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Could SuperCommittee be a Success?

Written on Thursday, November 24, 2011 by

dem super committee

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.

To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is www.tsowell.com.

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  • Ltjg

    The Super Committee was Doomed to Fail from the very start. Bad Idea. The idea of a Super committee is Less than Super.

    • sid

      failure??? it did exactly what was intended, nothing!!! now they have over a year, to come up with a plan!!! any pre-planned cut, will be overturned, with the new potus!!!

    • Truth And Transparency…..

      obama justed needed a new group to blame. Transparency right?

    • Terry Dempsey

      I couldn’t agree more with this article. Two things come to mind, one is the Tea Party objecting to any kind of compromise and the support for this no compromise position by the conservative news programs like Hannety and other members of Fox News. I can hardly wait to see who these people blame when the GOP fails in their attempt to win the election in 2012. I strongly support some compromise even if it includes a tax increase on the very rich that may be needed to win an election, winning and getting a GOP president is more important the sticking to right wing position that does not support any compromise even if it results in losing elections.

    • Tom Stewart

      Yikeess Terry Dempsey You Must Be A Colored Soul With Stars In Your Eyes And On The King Obamacare “Dole” With The Zuccotti Zoo Protesters, Take A Deep Breath And Repeat After Me, “If You Have No Faith In The Future, Then You Will Have No Power In The Present” God Bless America And The Tea Party Patriots, ABO.

  • http://www.americagonestupid.com nvrpc

    NO, they wll never be sucessful until they freeze ALL spending, cut all social program except SS and medicare, abolish the IRS, go to a flat 10% tax with no increase ever and finally a cashless society to assure EVERYONE pays their 10% ONLY on all eraned income and purchases.

    • johnk

      How about abolishing the departments that are destroying the economic growth of America(EPA, FDA, FCC, DHS, etc.).
      We would save millions, perhaps billions, and with the economic growth; more money would be coming in.
      But I think both sides still want the common folk poor because neither side has brought that up.

    • http://www.americagonestupid.com nvrpc

      All you have to do to get started into recovery is what I said above NO, they wll never be sucessful until they freeze ALL spending, cut all social program except SS and medicare, abolish the IRS, go to a flat 10% tax with no increase ever and finally a cashless society to assure EVERYONE pays their 10% ONLY on all eraned income and purchases. This would be the best re-start this country ever had and would work from day one as long as taxes are frozen forever at 10%. That 8% federal, 2% state and no other taxes on anything for any reason EVER… It must be controlled as well as the budget balanced on Dec 31st of every year.

    • TheThinMan

      God may be able to run his “kingdom” on 10%, but you better think again if you think the United States of America and it’s spendaholic government can. It’ll more likely be around 25%

    • sid

      right now its the ussa, united states of socialist america!!! i want the USA back!!!

    • Tom Stewart

      Right-On The Thin Man, However Do You Understand How Much 15 Trillion American Dollars Is?? There Is Only One Person Has The Answer Rick Perry As POTUS, Who Will Cut Wash DC In Half And Get Rid Of The Half Ass That Back-Up To Get There Pay, Do You Need A Efficiency-Expert To Tell Us That These Fools “Work”At Half-Ass Speed, So Why Not Cut Them In Half. Bring Rick Perry Into The Game Again, Please Thin-Man. God Bless America And The Tea Party Patriots, ABO.

  • Another Veteran

    NO! Obama is responsible for the huge increase in the national debt and it belongs to each and every american citizen. No committee or political planing can ever remove the blame from Obama, he is tainted and his are the hands that are dirty.

    • TheThinMan

      Obama cannot spend a dime that Congress doesn’t give him – please remember that.

      congress, both sides of the aisle, are complicit in this spending binge.

      If the government, at any level, was serious about getting the deficit under control would have an immediate across the board, every department, every entity, including the military and welfare, a 10% across the board cut – all pay, all allowances, all everything – 10% reduction.

