Skip to comments.Failure or Success? (Thomas Sowell)
Posted on 11/22/2011 12:37:19 PM PST by jazusamo
Many people are lamenting the failure of the Congressional "Super Committee" to come up with an agreement on ways to reduce the runaway federal deficits. But you cannot judge success or failure without knowing what the goal was.
If you think the goal was to solve the country's fiscal crisis, then obviously the Super Committee was a complete failure. But, if you think the goal was to improve the chances of the Obama administration being re-elected in 2012, it was a complete success.
Imagine that there had been no Super Committee in the first place. Who would be blamed for the country's fiscal crisis? The overwhelmingly Democratic Congress that voted to spend the money which increased the deficits more during the Obama administration than in the eight years of George W. Bush.
When the Obama administration's massive spending spree was going on, Republicans were so hopelessly outnumbered in both houses of Congress that nothing that the Congressional Republicans could say or do would have the slightest effect.
Even the cleverest political spin-master would have a hard time trying to keep blame from falling on the Obama administration, without the later shift of attention to the debt crisis.
Two things got the blame shifted. The first was the national debt ceiling, which had to be raised, if politicians were not going to be forced to either cut existing programs or shut down the government neither of which was politically attractive.
By the time a vote on raising the national debt ceiling was required, Republicans had gotten control of the House of Representatives. This meant that the national debt issue was now a bipartisan issue, whereas the spending that drove the national debt up to that national debt ceiling had been a problem strictly for the Democrats.
Splitting the blame with the Republicans for what Democrats alone had done was a political victory, in terms of making the Obama administration less vulnerable at the polls in 2012.
With the help of the media, the big issue was no longer the big spending that drove the national debt up to the legal ceiling, but the failure of the Republicans to help solve the debt ceiling crisis.
Many people lamented the failure of President Obama to become engaged in the process of working out a solution to the fiscal crisis, and regarded that as a failing. But, again, success or failure depends on what goal you are trying to achieve.
If the goal was to reach a bipartisan solution to the country's fiscal crisis, then the president's involvement might have increased the chances of doing that. But, if the goal was to outsource the blame, then the president's fading away into the background was the perfect political ploy.
Appointing a bipartisan Super Committee with dramatic powers, and apparently dramatic consequences if they failed to reach agreement, created another long distraction in the media that took the president further out of the picture. When it came to media coverage of the country's financial crisis, it was almost a question of "Barack Who?"
The draconian spending cuts that were supposed to hang over the heads of the members of the Super Committee, like a sword of Damocles, turned out to be a cardboard sword when the inevitable failure to reach an agreement occurred.
A new Congress meets before these draconian cuts are supposed to happen and no Congress can be forced to do anything by a previous Congress. So all this turned out to be a grand charade and politicians are great at charades.
This one was a complete political success, because we are now talking about who is to blame for not coming up with a way of solving the fiscal crisis, rather than who did the runaway spending that caused that crisis in the first place.
An even longer-running charade is the budget-cutting charade, where big spenders promise to make spending cuts to match tax increases or even to exceed tax increases. Of course the tax increases come first and the spending cuts are spread out into the future and usually end up not taking place at all.
This particular charade could be ended by making the spending cuts take place first. But that would spoil the political game.
“This one was a complete political success, because we are now talking about who is to blame for not coming up with a way of solving the fiscal crisis, rather than who did the runaway spending that caused that crisis in the first place.”
Money quote. Sowell cuts to the heart of it.
Thanks for the ping jaz.
The game continues. Politicians win, American people lose. Throw them all out.
Patriots in congress could refuse to ok a budget and any continuing resolutions until there is say a 50% across the board budget cut. We are not doomed if we choose to be free!
who did the runaway spending that caused that crisis in the first place ?
“who did the runaway spending that caused that crisis in the first place”
Bush failed to veto some of it, but the bulk of it came under a demonrat congress and Chairman Maobama.
The other night some media slugs broadcast a film of that despicable scoundrel talking, and before I could find the remote I heard some of what he was saying. It was as though my very humanity was being raped.
He was blaming it all on “the republicans.” The republicans weren’t willing to listen to reason, they were playing politics, they rejected all the demonrats’ sensible proposals...
I came to on the bathroom floor, after very nearly barfing myself right to death.
I don’t know what can be done about this. One of the political parties has taken over everything—the schools, the media, the courts, the bureaucracies, everyfargingthing—and they are not merely willing to lie, they consider it their main strategy.
At the same time, they have dumbed down education in the US to the point that many cannot see that they are being lied to, and have expanded the franchise to include those most succeptible to believing their crap.
I don’t know what can be done.
I’m to the point where I’d tell all of the Republicans to sit on their hands. Vote present.
Ball is in your court Democrats.
I hear you. Liberalism, leftism, Marxism, etc. has spread through government and our society via unions and education, it’s got to be countered.
I guess the first thing is to get conservatives in the WH for a lot of years to get it done but it’ll be a long process.
“Im to the point where Id tell all of the Republicans to sit on their hands.”
They never should have agreed to participate in that charade in the first place.
Verily art they the Partius Stupidimus Maximus.
I’ll be brief: We. Are. So. Screwed.
Hunker down. Hold your family close and stock up on essentials. If you need to make any big purchases, make them now and then hunker down even further...
It’s going to get really, REALLY ugly. Carter Redeux on STEROIDS.
Life, as we know it, is pretty much over...
Great...just great. Thanks to all the anti-Free-America losers. Thanks.
Unless I’m misunderstanding your post to me:
WTF? I’m a REALIST. Unless we oust the ENTIRE noodle-spined Congress and win back the Presidency, it is what it is.
My response was not to you...but to the thrust of the article.
Grateful for that, this Thanksgiving Eve! I didn’t much feel like mixin’ it up tonight, LOL!
Blessings upon You & Yours. :)
In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! :-)
Back to ya...