November 20, 2011

"The deficit-reduction supercommittee, stuck in a partisan deadlock, faces an almost certain collapse..."

"... raising the threat of disruptive military spending cuts and a resurgent public anger at Congress as it struggles with the basic tasks of governance."
That expected failure injects a greater uncertainty into the nation's political and economic landscape heading into a volatile election year....

Some critics, mostly Republicans, have faulted President Barack Obama for keeping his distance from the committee for months after submitting his own deficit plan. But the outcome could create a political opening for Mr. Obama, bolstering a presidential campaign strategy of running against an ostensibly incompetent Congress.

40 comments:

bagoh20 said...

We are ruled by stupidity and cowardice, and the very idea of this committee was a perfect example of that.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Both sides crave failure. Whatever "compulsory" cuts are indicated by their failure, they will figure out ways to spend the money anyway. In the meantime they can blame each other during the coming year, and the nation loses again.

Psychedelic George said...

The darkest hour is just before the hour when it really gets really really dark.

Henry said...

A supercommittee? Isn't that a bit like superconstipation?

Seriously, the genius of legislative accomplishment is figuring how to move your ideas through committees where no one shows up. A supercommittee is exactly what it says it is. More committee.

Wally Kalbacken said...

At the same time it reinforces the voting public's view of Obama as "not a leader" by extending his habit on the major issues (health care legislation, the debt ceiling, and now this deficit reduction effort.) Voters, even those who are not deeply involved in politics, can see that he does not stake out a position (early or late). It's as if he doesn't have the courage to put down a well defined marker.

John M Auston said...

Well, there is 'partisan deadlock' between a murder and the police, too.
Not necessarily a bad thing.

The Democrats on the committee want to 'murder' the economy (by doubling down on policies that have already failed spectacularly), while the Republicans want to stop them.

I'm in FAVOR of THAT sort of partisan deadlock.

chuck said...

Shrug. The committee was destined to fail, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi made sure of the with their picks. I wrote it off at that time and see no point in worrying about it now, it was failure by design from the get go.

bagoh20 said...

"a political opening for Mr. Obama, bolstering a presidential campaign strategy of running against an ostensibly incompetent Congress."

Oh that's beautiful! That's a powerful message: "At least I'm not as bad as congress."

The bar lower-er in chief.

YoungHegelian said...

I get so weary of the press painting this deadlock as congressional incompetence. It's not. It's the shit hitting the fan, and it's going to get a whole lot smellier before it's over.

Our federal government is out of money, and our economy is in the toilet. Each political party has deeply held but diametrically opposed answers to fixing the problems.

The Democrats seek to improve the economy by repeated Keynesian stimuli, and are loath to undercut government spending in a recession. Their success as a party also rests on keeping their constituents palms greased with federal cash.

The Republicans want to loosen the tax and regulatory burden on businesses so that the many businesses who are sitting on their profits can feel safe re-investing it. They don't want to raise taxes on wealth producers in a down economy. The success as a party depends on fighting to let wealth producers keep their money.

Both sides have legions of economists on their side. Both sides earnestly believe that they have the answer.

This is not incompetence. This is a fundamental clash of governing philosophies.

Its resolution will not be pretty.

EDH said...

"Collapse" is fast becoming the most overused hyperbole in journalism and poltics.

Are we supposed to think of the supercommittee "collapsing" like this?

Michael said...

The amount of "savings" they are charged with finding is about a trillion dollars over ten years. Nothing, actually.

And the "cuts" will be in the rate of growth not the actual cuts the rest of us have to impose on ourselves. Democrats and Republicans alike would do the nation a great service if they would simply come clean about that one significant rhetorical devise. That lie they repeat.

rhhardin said...

This is all intended for another audience, probably soap opera women.

Joe Schmoe said...

Michael, you are right. That's why the punitive result of supercommittee deadlock isn't so punitive, and it's exactly why they have no progress on a plan. They don't care if they incur the default. Each side saves face for not caving.

bagoh20 said...

Imagine, just as a an exercise, that the country was at a near existential fork in the road, a turning point, or as was said above the shit is hitting the fan, or at least the fan is being fired up and something is starting to stink.

What would congress do in such times. Look familiar?

The only real surprise will be if the heroes actually show up and we recognize them?

Michael Haz said...

If the committee members knew that failure to reach agreement meant loss of their jobs, pensions and any future ability to earn income as a lobbyist something would get done.

As it is, there is no risk to the committee members for their failure to accomplish anything.

Maguro said...

The Supercommittee is nothing but theater, since Congress only has the power to make this year's budget. They have no say as to what the budget looks like in 2022, which is what they've been arguing about.

This is not a big fucking deal.

caseym54 said...

Gingrich has been running against the supercommittee all along.

bagoh20 said...

I love gridlock, but like closing the barn door, timing is everything.

Eric said...

The whole point of the supercommittee was that it would fail. The "automatic" cuts were agreed upon from the start, but this way they have political cover.

edutcher said...