  • Harold

    The ‘super committee was nothing but smoke and mirrors to begin with, it was never meant to succeed. Unless wasting time and spending for this bunch of clowns was the goal, then they were successful. As far as the jobs bill that also is just another village idiots atempt to bamboozel the American people into believing that Obamay was doing something constructive. For a man? who has never held a job? what do you expect. Only fools and liars are fooled by this pathological liar!

  • Joe Slater

    This idea should have never been conceived nor implemented. It was a failure of Congress and the Executive to fulfill the duties for which they were elected. Someone should have determined it was unconstitutional before time and money were expended. When are we, the people going to rise up and demand our elected officials do the will of the people and work for us ?

    • TheThinMan

      It was a failure of the Congress, and as long as you have a Senate that can stop anything the House does, even the budget, it will remain that way. The only time the budget has every come close to being balanced was when both the Senate and the House were controlled by Republicans. You can blame Obama because he spent it – but it was the Congress that gave him the money and the go ahead. It is congress that is funding the czars and Michelle O’s vacations.

  • DOOM161

    The “supercommittee” was established to provide cover for congress while continuing to ignore the debt problem. Congress conservatively had seven months to figure out what to do, and instead kicked the can down the road. The committee’s impasse now gives congress a full thirteen months before they have to address the issue again.

    And remember: The committee’s stated goal was to cut one-tenth of the deficit. Hardly ground-breaking.

  • Dean

    Obama’s plan to be able to blame the repub. congress. Unfortunately it may just work unless the repubs start blasting his record. The public is not necessarily stupid if they vote for him again. They are just uninformed of what he has really done and what his futues plans are to totally ruin this country.

    • TheThinMan

      what do you mean it “may” just work – of course it will work – What is a shame is that the cuts weren’t immediate when they failed. Bet if it hadn’t been put off until a whole new congress is in session – there would have been some action.

  • Steven F

    The Super Committee’s very existence satisfied its REAL purpose. It was not to come to an agreement OR to help the President’s re-election prospects. It was designed to allow Congress to blame someone else for what they didn’t do.

    • Dean

      True. The whole congress abdicated their responsibility. Boehner, the “POOPER COMMITTEE” was doomed from the beginning. Start the impeachment process, or better, treason charges againt, Obama and Holder, you pansie.

  • Damon

    Unfortunately for the United States the Super Committee did a wonderful job of failing we the people. I sure hope people kept up with the reality that really happened and the reality behind the committee. Now the United States debt, Thanks to the so called Super Committee was designed no more than to succeed and was the grave plot for Obama and his agenda. The Republicans made every effort and last ditch decisions, even abandoning their pledge not to raise taxes to avoid the crisis we now face. The Democrats successfully held off and these working cronies for Obama made his plan successful. Now the Congress has one year to play in his hands or the cuts take place. Now you know why Obama circle the Democrats on the committee–a designed failure and if he was so much loving for the United States, he would have never promised a veto especially to our Nations Defense (600 Billion) at a time when China is vastly building up their military–again–Thanks America with the trade agreements of why we purchase so much of Chinese goods–one more time of self destruction. But then there again the success of OBAMASS to do every thing he can to destroy the economy to reign in his “We need Change” Four more years of this moron and it will be ” God Help Amerika”

  • Noelle

    NO!!!!!
    not unless these 12 ARE KEPT FAR AWAY FROM THE COMMITTEE
    REPS VAN HOLLEN, HENSARLING,camp, Clyburn,upton, Becerra,
    SENS,Baucus, Kerry, Toomey, murray,kyl, portman

  • MontieR

    The simple fact is the super committee,
    has NO authority and is NOT legal. It circumvents congress. ALL of congress needs to be FIRED and prosecuted for all the crimes they have committed or ALLOWED to be committed and did NOTHING to stop the crimes.

