November 21, 2011

"Congress's special deficit-cutting committee bowed to reality Monday and called it quits..."

"... with both sides having concluded it was easier to swallow failure than any of the possible compromise deals offered...."
Members of both parties are worried about the impact of the automatic cuts, but it would be even more difficult for them to come to a comprehensive budget agreement to supplant them in an election year than it was for the special deficit committee.

64 comments:

Seven Machos said...

The impact of automatic cuts is going to be saving money and cutting the debt and deficit.

Let the states cover their citizens. Or not. Let people decide where they live how they wish to be governed.

bagoh20 said...

It sure was effortless to get here though. I guess this means we're at the bottom of the hill now. Start peddling.

sorepaw said...

Maybe the "automatic" cuts will actually go into effect this time around.

They still allow for significant increases in future Federal spending, when significant decreases are what is needed.

Drew W said...

I'm pretty sure that the failure of the congressional supercommittee to reach an agreement signals the automatic formation of a congressional superdupercommittee.

Carol_Herman said...

Stupid. They should have picked a number. Anywhere from 1 percent to 10 percent. And, declared there was going to be a Federal CUT to everyone who gets a Federal payout. This means TO: Medicare, and welfare recipients, as well. And, to defense.

How could Federal agencies deal with this? They'd get a percentage less in next year's budget. They could fire people. OR they could just give everyone that percentage amount LESS.

When this story, ahead, gets told, though. You'll learn the democraps wanted to tax the rich. (Excluding members of congress.)

Obama didn't want to come rescue them, either.

As to 2012 ... after the elections ... a lot of this crap (from both parties) will be gone.

And, hopefully, the "lobbying door" gets closed. How? By putting people in jail.

I didn't say the Federal government stops. I just said there would be pay cuts.

(As an aside, it seems Clint Eastwood's movie on J. Edgar Hoover just crapped out.)

Paddy O said...

Can we make all sorts of decisions automatic? That way we can just get rid of congress for a while. They don't seem to be doing anything.

Pogo said...

Refusing to balance your checkbook doesn't eliminate the effects of being overdrawn.

edutcher said...

If they let the Supercommittee fail, the cuts will fail, too.

This is about buying time.

Pogo said...

Refusing to believe in the balance book itself has doomed other nations past. Magical thinking defers Armageddon but a fortnight.

Jason (the commenter) said...

If we got cuts it's not a failure.

Scott M said...

This may seem a bit naive, but don't they have until Wednesday? Not only are they failing, but they're quitting two full days before their deadline?

Eli Blake said...

The fact is though, that Democrats are favored as far as things happening automatically. The cuts will go into effect. Notice it's the GOP that is saying they want to renege on the defense cuts, Democrats are willing to see equal cuts in social spending and war spending. And Obama has promised to veto any attempt to roll back the automatic cuts, with reason.

Also, if nothing is done about taxes, all the Bush tax cuts will expire at the end of next year anyway.

So inertia and gridlock and hardcore partisanship at the moment favors the Democrats (and keep in mind that even if Republicans sweep next year's election, it's virtually impossible they will get a filibuster proof majority that they'd need to repeal the Affordable Care Act in the Senate or anything else they want to do.

Simon said...

It was inevitable. You can't forge consensus among two groups with such fundamentally opposite views on not only the problem but the underlying causes of the problem. How could they, when one side's analysis of the problem implies that the other's solution will exacerbate the situation, and vice versa? In that situation, it's very difficult to give ground in good conscience.

I must say that I had money riding on this result, partly because I thought it was the most likely outcome, and partly because it struck me as a good outcome. Now we get some real cuts; that's progress.

Eli Blake said...

Or, put more succinctly, if nothing gets done, it will be overall pretty good news for Democrats. And in Washington it is far easier to get nothing done than something done.

SteveR said...

I never saw that coming

Saint Croix said...

This is utter, utter horseshit.

It's $1.2 trillion in cuts over the next ten years.

Meanwhile, we're adding over a $1 trillion in new debt every fucking year.

It's amazing to me how journalists can talk about "cuts" with a straight face. This is insane.

sorepaw said...

This may seem a bit naive, but don't they have until Wednesday?

The effective deadline was today so the CBO could score whatever they came up with, and deliver its analysis on Wednesday.

Psychedelic George said...

The most fascinating part of all this is...the seeming complacency of everyone.

One wonders what it was like in the late 1930s.

David Stockman has repeatedly said that we are on the brink of a "thundering conflagration." Squeaky voiced Ron Paul over and over this Sunday said on Face the Nation, "We're bankrupt! We're bankrupt!"

