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Was it Really a Super Failure?
Townhall.com ^ | November 27, 2011 | Bob Beauprez

Posted on 11/27/2011 6:44:13 AM PST by Kaslin

More than the curious “lead from behind” strategy often preferred by Barack Obama, an apt description of his efforts to steer the Super Committee to an acceptable conclusion would best be described as “in absentia.”  Both Republicans and Democrats noted with disappointment the President’s absence in a challenge that was always thought to be difficult at best – even doomed, in the opinion of many experienced Congressional observers. 

The morning after the announced failure by the committee members to reach a solution, Jay Carney was asked by a reporter if the President had bothered to talk with even one of the twelve Democrats and Republicans on the committee in the closing weeks of their effort.  The only answer Carney offered was that Obama had “put forward a plan in mid-September” and by inference, that qualified as a sufficient leadership effort on his part. 

The Obama plan that Carney referenced was his half-trillion dollars of immediate government spending coupled with $1.5 trillion of permanent tax increases.  Even though the President addressed a joint session of Congress imploring them to “pass this bill” as well as the better part of a month flying coast-to-coast trying to generate support, to date only one small portion of Obama’s plan – a substantial tax credit incentive for employers to hire military veterans – has passed Congress.  Even Congressional Democrats have been timid about supporting other provision of the plan, particularly the enormous tax increases.

The ideological divide between Republicans and Democrats was simply too great to just split the difference.  Republicans believed it anathema to consider raising taxes, particularly in these most stressful economic times, and according to reports from committee members, the Democrats were “unwilling to agree to anything less than $1 trillion in tax hikes.” 

Most everyone in the media is talking about the “failure” of the committee, and certainly Barack Obama has already started the blame-game against Republicans, and many on the GOP side have responded in kind.  We’re not so sure, though, that the lack of a deal from the committee was all that bad.   “A deal” is little assurance of a “good deal” – and, in this case, any compromise with the Democrats would have meant forsaking bedrock GOP principles.  In addition, the $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction target given the committee represented but a fraction of the total magnitude of the fiscal mess that remains unresolved.

Fortunately, Republicans did not give in to demands for big tax increases.   Real resolution to the challenges facing the economy and America’s fiscal crisis are not going to be resolved while the Democrats still have control of the Senate and Barack Obama is in the White House.  Any hope for the consensus around the enormous decisions that must be made – and the will to support them – lies with the voters in an election still a year away. 

While we share the concern expressed even by Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, that further cuts to the military budget triggered by the inaction of the Super Committee could be “devastating” to our national security capabilities, members of Congress from both parties have vowed to correct that problem as have the leading GOP candidates to be our next President.   Obama on the other hand has vowed to veto any legislation to lift the sequester – the automatic cuts.   

While many are busy lamenting the “failure” of the committee and projecting dire consequences, some good analysis by reliable sources put the issue into a much more objective perspective.  Phil Gramm, the former Senator and Presidential candidate and aficionado of the federal budget, calculated that even if the sequester is implemented, “total spending in 2013 would still be a whopping $3,582 billion—32% more than projected by the Congressional Budget Office in January 2007.”  That’s a very significant date for two reasons: first, that’s a staggering difference from a CBO estimate just five years ago, and secondly because it is also the date that Nancy Pelosi took control of the nation’s checkbook as Speaker of the House.   The spending binge and budget baseline increases implemented by the Congressional Democrats and Obama completely blew apart any semblance of fiscal discipline.

Likewise, Veronique de Rugy at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center graphed the with-and-without the sequester budget ramifications.  As the following chart demonstrates, the difference is less than what Washington considers a rounding error these days.  Spending between 2013 and 2021 will increase $1.6 trillion with the sequester, or $1.7 trillion without, which is hardly the draconian end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenario that has been painted by some. 

The real work to get the federal fiscal house in order lies ahead, and whether it gets done will depend on the direction the voters steer the country with the elections in November, 2012.  If voters really want to put government on a serious diet and implement sound economic policy again, they’ll keep a significant conservative majority in place in the House, elect a Republican Majority in the Senate, and change the occupant in the White House.  If not, then America will continue the quest to out-Europe the Europeans, and we already have plenty of indications of how that story will end.  