  • JD LS 85

    NO WRITE OFFS, NO DEDUCTIONS, NOTHING.
    A FLAT 5% AND IN 5 YEARS THIS COUNTEY WILL BE IN THE BLACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Amy

    WHERE TO PLACE THE BLAME??? GO BACK TO WHEN THE DEFICIT BEGAN TO REACH INTO THE TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS….AND THEN LOOK TO WHERE THAT MONEY WENT:

    BILLIONS AND BILLION,ADDING UP TO NEARLY A TRILLION YEARLY IS SENT TO FOREIGN NATIONS AS “FOREIGN AID” ALL THIS SHOULD BE STOPPED-THAT ALONE WOULD IMMEDIATELY WOULD CUT NEARLY A TRILLON OFF THE BUDGET.

    BRING HOME OUR MILITARY, INCLUDING ALL MILITARY EQUIPMENT, SCATTERED AROUND THE WORLD IN 137 COUNTRIES WOULD CUT THE MILITARY BUDGET NEARLY IN HALF…OUR BRAVE MEN WOULD BE HOME, WHERE THEY BELONG, PROTECTING THEIR OWN NATION AND BORDERS KEEPING OUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, AND MANY SO-CALLED TERRORISTS…

    CONGRESS CAN EASILY TAKE THE FEDRAL RESERVE SYSTEM AWAY FROM THE INTERNATIONAL BANKERS CONTROLING THE PRINTING AND VALUE OF OUR MONETARY SYSTEM; PLACE THEFFfED RESERVE IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WHERE IT BELONGS, SAVING MORE BILLIONS IN HUGE INTEREST PAID TO THESE BANKERS FOR WHAT OUR OWN CONGRESS SHOULD BE DOING….

    AMD IF CONGRESS REALLY CARED ABOUT REDUCING SPENDING, IT WOULD RESCIND THE $13,000. YEARLY RAISE IT GAVE ITSELF, PLUS CUT OUT THE UNFAIR HUGE PENSIONS AND GO ON SOCIAL SECURITY WITH THE REST OF THE NATION. ThIS SHOULD ALSO APPLY TO THE REST OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WHOSE SALARIES AND PENSION, SHOULD BE EQUAL TO THE WORKERS IN PRIVATE INDUSTRIES AND BUSINESSES.

    MANY OF THE ENTITLEMENTS CONGRESS HAS COULD ALSO BE STOPPED AND PUT ON A PAYING BASES SUCH AS THE PARBER SHOPS GYMS, ETC…THESE WOULD BECOME TAX-PAYING BUSINESS AND NOT TAX USERS…

    CERTAINLY IF A SINCE AND HONEST STUDY OF THE BUDGET WAS MADE THERE WOULD BE MANY OTHER UNNECESARY ITEMS THAT COULD BE ELIMINATED..

    THE CUT-OFF FOR SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICAL CARE CAN BE RAISED IF THERE IS A DEFICIT..HOWEVER THE DEFICIT HERE CAN BE ELIMINATED IF CONGRESS TAKES IT AWAYS FROM THE GENERAL FUND AS THE MONEY FOR THE SS PENION AND MEDICARE ARE PREMIUMS PAID NOT A TAX WHICH HAS BEEN ROBBED FROM THE PEOPLE.

    OUR RULERS HAVE BECOME CORRUPT AND THE PEOPLE CARELESSS IN THEIR VIGIL OVER CONGRESS AS THE PEOPLE ARE THE MASTERS OF CONGRESS AND THE COURTS— NOT TO OVERHROW THE CONSTITTION, BUT TO THROW OUT THOSE WHO PERVERT THE CONSTITUTION…AND WHAT BETTER OPPORTNITY IF THE PEOPLE IN EACH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT UNITE TO MAKE A CONCEDRTED EFFORT TO FIND AND ELECT TRUE PATRIOTS TO CONGRESS…

    AT ONE TIME FRESHMEN MEMBER ELECTED TO CONGRESS WENT THROUGH AN ORIENTATION PROGRAM CALLED COG–COUNCIL ON GOVERNMEMT NOW COG MEANS CONTINUATION OF GOVERNMEMT. WHICH MEANS THAT THE ADMINISTRATION CONTINUES DOWNWARD INTO DESTRUCTION.

  • am2sweet

    For the last two weeks they have been called a failure and I will stay with that one. As far as we know there’s been no definate budget made or taxes cut or anything else done. As usual anytime you have democrats trying to do anything you know it wouldn’t get done.

