Super Committee Fail Triggers Republican Whining Over Defense Cuts

Nov 21 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

Its official: The Super Committee admitted failure, earlier this afternoon. As reported by the Huffington Post:

“Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling say that despite “intense deliberations” the members of the panel have been unable “to bridge the committee’s significant differences.”

It was pretty clear this was coming.  The consequences of failure mean serious automatic cuts of $2 trillion to the Military (The GOP’s only sacred cow on the block) along with cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

True to form, the GOP wants to get around the automatic cuts.  John McCain, Lindsey Graham and other Republicans are working on legislation to block the automatic cuts to the Pentagon.

I just wonder whether they’ll be drinking the champagne celebrating cuts to programs that benefit seniors and the poor before or after they whine about cuts to defense.

All around the country, Americans are working hard to fulfill their obligations, and they expect Washington to do the same.

There are Republicans already claiming disappointment by the Committee’s failure, such as Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.  As reported by CNN:

“On its current course the federal government is projected to spend almost $44 trillion over the next 10 years, and it is nothing short of an embarrassment, an absolute national disgrace and failure of leadership that we cannot agree on even a paltry $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over that time frame,”

A part of me is in agreement with Paul Krugman’s view as stated in Failure is good .  It’s one of those rare occasions that in this case, failure is a good because while it is ideologically pleasing to the Republicans, cuts to programs combined with tax cuts for the rich and corporations while increasing taxes on the middle class and the poor is really a bad thing for the economy.

“Also, any deal reached now would almost surely end up worsening the economic slump. Slashing spending while the economy is depressed destroys jobs, and it’s probably even counterproductive in terms of deficit reduction, since it leads to lower revenue both now and in the future. And current projections, like those of the Federal Reserve, suggest that the economy will remain depressed at least through 2014. Better to have no deal than a deal that imposes spending cuts in the next few years.”

Still there is fall out.  The republicans have announced their intention to block the automatic cuts that will come as a result of failure to reach a balanced agreement.  Of course, that block will only apply to defense spending.

“Sens. John McCain of Arizona, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a member of the panel, said they would “pursue all options” to avoid deeper defense cuts.

The congressional rank and file may be determined to spare defense and undo the automatic cuts, but there’s hardly unanimity. Deficit-cutting tea partiers within the GOP side with liberal Democrats in signaling they’re ready to allow military reductions. In addition, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said they would abide by the consequences of the deficit-fighting law – and they control what legislation moves forward.”

The President made a statement this afternoon regarding this failure to reach a fair and balanced set of cuts, making it very clear that he will veto any efforts to block the trigger cuts will get vetoed.



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