StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between

Not-So-Super Committee Seriously Considers Becoming A Circular Firing Squad

14 Nov 2011
Posted by Stan Collender

A quick note very early in the morning...

This story by Robert Pear in today's New York Times about the latest from the not-so-super committee tells you everything you need to know about the status of the negotiations.  According to Pear, one of the main plans for reducing the deficit the committee apparently is considering is to set up a process by which tax increases would be considered by the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees at some point next year.

Does anyone else see how ridiculous this is? 

The anything-but-super committee was set up because the regular committees and legislative process could not agree on what to do about the deficit.  But rather than make those decisions, the super committee may decide that the best way to deal with this situation is to throw it back to the two tax-writing committees that, because they were unable to come up with a plan in the first place, gave the job to the super committee.

And the most inane, stupid, absurd, remarkable thing about this is that the definitely-not-super committee will claim that this make-someone-else-do-the-hard-work-later process complies with the legal requirement to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion.

Bad Timing

The best thing that could be done for the deficit is to create jobs and grow the economy. Cutting spending and laying off government workers only makes unemployment worse and slows the economy. In the 1990s, as unemployment slow dropped to 4 percent, the budget was "unexpectedly" in balance. This came from increased revenue because more people were working. More workers = More revenue + Less government benefits

It is silly to plan several years out when the next Congress can simply reverse any work that is done, the way Congress in 2001 reversed the budget from surplus to deficit with tax cuts. The Republicans are trying to force the Democrats to cut safety net and automatic stabilizer programs that push back against rising income inequality. If these cuts are made, the Republicans will once more put us back in budget deficit with more tax cuts.

The bottom line is that Republicans don't care about budget deficits as Dick Cheney reminded us a few years ago. Republicans want more tax cuts for the wealthy and they need to cut social programs to cut taxes on the wealthy. Drumming up worries about budget deficits is the argument they are making to do something very unpopular, cut Social Security and Medicare. The Democrats would be fools to sign onto any such bargain that will not be upheld in the future and unpopular cuts to social programs that will not be reversed.

Not So Super Committee

So, Congress will write tax increases during an election year. The next event will be the sun rising in the west and NASA filming the cow jumping over the moon.

A preceding post mentioned that the Dems would be stupid to sign on tho this plan. Well, they are stupid. They could have let the Bush tax cuts expire.

I hope that this is exactly

I hope that this is exactly what the Super Committee does, basically the worst possible outcome of all this would have been them returning any kind of actually substantive result.

Maybe now everyone can stop pretending they care about the deficit and try to do something about jobs?

It's sad to think....

.... We're so behind Europe on this. Multiple EU countries have already faced up to this, and we can't????? The BBC has an article - US deficit talks 'difficult' UGH!

LIGHT-YEARS behind the Europeans

Yes indeedy, we are LIGHT-YEARS behind the Europeans on this one - the GOP has a boner for "austerity", but they still believe that word also includes "tax cuts".

Then again, being the farthest one back on the road from your house to HELL (the endpoint of the EU's "expansionary austerity" plan) is likely a good thing...

Maybe the US should try some

Maybe the US should try some democracy.

You know, where you may have bicameral parliament, and legislation becomes law if it passes with a greater than >50% in each body. And the party that passes the law wears the blame if the law's bad. The danger of getting voted out and your laws gutted is an incentive to crafting laws that are reality based.

But, ha ha. the US doesn't have a true parliament: you have this body, the Senate, where elections DON'T MATTER, because it pretends 60% of votes are needed to even consider voting on legislation. Bipartisanship means nobody takes responsibility and extremists and anarchists rule.

The best thing that could happen is if the tea-party got in with and demanded all their legislative actions get voted on tout de suite. The constitution doesn't say 60% of the Senate is needed to pass a law, only certain laws (treaties, impeachments, presidential veto overrides). The tea party would not stand for 60 votes.

The Democrats proved they are gutless. They need to tea party to open that scary door leading to true democracy.

I hope all will be well

Policy to get the solution, the country prosperous and strong, the peace in the world now.

Super Committee

The deficit in a period of severe economic downturn is not a challenge to be overcome by self-righteous belt-tightening; it is part of the economy's response to the illness, the Galbraithian countervailing force. Capital is on strike right now, but with a 2012 version of the WPA and the CCC providing jobs for millions, businessmen would soon abandon ideology for a piece of that demand. The super committee is worse than useless for the task of starting recovery; its economic theory is wrong and the committee itself represents a withdrawal from democracy. Especially shameful are the contributions to the committee's deliberations of the Democrats. They are eager to destroy the greatest social programs of the 20th century for the contemptible reward of having their ears scratched by the oligarchs and their toadies in the media.

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