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS: supercommittee

1 posted on 11/27/2011 6:44:14 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

If you have no brain and the temperament of a coward, ‘leading from behind’ is a substitute for strategy.


2 posted on 11/27/2011 6:52:20 AM PST by I am Richard Brandon (Spreading the Wealth, one dollar at a time)
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To: Kaslin

Did anyone actually expect them to succeed? If so you need to take another look at the incompetence we have in congress.


3 posted on 11/27/2011 7:01:13 AM PST by rfreedom4u (Forced diversity causes dissent!)
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To: Kaslin
I just see it as a math problem. Some folks want 2+2 to equal 211 -- but it doesn't. There is no money to pay our debts. All possible solutions will be very painful.

Folks may not want programs (like social security) to be cut, but they will be.
Folks may not want massive government budget cuts, related layoffs and a spike in unemployment, but it has to happen.

One year from now, five years from now, ten years from now. It's coming, and the fix will be painful and unwanted by nearly all. We cannot dodge the bullet. And the longer we wait, the worse it will be.

4 posted on 11/27/2011 7:02:29 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Roll the stone away, Let the guilty pay, It's Independence Day)
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To: Kaslin

In the big game, when it was his turn at bat, Obama was sitting in the stands eating a snocone.


5 posted on 11/27/2011 7:04:22 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: rfreedom4u

It’s hard for me to comprehend how people that make it to Washington DC can be that stupid...it makes more sense that they are just criminals.

I think a large percentage of these people really should be in prison.


6 posted on 11/27/2011 7:05:26 AM PST by alicewonders
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To: Kaslin

The super-committee idea was never anything more than a political strategy by Obama and the democrats. It was cynical strategy that was from the beginning intended to pretend that, Obama and the democrats were dealing to solve the spending and debt problems, but the real intentions were to have the committee fail and then blame the republicans.

It’s nothing more than playing politics with the future of the country, for partisan political gain. It’s party over country, pure and simple.

There’s got to be a way to explain to the general population about how sinister Obama and the democrats have been about negotiations.


7 posted on 11/27/2011 7:08:59 AM PST by adorno (<)
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To: alicewonders

as said earlier: “If you have no brain and the temperament of a coward, ‘leading from behind’ is a substitute for strategy.”

It accomplishes more of the same “ kicking the can down the road” , and mandates cuts that both parties/ power elites couldn’t , or wouldn’t make. The unfortunate thing is that the mandated cuts are NOT in the areas where they should be.

” It’s hard for me to comprehend how people that make it to Washington DC can be that stupid...it makes more sense that they are just criminals.”

The power elites like it this way. If you , or I did the same (as did Martha Stewart),it is called ‘insider information’ , and is punishable by imprisonment according to the “Law of the Land”. Somehow , they exempt themselves from the “Law of the Land” . I thought that somewhere there was a statement that Congress shall pass no law that exempts itself from following ... ?


8 posted on 11/27/2011 7:14:10 AM PST by Tilted Irish Kilt ( (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11) by GlockThe Vote)
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To: Kaslin

This is so eloquent in its brevity while painting a perfect picture of the whole situation. Every member of Congress should have this emblazoned above the inside of their office door.

“Witnessing the Republicans and the Democrats bicker over the U.S. Debt is like watching two drunks argue over a bar bill on the Titanic.”


9 posted on 11/27/2011 7:14:54 AM PST by COUNTrecount (Barry...above his poi grade.)
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To: I am Richard Brandon
Obama is the Petulant Professor.

He's honed the act for years, the pretension that he is the smartest man in the room and all knowledge flows from him. All Academic with no score card to defend. Someone in the class is going to embarrass his holiness with his record 5 trillion dollar losses at our expense.

10 posted on 11/27/2011 7:15:55 AM PST by PA-RIVER
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To: adorno

” It’s nothing more than playing politics with the future of the country, for partisan political gain. It’s party over country, pure and simple.”