And Obama? Even his friends say he's Mr. Do Nothing, Mr. Never Calls to Say Hello. Too busy putting his little girls to bed.

Just today we learn of a new catch phrase out of Europe..."Forced currency repatriation." Greek money. Swiss banks. You connect the dots. $81 billion.

If that sort of thing is starting to happen, how about Italian money in Swiss banks or who know whose money where? This is the sort of event that triggers market meltdowns or bank runs. If the big private money starts to think that big governments are going to lock down their money, people are going to move for the exits.

These sorts of financial panics happen quickly. Like tsunamis.

sorepaw said...

Democrats are willing to see equal cuts in social spending and war spending.

Not really.

They don't mind some cuts in military spending (not that even these are real cuts; the Pentagon's budget will still increase over the next decade).

What the Democrats can't abide is real cuts in any other area of Federal spending.

Any at all.

We will soon see efforts to block the "automatic cuts."

From Democrats.

sorepaw said...

It's amazing to me how journalists can talk about "cuts" with a straight face.

Most journalists are wannabe politicians. Reporting events is dreadfully boring, when you have a chance to shape them instead.

So the media types have come to share the politicians' delusions.

David said...

Don't fall for Obama's misdirection play.

Obama, who has never put forth a proposal, now has the focus on Congress, and particularly Congressional Republicans.

This is exactly how he planned it. This is why Obama completely ignored the concrete recommendations of his own Deficit Commission.

Obama will not lead if there is a hint of political risk in doing so.

Erskine Bowles, the Democratic co-chair of the Deficit Commission, said as much today in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

The real story here is: President Fails to Lead, Blames Congress.

The Supercommittee was created by Obama and the Democratic Congressional leadership with a guarantee of failure.

You are all being played by Obama when you focus on the Super Committee.

Saint Croix said...

Obama is patting himself on the back for his $9 trillion debt increase over the next 10 years, instead of the original planned $10.2 trillion debt increase.

Or whatever the insanely high numbers turn out to be.

To call this horseshit a "cut" is mind-boggling dishonest. Could we get some fucking honesty from the press, please?

Lance said...

This may seem a bit naive, but don't they have until Wednesday?

The effective deadline was today so the CBO could score whatever they came up with, and deliver its analysis on Wednesday.


Actually, they have until January 2013. That is, the committee is due to report on Wednesday, but the sequestration doesn't take effect until the end of next year. That's plenty of time to find a way around the automatic cuts.

Calypso Facto said...

Woo hoo! The automatic "cuts" mean we're going to increase the Federal budget by almost 50% in 10 years rather than just over 50% in 10 years.

Still...beats hitting the accelerator I guess.

Chuck66 said...

The automatic cuts could be devistating to certain programs, but do little to solve our problems if we don't reform the unfunded entitlments.

$100,000,000,000,000,000 and counting.

Chuck66 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DADvocate said...

This failure highlights the selfish, greedy stance of most Senators and Congresspersons. They more willing to watch the country go down the tubes, people lose jobs, houses, medical care, their lives, etc than risk losing re-election.

Chuck66 said...

Dado....yup. Paul Ryan is one of the very few people who speak out about the problem.

Chip S. said...

Apparently this "leading from behind" thing is really catching on.

Saint Croix said...

Most journalists are wannabe politicians.

No. They are fucking lazy. They go on TV and repeat what they are told. They are wannabe celebrities.

They are told that we are cutting $1.2 trillion in the "deficit." This is true. It's also fucking meaningless.

It's like promising to rob nine banks over the next ten years, instead of the ten you originally planned to rob. And then bragging about how you're cutting your dishonesty by 10%.

Journalists are too lazy or stupid or dishonest to understand the difference between "deficit" and "debt."

And it's not rocket science. You just have to pay attention.

Going $9 trillion into debt over the next ten years (instead of $10.2 trillion) is cutting the "deficit."

"We saved $1.2 trillion dollars!"

No. You lying assholes are planning to take us $9 trillion deeper into debt. That's the fucking news. Report on that.

It's like your crazy fucking uncle who signs up for 9 credit cards instead of 10, and brags about how he's cutting back on his debts.

If journalists had any honesty or brains at all, they would tell us how our crazy fucking uncle is taking us deeper into debt when he signs up for 9 more credit cards.

To brag about how tough it was for crazy uncle to forgo that one extra credit card, holy shit.

And now, after he only signs up for nine more credit cards, and his brutal, brutal cutback from the ten credit cards that he was planning to sign up for, now crazy uncle is going to ask us to give him some more money to balance his budget.

Oh my God, it is too insane for words.

bagoh20 said...

