Did anyone think that the Super Committee wouldn’t fail?
What happens next is that they block the triggered cuts to defense and get to work extending the Bush tax cuts, right?
Both sides are at fault here, Obama showed a lack of leadership, this is all great news for Bloomberg-Bayh 2012.
Update. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to get this Washington Post reporter to agree that this is great news for Bayh-Bloomberg or some other idiotic “centrist” mash-up (I’m having trouble thinking of others today).
Update. Two Bayhmentum, Bloomentum questions so far, but the guy handled them well.
Culture of Truth
There were two possible outrageous scandals: Obama failed to personally influence an independent Congressional Committee, or Obama tried to personally influence an independent Congressional Committee. Either is worse than Watergate.
@Culture of Truth: Typical liberal downplaying. As we all know, Solyndra is worse than Watergate. Obama’s thing with the Supercommittee actually is worse than the Holocaust.
@Culture of Truth: Obama seems to have ignored the committee entirely, which was probably the only way to win this game.
There was a great deal of worry, on the left, that Democrats were going to use these committees to politely cave and abandon Social Security / Medicare, under the cover of “We have to balance the budget!” hysterics.
And they very well might have, if the Republicans hadn’t been so painfully stubborn on tax cuts. I don’t know if this failure of the Super Committee was foreseen at the outset, but it never fails to shock me when Republicans have all the leverage they need for getting 70% of what they want and they blow it by demanding the other 30% as well. I just don’t understand how anyone can operate in politics without being able to compromise even a little. It doesn’t seem like these people should have made it into high ranking elected office to begin with.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
It was designed to fail, which means it succeeded when it failed. Whoever came up with the SuperCommittee created an out to allow Republicans to think they were going to reduce the deficit by holding the debt ceiling hostage, but they wouldn’t actually have to reduce the deficit at all.
@Xenos: “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.”
@Culture of Truth:
And if both are true, then it’s twice as bad. Possibly impeachable.
Is the President back in the US or is he still in Asia? Is he planning to comment on the supercommittee fail?
The debt is turning out to be a remarkably durable can. Still there for all the kicking it’s gotten.
@dmsilev: It’s a M.A.D., mad world… isn’t it?
nice War Games ref.
Duplicate from the exparrot thread, but it fits here too: I’m hoping that this supercommittee farce will help kill off the centrist-fetish idea that if the opposing parties just sat down and talked it out, everything would be just peachy.
I’m even more hoping that that was the plan all along.
LOL, dougj, see you got your spoof hat on early this morn. The cool thing about the trigger is that it really is a trigger. So many of those kinds of gimmicks are easily disposed of with some simple inaction, before the trigger gets pulled, which was in line with the original purpose. That both dems and repubs found themselves in a quagmire when they needed to act. Like raising the debt ceiling. So they punt with a magic football that never lands, but vanishes before gravity and time bring it back to earth.
This time they made it for real, the trigger, that will take a full act of congress, both chambers, and the POTUS signature to keep the auto cuts from happening. Especially the wingnut beloved military funding, that like the Bush tax cuts, adds another item of leverage for Obama and dems to use against the wingers, as well as the medicare provider cuts wingnuts fought so hard to keep out of the ACA, that dems favored.
wingnuts may think they have an issue to scream about Obama gutting the military, but they haven’t checked lately Obama’s polling on national security, that is very high and stellar for a dem.
Of course, the media meme this morning was “both sides are playing the blame game” Doesn’t matter that it’s all the intransigence of one side that’s ruining the country. The Republicans’ own leaders couldn’t get them to accept the 3 to 1 spending cuts to tax increases offered by the Dems this summer and everyone one of their presidential candidates says they wouldn’t take a 10 to 1 deal. What exactly is there to discuss with these people?
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@Zifnab: If the Republicans had been willing to compromise, SS, Medicare, and Medicaid would have never been brought up because the Republican party would have had to been sane to be willing to compromise and the Tea Party members would have understood that any cuts would have affected them as well.
Only the GOP would use a debt-reduction committee to push policies that would increase the debt. David Gregory (amazingly) actually pointed this out to Kyl yesterday morning but I haven’t seen it repeated anywhere else in the media. Shocking, I know.
David in NY
@General Stuck: This is good, unless the Democrats (including Obama) revert to form and do whatever the Republicans want. I hardly think that such a result is impossible, once the barrage from the right-wing media begins.