It was designed to fail
They all wanted it to fail
they all could say :” It’s not my fault”
It is just more of the same ole , same ole , etc..

We need statesmen , ... not more politicians !!


11 posted on 11/27/2011 7:17:54 AM PST by Tilted Irish Kilt ( (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11) by GlockThe Vote)
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To: alicewonders
Like Madam Pelosi said, some people have this “conscience thing”. Most criminals like her don't.
12 posted on 11/27/2011 7:20:25 AM PST by PA-RIVER
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To: PA-RIVER

What else did you expect from someone who only voted : “Present” ?

We voted as a nation on an unknown Soros candidate... who was “present”.
and We got a socialist/ facist !


13 posted on 11/27/2011 7:20:49 AM PST by Tilted Irish Kilt ( (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11) by GlockThe Vote)
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To: Kaslin

Harvard’a finest /s


14 posted on 11/27/2011 7:21:36 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: Vaduz

Lemmie see................

Spending 3-1/2 TRILLION DOLLARS MORE??

Gotta be SOMEBODY’S idea of a success, but my idea of a failure.


15 posted on 11/27/2011 7:26:47 AM PST by Flintlock (Photo ID for all voters. Let the dead rest in peace.)
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To: COUNTrecount
It's more like watching a Princess with a credit card telling her husband he needs to increase revenue, while she heads out the door to meet her Boyfriend at the Hilton and he faces another 14 hour work day.

Eventually the husband kicks the bucket or shoots the wife.

16 posted on 11/27/2011 7:27:33 AM PST by PA-RIVER
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To: PA-RIVER

That’s a very significant date for two reasons: first, that’s a staggering difference from a CBO estimate just five years ago, and secondly because it is also the date that Nancy Pelosi took control of the nation’s checkbook as Speaker of the House. The spending binge and budget baseline increases implemented by the Congressional Democrats and Obama completely blew apart any semblance of fiscal discipline.
Nancy Pelosi is the face of liberal democrats - we need to oust her, and all those like her! Unfortunately, short of a catastrophic earthquake that wipes out her district in San Francisco, this won’t happen!


17 posted on 11/27/2011 7:36:22 AM PST by princess leah
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To: Flintlock

Indeed obama has no problem with spending other people’s money,it’s a ghetto habit.


18 posted on 11/27/2011 7:38:15 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: Kaslin
While we share the concern expressed even by Obama’s Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, that further cuts to the military budget triggered by the inaction of the Super Committee could be “devastating” to our national security capabilities, members of Congress from both parties have vowed to correct that problem as have the leading GOP candidates to be our next President. Obama on the other hand has vowed to veto any legislation to lift the sequester – the automatic cuts.

We can only pray that the DoD is not totaly trashed. I retired from the military and am now one of the "despised" DoD civilians who double-dips, makes way too much for my skills, and is a drain on all the good and decent folks - I have been watching the evolution of what's happening and we are in deep doo doo now. Slashing the budget will create an untenable situation for our fine military folks.

19 posted on 11/27/2011 7:43:31 AM PST by trebb ("If a man will not work, he should not eat" From 2 Thes 3)
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To: PA-RIVER

Seriously, if Newt debates him - that alone would justify nominating Newt. No doubt, The One would dredge up Newt’s record, but Newt would respond.


20 posted on 11/27/2011 9:25:28 AM PST by I am Richard Brandon (Spreading the Wealth, one dollar at a time)
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To: I am Richard Brandon
If you have no brain and the temperament of a coward, ‘leading from behind’ is a substitute for strategy.

If you are going to win no matter what happens (i.e. the government keeps spending beyond it's means), then it's a quite reasonable strategy to do nothing. If you do something, you might make a big enough mistake to lose. If you do nothing, the opposition is likely to try too hard and make a mistake and you win even bigger.

Having the temperament of a coward helps with this strategy, but it doesn't make it the wrong strategy.

21 posted on 11/27/2011 12:35:48 PM PST by slowhandluke (It's hard to be cynical enough in this age.)
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