I still don't get what that Tea Party was all about - things are under control,and they just keep harping about the debt and spending and fiscal responsibility. They are completely out of touch, and have been for a couple years now.

Saint Croix said...

okay, my apologies to CBS news.

Honesty. Thank you. More of this, please.

Lucien said...

IF Obama can be resolute and veto craven attempts to weasel out of the sequestration (a big if), THEN he will be able to run against Congress, and paint the eventual Republican nominee as someone who supports the Republican side of this debacle, while he is against the entire Congress.

That, plus killing Bin Laden, plus successful withdrawal from Iraq, plus stasis in Afghanistan can equal a second term.

Carnifex said...

YOU ARE ALL SHEEP! THERE ARE NO CUTS!!!!!!!!!!!

There is merely a reduction in the growth of spending... DO YOU GET IT YET!

Once more, there are NO cuts. Goddamn.

Think before you post your trivial squeelings of doom. Sound like lemmings going over a cliff.

Meanwhile, the government is planning to start using unmanned recognizance drones to spy on your movement. Cities in Texas are buying drone helicopters for surveillance usage (not weaponized yet). At least we're better than Britain, they're gonna use AWAC's on their citizens.

Meanwhile 2, the guys most responsible for pushing the fast and furious story into the main stream is coming out with a new expose about a program called "Patcon".

Patcon they allege started out to be an infiltration of racial supremecist terrorist groups, but eventually morphed into a program that duped, and used these criminals as ways to influence public opinion, and perform hatchet jobs on political opponents. The FBI supplying material, training and leadership to these groups. A couple of the major players involved are Eric Holder, and Janet Nepolitano. Wow! Who would of think that?

There's more important shit going down right now than the bastards in DC trying to spend us into oblivion.

Bender said...

There are NO cuts in actual spending. Even under this complete farce, at most what is cut is the amount of increase. But in any event, there is no enforceable cuts even to that extent because future Congresses will spend whatever they want to spend.

This complete thing is a fraud, brought to us not only by Obama, but by Boehner.

And if you want to know how a President Romney will govern, just look at the bang up job that Boehner is doing.

Whatever happened to the "go back to 2008 spending levels" idea??? It is not like the Republicans have no power here. All they have to do is for the House to pass a bill that appropriates only at 2008 levels. The Senate and Obama can then take it or leave it.

The only way that more can be spent is if Republicans acquiesce in it. The problem is the the House leadership -- including Ryan and Cantor -- are complete worms.

Chip S. said...

Does anybody here know if there are going to be actual cuts in spending?

cf said...

David has it exactly right: this is precisely the thing that punk candidate that is holding our Presidency hostage planned and hoped for.

Barack Obama, with his treacherous helpmates throughout the capitol Borgoplex, couldn't have played it better. Madame Congress Queen and her henchmen who will not be thrown out, I am talking to you.

Play the clock out by sticking your butt in the crosswalk and then. slouch. across. real. slow.

We need to kick these sorry asses out Now. 13 months more? Are you friggin kidding me?

Say, Occupiers, you wanna do some good? Help Ryan's already passed in the House budget get through. That might even get some of Obama's phony advisory committees recommendations to actually see the light of day.

G*d help this nation. And all of its leaders, every one.

rcommal said...

Given the reality, the best choice here, in the event, is to look at this--over time, now poised to unfold--as an experience in, and an opportunity to evaluate, the virtues of our legislators collectively and individually abdicating the power of the scalpel and embracing the the force of a blindly yielded axe.

--

Who, exactly, is going to be deciding the implementation of the automatic cuts, what will be chosen and how?

rcommal said...

Does anybody here know if there are going to be actual cuts in spending?

Who knows? For all anyone knows, in order to preserve great leaps in spending within, for example, just one category in whatever place, there could be drastic cuts or eliminations in an unexpected OTHER category within, for example, that same "whatever" place. Who knows? *Not little us*, however much we might [supposedly] wish to know, and not our abdicating legislators, precisely because *they [apparently] explicitly wish NOT to know*.

So: ^shrug^ is the thing, the ticket. Let's see how the show goes on.

Eric said...

If they let the Supercommittee fail, the cuts will fail, too.

This is about buying time.


I think this is true. The cuts are slated to happen in 2013, after the election. For one thing the way Congress does accounting would get you or I arrested. There are a dozen ways they could claim to make cuts without actually making them.

But on a more fundamental constitutional level no Congress can bind a future Congress. The Congressmen that take office in 2013 will be in no mood to jeopardize their insider trading privileges by pushing through unpopular cuts.

Unfortunately the proble we've faced for the last 30 years remains: The American people want benefits they don't want to pay for. That's not going to change in 2013, and you can't blame Congress for giving the people what they want.