The Super Committee was a dumb idea, little more than Congress kicking the stick up the road and avoiding its responsibilities. Problem is, some of it’s dumbest ideas, are still on the table in various tax committees, e.g., this foolish insistence that budget cuts alone will solve problems, along with the idea that middle class tax breaks are unholy loopholes.
And while people keep going on about the Bush tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire in 2012 unless they get extended again (cough, Obama compromise), the Republicans keep using imaginary numbers to try to cut corporate taxes.
And here is a fun thinking exercise for your conservative friends. If corporate taxes are so burdensome, how is it that a company like Apple has $80 billion in cash?
By the way, Congress, as usual, is going to have to come up with some tax deal to deal with some expiring provisions. As usual, they will probably let this go into mid December. As usual, they will hold the middle class hostage.
The Christian Science Monitor has a good article on the tax breaks threatened by the Super Committee’s failure.
They’re less interested in getting the last 30% than they are in making sure the Democrats get nothing.
@Zifnab: Well, not to put a cynical face on it, but most people who are elected to “high office” don’t belong there. Just sayin’.
Since the wealthiest Americans are the job creators that will shepherd us out of this economic morass, I propose a job creator merit tax pegged to the peak unemployment rate of the current tax year. (Hey if merit based pay is good enough for a $40k/year teacher, why not?) To be abundantly fair this tax will only fall on income over $1 million, but will include the tax rate on ordinary income and capital gains.
The peak unemployment rate for 2011 was 9.2%, subtract full employment of 4%. This will result in a top tax bracket equal to the next lowest tax bracket (35%) plus 5.2%. So we will tax ordinary income at 40.2% and long term capital gains at 20.2% for the 2011 tax year. Now if the job creators do a good job, this tax can disappear and in uncommonly good economic times (i. .e. unemployment <4%) it could result in a slight tax break for those virtuous job creators.
Huh. Nice post title. I was just writing about the Supercommittee and David Frum getting edged out of the GOP, and went with “Seen Them Leaving When The Party’s Over.”
And yes, of course the defense cuts will never happen.
Villago Delenda Est
OK, I think our course of action is clear now.
Evacuate Greg Sargent and Eugene Robinson, then nuke The Village from orbit. Only way to be sure.
If only Obama had sat down to lunch with the supercommittee…
This is something to really push back on, if politics comes up at our Thanksgiving week dinners.
Because the facts are on the Democrats’ side for working to compromise (too much, methought) and the Republicans were there as a sham.
Further, doing nothing is better in the long run on reducing the deficit than having that misbegotten committee take some whacks on partisan grounds.
The Republicans have no fig leaf. Overwhelming majorities of Americans think the more well off should pay more in taxes, particularly to get us through this economic downturn, and the GOP. Will. Not. Allow. That.
You cannot ask for more sacrifice from the middle class without having the wealthy shoulder their share. They’re not even paying what they did during Clinton’s term.
Say it as long as you need to. Be as boring as Uncle TeaBilly.
Unless you get more liberal Democrats elected, it’s hard to see any alternative to this. What else you got?
He’s on the teevee right now, getting ready to sign the veterans part of the jobs bill.
ETA: in the White House, so yeah, back in the USA.
Fixed to stay in keeping with the meme.
The SupCom failed? Somewhere Duncan Black is busy having an orgasm.
Because taxes are only a burden on companies that aren’t competitive. If you’re competitive, you’re succeeding in spite of the various challenges arrayed against you. Nobody with a lick of sense hires employees because they have added revenue. They hire employees when those employees will generate more revenue than their salary – but someone needs to give them something to do, something to build, to sell, etc.
When corporate management is so braindead as to not know how to get the company competitively positioned in the market, that’s when they go back and complain about taxes. They don’t know how to grow the company, so all they can do is minimize their costs.
I thought Obama wanted/expected them fail? He now gets automatic cuts that only he can take credit for and he can paint the GOP as obstructing further cuts.
@SiubhanDuinne: Nah, then they would spend days bitching about whatever kind of beer he chose. And it doesn’t even matter what he chooses to drink, as always there is a slur for each possible choice.
If only this nation’s policymakers were as creative and resourceful as our
job-creaing Galtian overlordspolitical blog commentators…..
