The Super Committee: Even If It Had Succeeded, It Was a Failure
We last week passed the $15 trillion national debt mark. It continues hurtling upward, almost completely unabated.
We the People did our job and then some in the historic 2010 election, delivering more than 70 new Republicans to the Congress - on their promises to rein in out-of-control Washington spending.
We sent these folks to D.C. in large part to prohibit President Barack Obama and his Democrats from continuing to explode the budget - and the deficits and debt along with it - the way they had when exclusively in the Majority in 2009 and 2010.
So when President Obama campaigns asking for reelection and more D.C. Democrats - to undo this “do nothing” Congress - remember that stopping Obama and his Party colleagues was what We the People elected these “do-nothings” to do.
Serving as an impediment (modest though it may be) to the Democrat fiscal train wreck is, in fact, doing something.
(House Republicans have in fact done a great deal – on the budget, jobs and otherwise - only to see it all repeatedly, serially die of Democrat Majority-Senate malicious inattention.)
We the People last year clearly demonstrated that we do not want Republicans - in the name of “bipartisanship” and/or “compromise” - rolling over and allowing the Democrats to again continue spending us into oblivion.
And we are certainly hurtling into fiscal oblivion.
The federal budget has increased meteorically - by 29% in just the last four years.
That span encompasses the 2006 Democrat takeover of Congress, the 2008 Obama ascension - giving the Donkeys total budget control - and the 2010 Republican return (to the slightest of fiscal sanity).
The federal budgets each year:
2007: $2.73 trillion
2008: $2.90 trillion
-- The Age of Obama begins --
2009: $3.11 trillion
2010: $3.55 trillion
2011: $3.82 trillion
And our per annum deficits have detonated right along with the budgets.
2007: $0.16 trillion ($161 billion)
2008: $0.45 trillion ($454.8 billion)
-- The Age of Obama begins --
2009: $1.40 trillion
2010: $1.17 trillion
2011: $1.65 trillion (estimated)
Meanwhile, the Congress has (yet again) this year increased spending by an additionally absurd 5%.
You’d never know it, given the Democrat gnashing of teeth and rending of garments about the alleged Republican-imposed austerity. If only.
Wonder why the Senate - still in Democrat Majority hands - has steadfastly and illegally refused to pass a budget lo these last 900+ days? So that they can budget instead by Continuing Resolution (CR). Which locks in place spending at the preceding suicidal clip - with an inevitable additional bump.
Our long national budgetary nightmare, thusly, is not a revenue problem - it is a spending problem.
Which brings us to the longest current running Inside-the-Beltway joke - the Super Committee.
Super Committee Republicans should have begun the process by unwaveringly demanding a return to 2007 spending levels. (I’d prefer 1907, but first the small steps).
(A still obscene) $2.73 trillion. Which would have been nearly impossible for Democrats to argue against - as the 2010 election was a fundamental repudiation of their 2007-2010 Keynesian Bacchanalia.
And never, never, never should “revenue increases” - or whatever euphemism the pro-tax Democrats choose to use - have been a part of the Republican portion of the discussion.
It’s like the old joke:
A guy’s looking around on the ground under a streetlight. Another guy walks up and asks what he’s doing.
“Looking for my keys.”
“Is this where you lost them?”
“No, I lost them way over there - but the light’s better over here.”
We’ve reached this crisis point by spending way, way, way too much.
To look anywhere but to spending cuts so as to extricate ourselves is disingenuous (for those ideologically addicted to raising taxes).
And dangerous - if the results are the pseudo-mandated equally-proportioned Defense Department cuts.
There are - by the federal government’s own definition - 800,000 “non-essential personnel” currently on the Leviathan payroll.
An Army Sergeant or a Marine is not on any level the equivalent of a randomly selected government bureaucrat. Certainly not the “non-essential” ones. And certainly not for one-to-one budget cutting consideration.
Predicting the Super Committee would fail to reach an agreement - and shocker, they failed to reach an agreement - was not exactly a supernatural feat of extra-sensory perception.
The Committee is but a distilled representation of the broader Congress. That could not this summer get within a thousand miles of an agreement - hence the punt to the Committee.
The same ideological variances that afflicted the body as a whole then - afflict the Committee now. The differences have not changed. Thusly, neither have the results.
But here’s the dirty little secret. Were the Committee to in fact reach it’s goal - $1.2 trillion in cuts over ten years - it would still be an abysmal failure.
Because that number - in relation to the problem we face - is a really bad joke.
Let’s do some math, shall we?
$1.2 trillion cut over ten years = $120 billion cut per year.
Which is less than the $161 billion deficit we faced in the relatively reasonable days of 2007.
It is a pathetic pittance of the $1.65 trillion (estimated) deficit we face this year.
$120 billion is just 7.27% of this year’s $1,650 billion ($1.65 trillion) deficit.
The only thing more pathetic is that the Committee couldn’t agree on the requisite cuts.
When $120 billion represents a paltry 3.14% of this year’s (estimated) $3,820 billion budget.
Which, remember, is about 2% less than the 5% budget increase we’ve this year endured. We wouldn’t be cutting - we’d merely be slowing the rocketing rate of growth.
So even if the Committee were to by its own definition “succeed” - the federal debt would still increase this year by $306 billion - plus interest (at the credit-rating downgraded higher interest rate).
$306 billion is what the Justice Department spends per annum on the muffin/coffee breakfast combo - and you guys couldn’t get it done?
We’ve oft heard of the pathetic and descending Congressional approval numbers.
Big Government advocates point to them as putative evidence that the American people don’t like the Republicans’ allegedly Draconian assault on the federal budget.
We the People aren’t that stupid. We can do the math.
We see titanic, soaring budgets, deficits and debt - and Congress failing to address the problem and punting to a “Super Committee.”
Then setting the Super Committee “solution” bar microscopically high - and then failing to clear it.
We the People want a real solution. We don’t want “compromise,” we don’t want “bipartisanship” - unless they are part of a real solution.
Increasing taxes isn’t a real solution - because a lack of taxes isn’t a part of the problem.
Aiming at ridiculously low 3% cuts - and then missing - is not a real solution.
It is more of the exact same problem that got us here. That We the People voted to end in 2010.
We will just have to do more of the electoral same in 2012.
That’s our real solution.