Guy in Ohio said...

These cuts, assuming they even happen, are nothing but a fart in a windstorm. It's going to take a lot more than 1.2T over ten years to fix the mess we're in. We're living in a fantasy world, and I see no signs that anyone is ready to wake up.

Guy in Ohio said...

And, I ask you ... how can there be any real "cuts", when they don't even have a freakin' budget?

We just keep letting them get away with this nonsense, which means WE are really the ones to blame.

rcommal said...

Formal budget, what budget? Lack of formal budget, what lack of budget? Funny--innit?--how a formal budget, or the lack thereof, isn't really the issue at all any more. My take is that such an underpinning is seen by almost everyone as primarily an unwanted burden, an impediment even.

Bill S. said...

We need two things right now: (1) growth in the economy and (2) lower government spending. Both will arrest the growth in our budget deficit. I suspect that the hole our politicians have dug us is so deep that eventually we may have to talk about some form of tax increases---but we consider this only after we get the economy growing again and only after we cut government waste/spending meaningfully. To raise taxes now in the middle of a recession is insane--think that will help the economy grow?

rhhardin said...

Elections are where decisions are made, not committees.

Then if reason prevails, it's followed by union street demonstrations and four years of spin.

AllenS said...

I'd like to see Sarah Palin, who commands a large audience, propose that the POTUS, Senators and House members immediately take a 10% pay reduction. If they haven't figured out anything by the 1st of the year, add another 10%.

Someone needs to run on this platform. What say you, Newt? Maybe L. Ron Paul.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"Members of both parties are worried about the impact of the automatic cuts, but it would be even more difficult for them to come to a comprehensive budget agreement to supplant them in an election year than it was for the special deficit committee."

Translation:

Neither dems or repubs want their fingerprints on the political equivalent of a 'hospital pass'. Especially on the cusp of an election year.

No will, no way.

Its the Alfred E. Neumann approach to government that has been so 'in vogue'.

wv - herochie

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Allow me to provide the truth about the so-called 'cuts' proposed in this silly government exercise; there are NO CUTS.

In Washington, there are automatic spending increases.

In Washington, a cut is NOT a cut.

In this case, instead of a 23% spending increase, the increase would be trimmed to 16%.

So, from our baseline from say, last fiscal year, Washington calls a 16% increase over last, a CUT, because it won't be the originally scheduled 23%. It is still a 16% budget increase.

That's NOT a cut.

Cooks. Thats what we have in Washington. And the cuisine is our fiscal situation.

Saint Croix said...

I'd like to see Sarah Palin, who commands a large audience, propose that the POTUS, Senators and House members immediately take a 10% pay reduction.

What's the frickin' point in that, when they make millions of dollars in sweet insider trading?

hawkeyedjb said...

It is true that there will be no 'cuts' to anything, and that's because the American people don't want cuts. There might be a small cranky few who actually want government to be downsized, but the vast majority wants just what government is giving them: More. In the abstract, voters are in favor of 'cuts' but in reality, they mean reductions at the Departments of Waste, Fraud, and Abuse, and the dreaded Foreign Aid. Voters most certainly do not want any reductions to their Social Security, Medicare, farm payments, local military bases, highway spending etc. And by the way, voters also favor increases in somebody else's taxes.

I think Mr. Obama has a very clear read on the electorate.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Tax the rich! The 400 richest Americans have a combined income of just over $90B. Take it all! Every nickel. The federal deficit will be reduced from about $1.6T to $1.5T.

Oh, wait. Collectively they have about $500B in total wealth. Let's go get it! All of it. Great. We've got the deficit down to just a Trillion dollars. This year.

Now the rich are gone. They buy nothing because they cannot. Welcome to East Germany.

Oh, and just so's you'll sleep REALLY well tonight ... the real problem isn't $18T combined government debt, it's the $43T of combined PRIVATE debt, only about $8T of which is on behalf of corporations.

Mr. & Mrs. America are on the hook for $35 Trillion of utterly non-productive, non-self-liquidating debt. I hope you enjoyed your cash-out-refi cruise.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

hawkeyedjb said

"There might be a small cranky few who actually want government to be downsized, but the vast majority wants just what government is giving them: More."

OK, I'll play;

1. Who do you think might be the 'small cranky few'? Maybe you mean the 'many' who work, pay income and property taxes, and don't actually receive bennies that the unproductive folks are getting. Just asking.

2. When you say 'vast majority', do you mean the 'unproductive' folks? Yes I would agree that probably 100% of them want their bennies for nothing in return. I think thats what you really mean.