The Right insisted that the best way to raise tax revenue was to lower tax rates; they were never serious.
It seems to me we are back to where we should have been in July; a debt ceiling raise that is clean (if anyone believes these automatic cuts will kick in, I have some bridges for sale).
Why don’t we have the leverage here? Aside from the sadly obvious reasons, why couldn’t Obama veto any dismantling of the trigger, unless it’s tied to a bill that decouples the bush tax cuts for the 1 percent and the 99 percent? Let’s take a hostage for once. Let’s make the rethugs choose which of their beloved babies gets shot: tax cuts for the rich or more lard for the military industrial complex.
@Brachiator: Electing more liberal democrats works for me.
@Xenos: See! All Obama’s fault! He ignored them!
@willard: Good idea, but I would go much more directly.
Take the cost of federal and state unemployment benefits for everyone over the 4% rate, and then work in reverse what additional rate they need to pay to cover that expense. I would take it down to $250K though, because they’re job creators too.
So, last year we paid out $300B in unemployment benefits. Figure out how much income exists in aggregate over $250K, and divide the latter by the former. There’s your top marginal rate increase.
@Tom: Except these draconian cuts of $50 bill/year to our nearly $1 trill military budget will reduce our military to something akin to Sri Lanka’s, affording us only 120 new planes and only 13 new aircraft carriers, whose job it is to sail across the oceans and…um…..defend whales and monitor sea trash.
Holy crap, the question about Bloomberg-Bayh got asked. I spit my coffee all over my keyboard. High comedy.
Republican intransigence is simply a stalling tactic. The USA has been thoroughly looted of all the good stuff, but if the GOP can hold out a bit longer, there’s still time to rip the wire out of the walls.
Financially, we’re so completely fucked that there’s really not much left to “do”. Seriously: we’ll run a $1.7T deficit this year, but the SuperCom is unable to come up with $120B in cuts/revenue?
@StevenDS: It did get asked, and the response wasn’t as bad as you’d expect. It was wrong, of course– he didn’t mention the highly effective, highly partisan deficit reduction packages of the early 1990s– but it wasn’t the level of stupidity you’re accustomed to seeing in the Washington Post:
@Tom: Exactly. And, if the Republicans (or blue dogs) try to stop the defense cuts, he can accuse them of not being serious about the deficit.
As the good old Southern expression has it, Bless his heart, he jist cain’t win fer losin’.
It seems to be an article of faith among the minions here that there’s no way the “trigger” cuts will go into effect. Why? Remember that the “trigger” is already law. It will go into effect unless 60 Senators, a majority of the House, and the President all sign on to a specific bill repealing the trigger.
That means we only need 41 Senators to hold firm on this and, presto, the defense cuts take effect. (Same goes for expiration of the Bush tax cuts, of course.) That means we don’t need President Nelson, or President Collins, or His Holiness Joe Lieberman.
But, you may say, once the GOP unleashes the attack machine, the Dems will relent and give up on defense cuts. Well, I know it’s always safe to assume that the Dems will capitulate. But 2012 is not 2002. Most GOP presidential candidates have actually been running to Obama’s left on national security (except when it comes to Iran).
I’m not saying the defense cuts are a sure thing, but I’m holding out hope that 41 Senators will see that holding firm is in their electoral interests. If it’s gridlock the GOP wants, it’s gridlock they shall get – and that means a budget balanced on the backs of the military and the wealthy, not the poor and sick.
The complaint about taxes is simply an article of faith among the GOP. There are a considerable number of profitable corporations who paid much less than the effective corporate rate, or paid no taxes at all.
This is typical GOP three card monte. They brag about how they are holding the line on tax cuts. The average Fox news viewer hears this and thinks that they will get some of the tax cuts. When the top brackets get all the breaks, the GOP then fall back on the lie that the rich are job creators. When jobs continue to disappear, the GOP blame Obama. And the average guy still gets nothing but emptier pockets, while the wealthiest keep their breaks.
@Martin: You need to figure in lost tax revenue from people not having jobs, too.
Sorry DougJ, but I couldn’t bait him into endorsing Bloomberg. I have to work on my trolling skills
@Tractarian: Per my previous comment: if Obama vetos,then the threshold to pass the bill is even higher: two thirds (i.e., 67 senators), plus also two-thirds of the Reps. One-third plus one of *either* house can mount what amounts to an unbreakable filibuster.
