Forget about the tax issue; what happened to the spending cuts?
Well, the much anticipated picks for the debt deal Super Committee
have been announced. There will be much ink spilled over who was chosen
and who was rejected. However, the salient point is not the
orientation of the committee, but the entire premise behind the
Many conservatives will laud the choice of Pat Toomey for the
committee; others will decry the pick of light bulb ban man, Fred
Upton. The reality is that none of this matters.
The Democrats have picked three radical leftists in the Senate, and
are expected to follow suit with their House picks. There is no way
that Democrats on the committee will ever support meaningful spending
cuts, repeal of Obamacare, or entitlement reform. Harry Reid made sure
to keep the likes of Kent Conrad and Mark Warner - senators, who have
expressed some support for minor entitlement reforms – off the
Even if the committee would miraculously approve some real spending
cuts, does anyone really believe that Obama would support the
recommendations more than he did Simpson-Bowles? That blue-ribbon panel
identified policy changes that both parties liked and hated; it called
for some cuts and entitlement reform – and more taxes; nevertheless,
Obama threw his own commission under the bus. We are really to believe
that Obama would approve a commission report that calls for good
entitlement reforms with or without tax hikes?
Let's be charitable for a moment and presume that Fred Upton will
never support tax increases. We must also anticipate that if he does
support a tax increase, Boehner will be tenacious enough to whip up the
votes against it. Keep in mind that he is forced to schedule a vote on
the committee's recommendations. But again, let's assume that the tax
hikes are defeated. Is this the best we can do from a deal that was
supposed to be a harbinger for sweeping spending cuts? It is pathetic
that the best we can say from our own deal, fueled by our own leverage,
is that "at least we were spared from tax increases." No kidding! The
best we can hope for from our own leverage is that we won't pass more
imprudent legislation? Weren't we supposed to use our leverage to gain ground by reducing the size of government?
Instead of gaining ground with spending cuts, we will actually lose
ground with this ridiculous super committee. We can appoint Jim DeMint,
Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Jim Jordan, Michele Bachmann, and Jeff Flake to
the committee – and it still won't matter. The new committee will be as
ephemeral as Simpson-Bowles. After the excitement surrounding the
selections dies down, the committee will be deadlocked, triggering the
sequestration process. But that's a good thing, isn't it?
This sequestration cuts 50% from defense spending, while exempting
all welfare programs from the process. We must remember that much of
the discretionary cuts triggered from the first tranche will also
include defense cuts. Some of the remaining cuts will come from the
government’s obligations to healthcare providers. That’s some
concession from Obama. More precisely, it appears that he will be able
to have his cake and eat it too.
The real problem has very little to do with the orientation of the
committee. The problem all along was this ridiculous debt deal that
failed to preclude a credit downgrade, limit government, or curb
entitlements. Worse, it will cut from the few areas that the federal
government is actually responsible to support.
But fear not; at the very least, we won't incur tax hikes – or, will we?
Cross-posted to RedState.com