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    Super Committee Sunday

    Super Committee Sunday

    The so-called Super Committee is on the brink of failure, if it has not already failed:

    The congressional committee tasked with reducing the federal deficit is poised to admit defeat as soon as Monday, and its unfinished business will set up a year-end battle over emergency jobless benefits and an expiring payroll tax holiday.

    This failure was completely foreseeable.  The gap between Democratic and Republican visions of the economy is too broad.

    When I supported the debt deal last August it was not because it was a good deal or because I thought the Super Committee would amount to anything, but because Republicans had become the proverbial dog chasing the car:

    But the debt ceiling was an imperfect device on which to mount the effort to change the direction of government.  Unlike a “mere” budget impasse resulting in a partial shutdown of government, the debt ceiling holds more risk.  I never bought into the August 2 drop-dead date, but I do accept that with $100 billion per month deficits we could not last long after August 2 before collateral effects were felt.  Those collateral effects go beyond a debt downgrade (which probably will happen anyway), and include economic dislocation would be hard to predict politically.

    So we are, to some extent, like the proverbial dog chasing the car which doesn’t know what to do with it once it catches the car.   The car being a failure to raise the debt ceiling for a significant period of time.  What would be do with it once we got it?

    Negotiations never were going to resolve conflicting visions of the role and expansion of government.  Only elections can resolve those competing visions.

    So there likely will be no deal.  No big deal.  It sets up the competing visions of our country’s future quite nicely for November 2012.  The electorate can choose Greece if it wants, but I don’t think it will do so.


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    With respect Professor, your statement that “The gap between Democratic and Republican visions of the economy is too broad.” doesn’t go far enough.

    It’s not about the gap between visions of the economy; it’s about the gap between visions of the role of government. The failure of the Super Committee is a manifestation of something bigger. One side sees government as the solution to all of our problems; the other sees government as the cause of all of our problems.

    Sadly, the president – with all of his have vs. have-not rhetoric – has made this division worse. As long as the Congress is divided and we have a feckless president, I can’t see any way out of it.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall | November 20, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    >> The electorate can choose Greece if it wants, but I don’t think it will do so. <<

    Based on what? The good judgment they showed in 2008? Or maybe the extraordinary brilliance of Ohioans who voted to repeal the public sector reform law that was necessary to get the budget in order? Or the Pew poll published a month ago in which fully half of the respondents could not name a single Republican candidate running for president?

    I wish I had your optimism that voters will do the right thing when they have the chance.

    Milwaukee | November 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Didn’t those Ohioans, on one hand, reverse the law that would place limits on public sector union bargaining rights, and on the other hand, limit the ability of government agencies to raise taxes? So, where is the money to pay those public sector unions going to come from?

    David R. Graham | November 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    It’s not a fail. It’s a Democrat bear trap stepped into by Republicans. DoD is the target. Their share of budget is minuscule compared to that of other departments and agencies. Equal across-the-board reductions would hurt only DoD, the Democrat target. The committee “failing” is a feature, not a bug, by Democrat planning and Republican poltroonery.

    The so-called Super Committee is the product of failure .. the failure of Pres**ent Obama and Congressional Leadership to take the servicing of the debt seriously.
    Failure begots failure.

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