published Friday, November 25th, 2011

'Super' spending cuts on hold

The failure of Congress' "super committee" to come up with just $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions -- over the next decade -- is a failure of a majority of the full Congress to face the threat posed by our $15 trillion national debt.

And that dereliction by too many elected lawmakers was rightly condemned by the conservative members of Congress from our region.

* "It is nothing short of an embarrassment, an absolute national disgrace and failure of leadership that we cannot agree on even a paltry $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction," declared Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Chattanooga.

* Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., decried the impasse as "a failure of government not of money." Citing the automatic cuts -- disproportionately in national defense -- that are scheduled to kick in in 2013 because of the super committee's failure, he added, "[T]he debt will be cut by another $1.2 trillion, but it will be done the wrong way."

* "Our country deserves better," GOP U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann of Chattanooga said.

* "Failure on the behalf of Congress should not have been an option," Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia lamented.

Other area lawmakers called on the entire Congress to step up to the plate.

* "Spending cuts need to be debated in the light of the House floor -- not by a select group of individuals behind closed doors," said Tennessee's 4th District Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais.

* "Americans are seeking men and women of courage who are willing to be champions for the taxpayer," said GOP Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia. "Thi s is their time to stand."

It most assuredly is.

Now that the time-wasting "super committee" is out of the way, the full Congress should accept its responsibility and begin cutting federal spending.

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charivara said...

Apparently the hypocrisy of Republicans knows no bounds and is exceeded only by the misrepresentation of reality daily found in this column.

November 25, 2011 at 9:35 a.m.
acerigger said...

Imagine if the Democrats offered Republicans a deficit deal that had more than $3 in tax increases for every $1 in spending cuts, assigned most of those spending cuts to the Pentagon, and didn't take a dime from Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare beneficiaries. Republicans would laugh at them. But without quite realizing it, that's the deal Republicans have now offered to the Democrats In August, Republicans scored what they thought was a big win by persuading Democrats to accept a trigger that consisted only of spending cuts. The price they paid was 1) concentrating the cuts on the Pentagon while exempting Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare beneficiaries, and 2) delaying the cuts until January 1, 2013. That was, they figured, a win, as it eschewed taxes. Grover Norquist's pledge remained unbroken.

But 12 years earlier, George W. Bush had set a trigger of his own. In order to pass his tax cuts using the 51-vote budget reconciliation process, he had agreed to let them sunset in 2010. A last-minute deal extended them until the end of 2012.

November 25, 2011 at 10:05 a.m.
acerigger said...

So now there are two triggers. One is an extremely progressive spending trigger worth $1.2 trillion that goes off on January 1, 2013. The other is an extremely progressive tax trigger worth $3.8 trillion that goes off on...January 1, 2013. If you count reduced interest payments, the two policies alone would reduce future deficits by about $6 trillion. That's far more than anything the supercommittee came close to discussing. It's distributed far more progressively than anything the Democrats have even considered proposing. And all that needs to happen for it to pass is, well, nothing.

Republicans can't stop these triggers on their own.h.t.Digby

November 25, 2011 at 10:06 a.m.
mdnich said...

I agree with Rep. Scott DesJarlais concerning the debate on this issue. I think it needs to be debated under a microscope not just on the House floor. When your representatives in Congress want to end the payroll tax cut instead of extending it another year when they have done absolutely nothing to create jobs and their president, George W. Bush, is the one responsible for this economic debacle in the first place? What does that tell you about the Republican Party? It tells me they put the rich taxpayer above the workin man/woman and I can never support that no matter what.

December 2, 2011 at 10:41 p.m.
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