3. Question to ponder, just for grins; do you believe we should ask the 'vast majority' of benefit-receivers to exchange these benefits for public works/projects? In other words, should the Americans paying the freight insist on some kind of exchange? Bennies for work?

Saint Croix said...

Here is Obama's response to the Tea Party rebuke in 2010.

Obama got his debt ceiling increase to last him until 2013.

He has pushed all cuts until 2013, and those are automatic.

No tax hikes scheduled until 2013, and those are automatic.

He is like George fucking Jetson. Work 3 days a week.

Now I believe it's time for another vacation.

Meanwhile, our public debt is now $15 trillion.

It was $5 trillion just ten years ago.

Public debt under Gingrich:

1995 $4.9 trillion
1996 $5.2 trillion
1997 $5.4 trillion
1998 $5.5 trillion

It still goes up. It always goes up.

Public debt under Hastert:

1999 $5.6 trillion
2000 $5.6 trillion (boy they brag about this--debt only went up $20 billion, it's like a rounding error)
2001 $5.8 trillion
2002 $6.2 trillion
2003 $6.7 trillion
2004 $7.3 trillion
2005 $7.9 trillion
2006 $8.5 trillion

That's a big debt increase. You remember how Reagan bankrupted the Soviets? Maybe that's what Islamic nutjobs are doing to us.

And then four years of Pelosi...

2007 $9 trillion
2008 $10 trillion
2009 $11.9 trillion
2010 $13.5 trillion

No budgets at all, those last couple of years. Sweet times.

Boehner's first year, we're at $15 trillion in debt. Good job, cowboy. Work on that tan some more.

Jay said...

I think Mr. Obama has a very clear read on the electorate

Is that why his party did so well in the 2010 midterms?

Or is that why he's polling so well?

Jay said...

Democrats are willing to see equal cuts in social spending and war spending.

Now that is laugh out loud funny.

Tank said...

Glad to see that there are some people here who get it.

They/we are the less than 1%.

DEAD COUNTRY WALKING

Just sayin.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"Boehner's first year, we're at $15 trillion in debt. Good job, cowboy. Work on that tan some more."

Are you attributing this debt # to John Boehner?

We are all aware that he is speaker of the house. In case you've chosen to only pay attention to his skin hue, I should tell you that he, Eric Cantor and others are driving the democrats crazy over this.

If you think Mr. Boehner can solve this problem on his own, well, I really don't have a response to that.

Simplistic 'solutions' have led us to where the country is now. Factor in utter economic ignorance and lack of accountability and the results are foregone.

Christopher in MA said...

Who would have thought that a committee with two intellectual titans such as John Kerry and Patty Murray would fail to come up with a grand, bipartisan, secure solution?

And I agree with Bender about going back to 2008 spending levels, but that will never happen. There was a thread the other day where Garage threw out a little snark about going back to the Reagan tax rates for the "rich." Fine, I said, as long as we go back to the Reagan spending level. Agree?

Garage vanished faster than Michael Moore being asked to pay a dinner check.

Every tax increase is sold as "just a cup of coffee a week." Every tax cut is demoized as "cutting into muscle!"

I'm ready to channel Reverend Wright at this point. God help America? God damn America. Let it all burn down. Let's see Nancy Pelosi AND Newt Gingrich hanging from lampposts. Burn it all down and start over.

MadisonMan said...

I do not think the "automatic" cuts will go through. I think Congress will renege on its word.

Again.

Tank said...

Chris - you're so right about Murray. I heard her speaking in an interview last year about economic issues, and I thought ... that woman is as dumb as a brick.

hawkeyedjb said...

"Is that why his party did so well in the 2010 midterms? Or is that why he's polling so well?"

I ga-ron-tee this: if the Republicans put up a candidate who says, specifically, I'm gonna cut this and this and this, president Obama will win 60 to 70% of the vote. Americans only want smaller government in the abstract; the vast majority are like the Greeks. Actual, serious cuts in government expenditure will bring riots in the streets, even after the country has gone bust.

Ron Paul is the only candidate who's serious about reducing government. He'd get 20% against president Obama.

sorepaw said...

Garage vanished faster than Michael Moore being asked to pay a dinner check.

The unit's programming doesn't remotely prepare it to respond to questions about Reagan-era levels of Federal spending.

sorepaw said...

He'd get 20% against president Obama.

Ron Paul was over 40% against Obama in one poll.

But it's early yet.

sorepaw said...

Does anybody here know if there are going to be actual cuts in spending?

You mean CUT cuts, as Murray Rothbard called them?

No, the "automatic cuts," even if they are implemented, aren't cut cuts. All they do is bend down the rate of increase.