Monday, November 21, 2011

The "Super Committee" Shows That the Government is Actually Working

I think the Congressional Super Committee was always intended to fail. The rules that set it up already included massive cuts to social services and defense. The president has already said he will let the Bush tax cuts run out. Together, these cuts and new taxes will take a big hunk out of the deficit soon, and will gradually bring it under control.

This strategy was how the Clinton administration worked with the Congress (both parties) to get the Reagan/Bush deficit under control. This strategy is how the Obama administration will work with the Congress (both parties) to get the Bush II deficit under control.

I believe the Republican leadership wants to work with the Democratic leadership and the president to actually govern. The Republicans are hampered by a very foolish pledge most of them made to never raise taxes, even when we need to. Since that pledge is an impossible governing standard, and most of the Republican leadership actually does want to govern, they needed an end-run like this Super Committee drama to give them political cover for actually acting responsibly.

I find it encouraging that, despite the bluster, our government leaders are, in fact, finding ways to act responsibly.

14 comments:

Solomon Kleinsmith said...

No it wont. It's good to let the Bush tax cuts expire, but that barely dents the long term debt problems that come from the growth of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid over the next few generations. Taxes need to go up more, phased in over time, defense spending needs to be cut even more AND entitlement programs need to have their cost growth trajectory changed. This is just the tip of the iceburg.

Solomon Kleinsmith
Rise of the Center

Anonymous said...

What a relentlessly optimistic post on a failed congressional effort. I don’t buy that the failed “super committee” shows that government is working, but I appreciate the generous light in which you portray Republicans who look to a lot of folks like bad-faith obstructionists.

ceemac said...

asYour old friend Bill McKenzie does not share your optimistic view.

http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2011/11/congress-needs.html

He laments the lack of a "Muscular Middle" in congress.

gruntled said...

I do agree with my old friend Bill McKenzie. Our government would be better off with principled centrists who want to govern.

There are some - I think my own congressman is trying to be such a centrist.

Anonymous said...

I think the Republicans won this one, all cuts and no higher taxes. Government did work this time.

gruntled said...

The president already said the top-end Bush tax cuts will expire. That was part of everyone's planning.

chris matthews said...

The thrill is gone!

gruntled said...

I would be happy to have competent government without so many thrills, thank you. :-)

Alex said...

I disagree. I don't think the Republicans care about the deficit one bit. They care about reducing the size and scope of government. They knew that the Bush tax cuts would run up the deficit and how politically difficult/unpopular it would be to let them expire, which leaves huge cuts to entitlement programs as the only option to balance the books.

chris matthews said...

Alex we need huge cuts in entitlements and low taxes, otherwise we are All in deep trouble..

Anonymous said...

One big reason Republicans refuse to raise taxes is that Democrats always go break their promises to shrink government. Can't trust you guys.

gruntled said...

You might want to review what happened to the size and reach of government under the Republican presidents of the past half century.

Anonymous said...

You might want to review Obama's record of spending. Look at the CBO's latest report on Obama-care specifically.

gruntled said...

Universal health care will, of course, cost more to begin with, because it is universal. For that extra cost we get the extra benefit of universal health care. But in the out years, as the CBO itself says, universal health care will reduce the cost of medical care, which is a huge burden on the whole population.