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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Did anyone honestly believe this would turn out any differently?
Posted by Jill | 5:36 AM
I don't know why anyone thought that if you put an equal number of elected Democrats and Republicans in a room, they'd come up with anything different from what Republicans have been insisting on ever since the 2010 elections.

Now it seems that this so-called "supercommittee" will be similarly deadlocked, and the across-the-board cuts mandated by its failure will go into effect. Because the Republicans on the committee are adamant: No new revenues, all cuts, most of them in the social safety net:
It’s hard to see how the Super Committee can possibly reach a consensus by this time next week after Republican co-chair Jeb Hensarling’s appearance on CNBC Tuesday night. The short version is that he left the ball in Democrats court, and hinted that if the committee fails, Congress will spend the next year or so trying to change the terms of an automatic penalty to make sure that hundreds of billions of cuts to defense programs never take effect.

Hensarling claimed that if the committee recommended even a dollar of new net tax revenue — the kind of revenue Dems are demanding — it would constitute a step in the wrong direction. He said a GOP plan put forward by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) — one which Republicans claim would raise revenues by nearly $300 billion over 10 years, but would also make the Bush tax cuts permanent — is as far as Republicans are willing to go on revenues. But that’s an offer Democrats flatly rejected as unserious. And unless one of the parties breaks cleanly with its publicly stated position, the committee will either fall well short of reducing the deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years as required by law, or will fail altogether.

“We have gone as far as we feel we can go,” Hensarling said. “We put $250 billion of what is known as static revenue on the table, but only if we can bring down rates [but] any penny of increased static revenue is a step in the wrong direction. We can only balance that with pro-growth reform and frankly the Democrats have never agreed to that…. if we can’t get any type of reforms in health care, which has helped drive the nation towards insolvency, then, no, there’s no reason to frankly put any static revenues on the table.”

When Hensarling says “static,” he means revenue that will actually, predictably come into the Treasury. Republicans claim in a Laffer-ite way that their preferred tax policy will create enough economic growth to raise revenues even if the math says it won’t. Democrats reject that kind of analysis.

Democrats reject this analysis because it's been shown over the last thirty years to be not true.

Yes, a low-tax policy DOES serve to make the rich richer, and that is the only group of Americans that matters to Republicans. But the "rising tide lifts all boats" doctrine that has governed Republican economic policy for the last thirty years has been shown to be false. And yet the Republicans insist on raising the tide for the wealthy over and over and over again, followed by finding a nice boogeyman for the middle class and the increasingly poor to point at instead of realizing just who is screwing them over.

The Democrats have blinked again and again in the face of Republican economic terrorism. What hasn't had much coverage is how the Democrats have put Social Security and Medicare on the table in their effort to appease these terrorists. But nothing short of scorched-earth obeisance to the Koch brothers and their ilk will suit these Republicans. And so we may very well soon see what the America of Republian dreams looks like.

Say goodbye to the life you've known, because when this happens, it's game over for the rest of us.

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Anonymous BNJ said...
Like you, I always expected the super=committee to end in deadlock. Unlike you, I don't believe the mandated cuts will ever happen. Mark my word, they will figure a way to weasel out of the trigger.

Blogger Pangolin said...
The really weird thing is that people who will retire only by virtue of Social Security and Medicare vote for the people who promise to take it away from them.

We've gone insane. As a people... We. Are. Not. Competent.