@D-boy: Well, don’t feel bad. Somebody tried the “Obama should have had lunch / played golf with Republicans” gambit and failed too. Hard as it may be to believe, they appear to have a WaPo reporter with sense answering the questions today.
sorry … super motherfucking what? is it still the weekend?
@virginia: It’s not still the weekend, but I’m pretty sure you’re still drunk.
@Tom: I firmly believe this was their (the WH) hoped-for outcome. Now Congress has to pass a bill AND get the President to sign it if they want the automatic cuts to kick in.
Kevin Drum has a post making a point I wish were made more often on our side–that the debt markets could suddenly turn agains the US, as they have against others, without sufficient warning to make adjustments that would avoid catastrophe. http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/11/problem-low-interest-rates
Much as I like Krugman, he seems to scoff at the notion that debt markets could turn against US Treasuries, because they haven’t so far (he always dismisses the concern with references to “invisible bond vigilantes”). But reasoning that “it hasn’t happened yet, so it probably won’t” leaves something to be desired, no?
I’m not saying we should enact short-term austerity; of course not. But I think downplaying the risk of the debt is the wrong move–if for no other reason than, we want it to be clear who is to blame if the wheels come off.
I wonder, if we could push this into the national debate: No State will get more money from the Federal government than it pays in Federal taxes.
I really think we can make this a winning topic to control out of control pork barrel project spending by members of Congress.
@Emma: oops. NOT to kick in. That’s what I meant. What? No, cold meds don’t affect me at all. At All.
@Emma: I don’t know if this is actually the outcome they wanted, but I’m damn sure that it is an outcome they predicted and planned for.
When the main strategy of your opponent is to refuse any sort of action, your only recourse is to make inaction more detrimental for them than for you.
Taking the teeth out of the defense cuts may pass the Republican controlled house, but will 60 Senators sign off on it? Will Sen. Reid even allow it to come up for a vote? Will the President sign off on it even if that does happen? I guess I can understand some pessimism here, but Obama’s still set up a situation where he can refuse to act on the defense cuts, refuse to act on the expiring Bush tax cuts, and end up with a deal that is much better than anything Democrats could have negotiated in committee. As we all know and the Super Committee has confirmed, the one thing Congress is good at is doing nothing.
@EconWatcher: Just let me know what they are going to abondon the US T-bills _for_ .
The secret paper on ‘what happens if the national debt goes to zero’ from 12 years ago does have some important points to make, mostly along the lines of ‘there is nothing to replace them with’.
The reason that bonds issued by Greece, Italy or Spain or Ireland are risky is that those countries do not own the printing press for the currency that their debts are denominated in. The US does.
I should clarify that is risk of default – having none of said currency to pay the bills. Inflation is still a risk.
I was pretty stunned by Kane’s declaration that unless you are pre-determined to split all blame exactly in half, you shouldn’t bother reading the news section because that’s what news is. Later in the same thread he points out that Dems put sacred cows on the table while Republicans blame Dems for not having a uniform message. Blame divided, news reported, only partisans could see this anything other than “both sides do it”.
Jesus, and Paul Kane’s about the best the WaPo has. Facts now relegated to the op ed pages. “Republicans Say” by definition news.
Let me guess: the progressive Obama-haters will keep singing the “he’ll sell us out” song, and just change the focus to something vaguely later instead of this particular deadline.
“I hope he fails” is the Republican guiding light and absolute priority today as much as it was in the 1990s, all other things are secondary.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
Even a broken David Gregory (oh wait, that’s redundant) is correct twice in a lifetime. He’s got one more but I won’t hold my breath waiting for when it happens.
Would they like to be face up or down when its time to bring Madam Gullet down on their necks.
@Bullsmith: Holy shit, yeah, I take back my earlier statement about him being reasonable.
Translation: When and if the Republicans do stink, you won’t hear about it from us.
But but I thought Obama didn’t know to negotiate!?!?
There’s nothing funnier than seeing Professional Left pundits being exposed as being just the same as the know-nothing blowhards that inhabit the Sunday talkshows.
[email protected] You Doug,
The prez twice offered a $4T “Grand Bargain” & the GOP REFUSED the offers. After that, he was out of the negotiations & the Congress decided he was the problem. This is their Committee, not the prez’s. They get the FAIL credit.
