Question: is anyone – and I mean anyone – somehow surprised that the Supercommittee failed?
Seriously? Is there anyone who actually thought that this collection of ideologically loyal representatives handpicked by leaders on each side was ever going to compromise and try to work something out?
I’m not suggesting that compromise was the right or best thing to do – I’m simply asking a question about the make up of the committee and how anyone who knows anything about how Washington DC works could have or would have expected success.
And, as Michael said in the podcast, there was no incentive for them to succeed. There was every incentive to do exactly what happened, fail to reach any sort of consensus.
So, as Jim Geraghty quips in today’s Morning Jolt, they now get back to what they do best:
After the Supercommittee, Congress returns to its core competency: finger-pointing
And we will certainly see much of that in the next few weeks. Already some in the media are trying to spin it a certain way.
The imminent failure of the congressional deficit “supercommittee,” which had a chance to settle the nation’s tax policy for the next decade, would thrust the much-contested Bush tax cuts into the forefront of next year’s presidential campaign.
Why do I consider that “spin”? Because the “much-contested Bush tax cuts” are simply the current tax rate, nothing more. Tax rates have changed over the many years of income taxation and never has one rate, which has been in effect for years, been referred too as a “tax cut”. They certainly didn’t refer to tax increases under Bill Clinton as the “much-contested Clinton tax increases” did they?
No, they were simply the new tax rates.
So as with many things, the media has bought into the description that one side has put out there to keep attention focused in a negative way on the so-called “rich”. Rarely do they point out the amount of the total taxes these “rich” pay when they parrot the politicians call for the rich to pay their “fair share”. Nor do they bother to point out that even if the “rich” pay 100% of their earnings in taxes it won’t solve the deficit problem.
Presented as the unchallenged panacea to all that is wrong is this tax increase.
Note what isn’t mentioned. Spending. In fact, we’ve quietly slipped past $15 trillion cumulative national debt in the last week. That means that in less than a year, another trillion in spending borrowed money has occurred. We’ve now managed to run up a debt equal to 100% of our nation’s GDP.
That should be what we’re talking about in the 2012 presidential campaign. How we managed in 3 short years to push the debt from $9 trillion to $15 trillion. It certainly wasn’t the “rich” who did that, nor would increasing taxes on them have stopped it.
While at some point revenue increases may end up being something the Congress will discuss, the problem to this point remains the fact that Congress has done absolutely nothing to stem the red ink that keeps running our national debt through the roof.
And the sequestration cuts supposedly triggered by the failure of the Supercommittee take place when? 2013 of course. After the election and when a new Congress, which can’t be held to the cuts made by a former Congress, comes into existence.
In reality, this is nothing more than a new fangled way for our politicians to kick the can down the road while they squabble about something which really has no bearing and would have little effect on the primary problem: out-of-control spending.