If meaningful cuts don’t appear now, THEY WILL OCCUR NEXT NOVEMBER! And Congress will know then what ‘funemployment’ really means.

GarandFan on November 16, 2011 at 5:47 PM

I’m still trying to figure out why the GOP is being criticized for not wanting to raise taxes when the Dems controlled all branches for two years and didn’t do it. In fact, they extended all the Bush cuts for two years in the lame duck session after the midterms.

Mark1971 on November 16, 2011 at 3:54 PM

I’m sure that you actually know the answer: They need to be able to tell their constituents, “They did it, too!”

RedCrow on November 16, 2011 at 6:15 PM

My question to bipartisan coalition: Why do you need a “Super Committee” to do your job?

RedCrow on November 16, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Go figure, a bipartisan committee of legislators full of pork kings and queens can’t figure out how to cut spending…

Seems like expecting a barroom full of alcoholics to come out as teetotalers.

drfredc on November 16, 2011 at 6:49 PM