Well, the time has come and gone, and the great experiment known as the Supercommittee is over.
As you may remember In August of 2011, to appease both sides in approving an yet another increase in the US public debt limit, The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (also known as the Supercommittee) was created. Their goal: to issue a recommendation by November 23, 2011 for at least $1.5 trillion in additional deficit reduction steps to be undertaken over a ten‐year period. But there is a kicker: If the supercommittee fails, than $1.2 trillion in predefined automatic cuts over 10 years will occur starting in 2013. That is $60 billion annually for both defense and entitlements.
So guess what? The Supercommittee failed.
Now Republicans want to reneg on the deal.
Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate and a member of the deficit-reduction panel, has repeatedly said he has no intention of letting such cuts occur. Some House members said they were being urged by military contractors and others in their districts to avert such reductions.
And from the campaigns...
During a campaign appearance at BAE Systems this morning — a mega defense contractor — Mitt Romney accused President Obama of trapping the super committee into failure in order to reduce defense spending by $600 billion. The former Massachusetts governor criticized Obama for not personally involving himself in the committee’s negotiations and called on the president to introduce legislation that would undo the triggered cuts to military spending and instead target health care funding for the poor.
Well, Mr. Kyle, the cuts are now law. And Mr Romney forgets that no President has the power to overturn a law by himself, and it is Congress's job to introduce legislation.
Congress agreed to this plan and President Obama signed it into law. The cuts are made and spending is being reduced. Somehow, something good came of this fiasco.
So now some want to go back and increase military spending again. Increase spending. Mr Norquist, where are you?
We have seen this duplicity before. The so-called Bush tax cuts, which covered all Americans, were temporary and set to expire in 2010. Somehow, there are those who forgot all about the "temporary" part and hail the restoration of those taxes as a tax increase. Now they want to "restore" pemanant budget cuts but refuse to call the what they are, spending increases. Talk about wanting to have it both ways.
And as another memory, the Supercommittee deal was driven in part by the hemmoraging of the nation's credit rating. To reneg puts us right back in the same boat.
Actually what came from this exercise is not a bad deal, it hurts both sides equally and actually reduces spending. As "Cut the Budget!" has been the rallying cry for the Party of No for the last three years, why flip-flop now? Are they thinking of both their Norquist Pledge and the overall good for the country or the welafare of military contractors?