Remember all that hysteria from the pro-left …
…about how the Supercommittee would be the end of social security and medicare as we know it? Well, many pragmatists (like me) were trying to explain that the entire concept came about because Obama totally outmaneuvered the Republicans, forcing a deal that would result in precisely nothing, or at worse, massive cuts to defense tied to token cuts to the very wasteful medicare provider payments that no one likes anyway (and which are the source of most fraud and abuse), and some COLA tweaks that would get offset by many ACA provisions anyway. And that’s precisely what seems likely to happen.
Don’t take my word for it. These folks say it better, and they have some credibility with the same people who spent the past 6 months telling you the world as your grandma knew it was about to end in a supercommittee apocalypse.
From EJ Dionne:
Here is a surefire way to cut $7.1 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. Do nothing.
That’s right. If Congress simply fails to act between now and Jan. 1, 2013, the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush expire, $1.2 trillion in additional budget cuts go through under the terms of last summer’s debt-ceiling deal, and a variety of other tax cuts also go away.
New York Time’s Economist, Paul Krugman
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a complete turkey! It’s the supercommittee!
By next Wednesday, the so-called supercommittee, a bipartisan group of legislators, is supposed to reach an agreement on how to reduce future deficits. Barring an evil miracle — I’ll explain the evil part later — the committee will fail to meet that deadline.
If this news surprises you, you haven’t been paying attention. If it depresses you, cheer up: In this case, failure is good.
Or maybe they make a deal. That TOO will be a win…
You might have noticed that lately, the Supercommittee in Congress, charged with reducing the deficit by $1.2 trillion or face the country with huge automatic cuts to defense and entitlement provider payments, has been a subject of buzz. That’s because the deadline for the supercommittee to reach a deal and vote on it is exactly one week away. Something interesting is happening: Republicans are still by and large opposed to tax revenue increases in any significant way, but they offered, as the opening offer, a $300 billion increase in tax revenue by closing some loopholes for the top income earners. Sen. Pat Toomey, the super anti-tax, anti-government Republican even suggested a similar plan while lowering the overall top rate from 35 to 28 percent.
From Ezra Klein
In the past, I’ve talked about the “do-nothing plan” for deficit reduction: Congress heads home to spend more time with their campaign contributors, and the Bush tax cuts automatically expire, the 1997 Balanced Budget Act’s scheduled Medicare cuts kick in, the Affordable Care Act is implemented, and the budget moves roughly into balance. It’s not an ideal way to balance the budget, but it helps clarify that the deficit is the result of votes Congress expects to cast over the next few years. If, instead of casting those votes, they do nothing, or pay for the things they choose to do, the deficit mostly disappears.
So in closing…
Can we please remember that some liberals are sincere in wanting to “push Obama and Democrats to the Left.” But far more of them have been dedicated to stylish shredding of this administration, no matter how shrewdly they calculate or negotiate.
The left is its own worst enemy. We’ve allowed the same minority of perpetual Democrat-haters who have pissed on every Democratic president since FDR to poison the national progressive mood at precisely the time we need it to be most hopeful and engaged. It was a big factor in losing the House in 2010, and may well cost us the Senate and White House in 2012. And that would be a calamity on a global scale.
But perhaps this new development will discredit a few more of the left’s own version of Safire’s nattering nabobs of negativity, and we can get back to finding ways to save those institutions and keep the Republican criminals from driving America further into this very deep and depressing ditch.