  • teaman

    From the 2008 election the Obambulating Manure Spreader and his minions have had the upper hand. Why? Because the Retub-a-RINO’S are to stupid to stop them. However, none of this blame game means a thing, The Obambulating Manure Spreader will win in 2012 because his thuggish minions with protection from his black panther army will steal the election. The Retub-a-RINO’S don’t have the balls to stop them and when it is done, these Retub-a-RINO’S will do nothing but talk it to death.

    We don’t have enough good people in the right places with guts enough to stop this perverted leberal communist Marxist socialist movement. WE ARE DOOMED.

    Don’t believe me, open yours eyes filter your brains and look around!!!

  • Grammy6pak

    The plan was to keep the House and Senate at a standstill so that they would not vote on any of the bills that was sent to the Senate by the House!

    Discussion was stopped and Obama now gets his way! I

    • Tom Stewart

      Right-On Grammy6pak, The King Obamacare Presidency Is A Disease. That Has Failed As POTUS On Everything From “No Budget” To “No Birth Certificate” Do You Think “Dumbocare” Could Have Success When He Is Lost In The Whitehouse?? No Hell-No. Give Rick Perry The Job Of POTUS, With The Approval Of The Sheriff Joe Arpaio The Best VP Ever?? God Bless America And The Tea Party Patriots, ABO.

  • D. Hanes

    No, it was not created to be a success!

  • http://HISAdoptedOne John H.

    nvrpc:
    Sounds good or how about 9-9-9 + TERM LIMITS+SALARY CUTS+ NO RAISES unless by a VOTE OF “WE THE PEOPLE” in a Presidential election year!!! NOT INCLUDING ILLEGALS OR GREEN CARDERS OF ANY NATIONALITY unless they successfully completed their Naturalization Process AND are making a “HALE MARY” effort to learn AMERICAN English!!! I mean : Concerning the salaries issue; WHO WOULD’T like to set your own salary without consulting the owner/boss?????

  • Lloyd

    Just like most of the panels, committees, hearings, etc. the Super Committee was just for show. A chance for a few “important” members of our government to posture before the TV cameras, and get their names mentioned in the news. We have too many in our Congress and governmental departments that are doing all they can to ruin our government, not to get us out of the trouble we are in. If they really wanted to cut spending, they could reduce the size of their offices, reduce or cut out all foreign (welfare) aid to other countries, cut our some of the useless departments in the Executive Branch, and take steps to stop fraud in programs like Medicare, and Social Security. if Congress had at any time over the years wanted to keep from creating the massive debts we are encumbered with, they could have. They bought their election with welfare programs over the years, and you seldom heard any one of them warn about overspending.

  • http://adrianvance.blogspot.com Adrian Vance

    When you start with the fact that the Super Committee is extra-Constitutional and has no authority to exist it has to be seen as an exercise in subterfuge.

    See The Two Minute Conservative at adrianvance.blogspot.com for political analysis, science and humor. Now in the top 3% on Kindle.

  • http://pjtv.com skip gainer

    Yes it succeeded, obama got exactly what he wanted more time and somebody to blame!

  • Pegi

    Are you kidding me? The folks in Washington couldn’t agree on the ingredients in a ham sandwich! This was another one of Obama’s great ideas since he seems to hate making decisions where a compromise is involved. Dems can’t agree to anything that involves less spending.

  • Doodlebug

    Like Newt said, something about the dumbest idea,(can’t remember exactly). It was meant to fail with hard heads Kerry and Van Hallen on it what would you expect? Besides, obummer needed something to else blame.

  • Tom Stewart

    Lets Get The Worst President Out First, Yikeess, “King Obama” Says “Whatever We Once Were, We Are No Longer A “Christian Nation” He Went To Egypt And Said You Might Say That America Is A “Muslim” Nation,” Yikeess, Anybody That Believes What This Pathological Liar Says Is Sicker Then Him. God Bless America And The Tea Party Patriots, ABO.