No, I didn’t get that from a Dr. Seuss book.
Well, here it is! The return of the Super Committee!!! Funny enough, no one knew what it was last time, either. And as the inner machinations of Congress are already more mysterious to scientists and researchers than a murmuration of starlings, imagine how baffling this ultra-mysterious gathering of 12 congresspeople must be!
Of course, we’re told their congregation has something to do with cutting 1.3 trillion dollars before Wednesday night, when should we fail, 1.3 trillion dollars will be automatically cut anyway from departments and programs that we would like to keep fully funded — like the military, Social Security, and Medicare. Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems with that story that leave me less than convinced.
For one thing, this “bipartisan committee,” by definition, cannot and will not function, if only because both viable parties in the United States refuse to work with one another (at this particular point in time, especially). So far, complaints from the Republican side reveal that John Kerry was dominating the discussion, and complaints from the Democrats include the usual: the Republicans won’t budge on tax hikes. Speaker of the House John Boehner insists that the Democrats simply won’t give in to Republican demands, knowing full well what they are and that they will not change; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says the Republicans aren’t trying hard enough. (For more information on the individual committee members themselves, see end of post.)
At the core of it, the Republicans favour a deal that combines cuts in spending and reforms to entitlement programs that would devolve power from the federal government; the Democrats on the other hand favour a proposal that would contain a balance of revenue increases and spending cuts, along with small reforms to entitlements. And if that’s the big picture, then what’s the difference between the Republican proposal and the automatic cuts?? I guess it comes down to controlling which areas get bigger and smaller cuts, but I still don’t understand what they’re doing in there. It is clearly going nowhere as far as finding a middle ground is concerned.
For another reason, apparently, there is no real emergency! Right now, people like Senator John McCain are saying that we could technically pass measures that would repeal the law that makes those automatic cuts we’re all freaking out about. And since the cuts won’t go through until 2013, there would be tremendous pressure from constituents to repeal the bill while we still had time during 2012. So basically, we’re considering legislating our way out of any accountability at all. Now the question is, if granted extra time, would we actually sit down and use it to work together and find a solution that is so desperately needed? Or would we just keep spending more money until the next deadline?
Apparently, this is a fear of Obama’s as well, since he’s vowed to veto any bills like these that come before him. So at least he’s serious about these cuts if no one else is. That’s my Badass-in-Chief.
So yeah, no clue what they’re up to. To be honest, what I think they’re doing in there is having a tea party, since god knows when was the last time we had a real one.
Here’s my idea for solution: compromise. If we can’t find 1.3 trillion in cuts, then let’s do the best we can, and accept the consequences. If, for instance, we can shave off like 750 billion, that would leave 550 billion in automatic cuts. Can’t we all agree that we spend too much on Social Security, Medicare, and defence spending anyway?? I mean, I feel like it’s pretty obvious that the Social Security system needs to be revamped, but no one wants to be the guy who took money away from old people. For one thing, he’d be very unpopular; for another, he’d feel responsible for the aftermath if anyone got hurt because they couldn’t afford their medication. Still, the system is flawed and simply can’t continue going the way it is — we just don’t have the money for it. Unless we all want to start paying higher taxes (the proposal of which is worse for a politician’s approval ratings than worshipping Satan, so I’m guessing we don’t) we’re going to have to accept that Social Security is going to have to be fixed, and that change will come at our own expense. Get over it, there’s nothing else to be done.
If it saves our economy, and by association, the economies of everyone who trades with us (i.e., THE REST OF THE WORLD, minus Cuba and North Korea), I’m cool with it.
– THE DUEL CITIZEN