Apparently leading from behind is even worse than voting present. as chuck notes, the Demos' choices - Patty Murray, moron; Lurch, pompous ass; Becerra, pathological liar; Baucus, ZeroCare architect; and Clyburn, race hustler - ensured disaster.

Toss in a wuss like Kyl and a RINO jerk like Upton and the only good thing to be said is that it avoids absolute cataclysm.

It's going to be interesting to see if O'Really's right and the markets collapse tomorrow.

I'm guessing not.

That comes when the Red Chinese go under.

Next week.

WV "autate" What you think the Supercommittee should do, but it happens by itself.

Carnifex said...

The solution for Congress being seen as feckless and puerile is for Congress to not be feckless and puerile. Unfortunately, we have Whore House Harry Reid in charge of the Senate, and Weepy Boehner in charge of the House.

How 2 supposedly divergent philosophies can result in a Corsican Brothers farce starring these 2 pukes is damning to our whole system of government.

Maguro said...

The whole point of the supercommittee was that it would fail. The "automatic" cuts were agreed upon from the start, but this way they have political cover.

The point is that there is no such thing as an automatic cut. This Congress only has the power to pass this year's budget - any recommendation that this Congress may make on future budgets is purely advisory in nature.

The Supercommittee is a lot like a blog comments section - a bunch of people arguing about things they have no control over.

Spread Eagle said...

stuck in a partisan deadlock, faces an almost certain collapse...

The way it was intended and the way it should be. Constitution doesn't expressly discuss committees, let alone "supercommittees" to do Congressional dirtywork.

bagoh20 said...

We are the supercommenters.

PETER V. BELLA said...

If anyone remembers this was predicted when the committee was formed.

Jason said...

There would be no need for "supercommittees" stuck in a "partisan deadlock" if this president and senate would bother to even write a budget that is passable.

We're now pushing 3 years since the US Senate passed a budget. 3 years. Imagine running your business without a budget in that time frame.

All that most politicians in government want to do is spend. And what is happening in this "supercommittee" is proof positive that once government gets comfortable spending money, it will never get cut. Ever.

Hagar said...

The "Supercommittee" never was anything but BS, since it could never "find" anything but what the leadership told it to find, and with the people selected to sit on the committee, it was a given that it was not going to take orders from the leadership.

Chip S. said...

The US Congress hasn't conformed to its own schedule for passing a formal budget since 1998.

It formed a subcommittee that failed to conform to its own schedule.

Shocking.

JAL said...

Just what Obama wanted, actually.

But it's not going to work.

AJ Lynch said...

"Supercommenters" Heh, Bago I see a good t-shirt idea!

Paul said...

'ostensibly incompetent Congress."

More like a ostensibly incompetent Government.. and that INCLUDES the executive branch.

I expect alot of Congressmen as well as Obama will be looking for another job after Nov. 2012 elections.

And the Dems have more to loose this time that the Republicans. Expect the Republicans to win both houses AND the White House.

And alot of has-been hacks like Eric Holder, Gunther, Janet Napolitano, and Ben Bernanke will be fired.

David said...

The failure of the debt super committee changes nothing. It was a terrible idea--a punt, really--and doomed to achieve nothing. It was just an admission that our present legislators are incapable of dealing with a serious problem in a rational way.

It's going to take more than one election cycle, and probably a trip into at least the upper reaches of the financial abyss, before anything is done.

John Lynch said...

The super-committee was made to fail. It's a fig leaf for the actual deal, which is the automatic cuts that happen when it fails. It was never anything else. No cuts were possible without going through the theater of a committee staffed with people guaranteed to be incapable of compromise.

Scott M said...

The super-committee was made to fail. It's a fig leaf for the actual deal, which is the automatic cuts that happen when it fails.

I have serious doubts that Congress is even going to hold itself to those triggers.

As far as AA's posit of an Obama opening re the committee's failure, cross reference that with last week's Chris Mathews interview. Here's a guy, Tingles you might call him, once completely in Obama's bag (no pun). In the interview, he complains sharply about POTUS' complete disengagement, that members of Congress are complaining that they never hear from the administration.

If hacks like Matthews can see this, a strategy of anti-Congress isn't going to work.

Dave said...

As if there was any doubt this would happen. Krauthammer predicted they will now defang the deadline

Jay said...

Oh well, at least we know the Democrats are the party of tax the young wage earner to subsidize the older, wealthier retiree.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Politically incompetent Congress??? How about the President, who convened his own personal debt commission last December, let them complete their exercise and issue their recommendation, and then elevated his princely nose and blew the whole thing off?

Politically incompetent doesn't begin to describe that waste of everybody's time. Vote the incompetent rascal out.

John Lynch said...

Scott M-

The record of previous "automatic" cuts suggests that you are right.

sorepaw said...

The supercommittee was expected to fail from the git-go.

Now are we going to the "automatic" cuts rescinded before they kick in?

The resistance to allowing Federal spending on anything to decline in actual dollars is truly fierce.

sorepaw said...

Now are we going to *see* the "automatic cuts" rescinded...