I remember what happened a few months ago even if you don’t.
@cat48: I think you need to adjust your sarcasm meter.
Why? you ask. Well, Jonathan Chait tells you why.
We report. You decide.
Our local Murdoch rag (the Boston Herald) is trying to spin this as failure on the part of John Kerry. And WBZ radio news took the “neither side will compromise” position.
Must insulate Republicans at all costs. Must blame Democrats. Rinse, Lather, Repeat…
@Bullsmith: Agreed. Here’s the link to that bizarre admission. Kane went very po-mo there. And not in a good way. He might as well say that if you’re coming to news sections for facts, you’re bound to be disappointed.
One of the greatest rhetorical tricks that the right has achieved is making it “common knowledge” that any attack on a person’s motives must be an ad hominem. This is, in fact, not the case. If a person is making unsubstantiated claims from authority, then it is perfectly valid (in the logical sense) to refute their authority.
I have long accepted that reporters are innumerate. I am beginning to suspect they failed their humanities courses as well.
Good try! Thanks.
I don’t think it would be a winning topic — the disparity is too entrenched in too many programs but it is a topic that needs to be dragged out into the light every time anyone says one word about federal taxes being too high. Most of the people saying taxes are too high are in districts that get federal subsidies so the first thing they should be asked to put on the chopping block is their own federal surplus.
@Bullsmith: I agree. That was some weak tea. He is conflating opinions with accurately describing the facts, and he unquestionably supports the idea that every story has “two sides” and that they can be divined by talking to political parties.
Even if every issue really had only one dimension and only two sides, who’s to say that the two sides in this one might be the center-right side advocated by the Dems and left-reform side advocated by #ows?
Instead, journalism is reduced to bipolar stenography.
Did anyone else think the last question about Applebees’s wasn’t a MUstache jab?
@fuzed: Bobo, not the MoU, but yes, I assumed it was a jab. Maybe the questioner thought mentioning the salad bar would be too obvious.
I think it can work as a talking point and slogan: “You get, what you pay for”, “No free lunch, on someone elses dime”, which is a big part of the PR battle.
Also, I think it’s one of those common sense solutions politicians are afraid to try and therefore we can be “mavericks”, who push this common sense idea.
I really can hear NPR talking about it and how it is a bi-partisan solution.
So the Republicans held the US (and by extension, the world) economy hostage to try and get budget cuts, and what they got for their intransigence is a bunch of cuts.. To the one area they didn’t want to cut.
I bet Boehner’s crying plenty of freshly-squeezed orange tears at the moment.
If the WP won’t push it on their own, then Bloomberg has to put out a press release to do it himself:
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a rare public rebuke of President Obama on Monday, saying the collapse of the debt talks in Washington is a threat to the economy and a display of a failure in leadership.
“It’s the chief executive’s job to bring people together and to provide leadership. I don’t see that happening,” Bloomberg said at a news conference in Staten Island as the so-called supercommittee effectively called it quits.
Bloomberg called the supercommittee failure a “damning indictment of Washington’s inability to govern this country,” criticizing both parties for inaction.
But his slap at Obama stood out: Bloomberg has often been rumored as a potential third-party presidential candidate in 2012, although he has taken no steps to run. Bloomberg’s remarks Monday echoed a speech he gave at the Center for American Progress on Nov. 8, in which he accused lawmakers of lacking political courage.
Oh, the prez will get the cuts or tax revenue. He just came on the TV & said the planned cuts would go through unless the Congress came up w/something. He will Veto anything the GOP tries to shove through that undo the cuts planned or the option he gave them.
Like I said the other day. The GOP had his balls in the vise during the Debt Ceiling and now the GOP’s balls are there. They will give him something or else. These are old Mules in the Congress (mcconnell) that can’t be led. They have to be re-taught first. They’ve got a year.
As for Bloomberg, he’s tried to find a way to actually win, but hasn’t so far. He can’t come up with enough Electoral votes. Obama’s baseline of support is too high according to the different strategists who have been on Morning Joe b/c they talked about it last year constantly for abt 6 mos, at least once a week. He should either run or shut up about it.
Dare we hope that the tax cut extension will be filibustered in the Senate? Could we…make that happen?