Was the SuperCommittee a Super Failure?

Friday, November 25, 2011


The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Spending failed to reach an agreement in time for its Thanksgiving week deadline.  The so-called "Supercommittee" of six Republicans and six Democrats was created last summer to cut the deficit by more than one trillion dollars, or else automatic cuts would be triggered.  Bob speaks to New York Magazine politics writer Jonathan Chait who says the Supercommittee wasn't a failure at all, it did exactly what it was designed to do.

Comments [5]

This piece was a super failure of objectivity and intellectual honesty.

"It's just too contrary to the Republican's political ideology. They just interested in cutting taxes and they're interested in cutting spending. [...] But they're not going to agree to something that creates any kind of balanced deficit reduction. [...] I think the story has been misreported."

And the misreporting continues, clearly.

Several prominent House and Senate Republicans have repeatedly expressed a willingness to repeal various carve-outs, exemptions, and credits as a way of increasing tax revenues by expanding the tax base while simultaneously lowering the nominal tax rate (i.e. more of us pay, but overall we each pay less).

This is antithetical to Obama's class warfare which currently has A MAJORITY of Americans (52%) not paying any federal income tax at all, a historical high.

The Republicans' "balanced deficit reduction" plan is a trifecta of reduced government spending, an increased tax base that increases overall revenue, and a 'fairer' tax structure.

Your guest misrepresents this because the Liberal narrative is one of a "progressive" tax rate that's redistributive, not a "fair" rate which is proportional to that value that each of us derives in government services.

You can't, after all, justify growing government size without also proving that such growth directly results in increased value to taxpayers.

And that's an impossible proof, because larger government invariably leads to greater bureaucracy and inefficiency... not greater value delivered to the taxpayer.

If you want the truth of tax reform, follow the money: the most vocal proponent of more progressive tax rates has been George Soros and his MoveOn.org organization.

But to find the truth, you only need to know that Mr. Soros keeps the majority of his assets in bank accounts in the Cayman Islands... and thereby out of reach of the tax man.

Dec. 04 2011 01:57 AM

You allowed Chait to say that it is all of the Republicans fault as they are only concerned about deficits and taxes... but then you didn't counter with the only real plan offered that we seem to know about during the Supercommittee talks - Pat Twomey's Republican offer - which would have closed loopholes and raised some taxes. What democratic plan? Who is really intransigent. And why not some tough questions?

Dec. 03 2011 06:27 PM
MrJM from Internets

@Listener: The adjectival form of the word is "Democratic." Please make a note of it.

-- MrJM

Nov. 28 2011 11:21 AM
damon frost

I just love this completely balanced take on who is to blame. So according to Chait, all the Republicans had to do was "compromise" on taxes and it all would have worked, since history tells us that always works (read sarcasm in that last remark). And who is to say taxes are not high enough already? The public, that's who and they made their views known in the last election. Would Chait be arguing the Republicans were being intransigent if tax rates were 40%? 50%? 60%? Why is there a magic number? Obviously the Republicans think the taxes are high enough already (and looking at Federal taxes only is highly misleading. One has to look at the total tax take from state and local taxes as well as other taxes that get imposed) and also know from history that both parties just spend whatever they take in.

Without cutting spending in all areas, no amount of taxing will help. Perhaps Americans would be more willing to accept tax increases if they thought there was even a whisper of a prayer that it wouldn't be spent foolishly.

Nov. 25 2011 12:32 PM

And what created the debt ceiling crisis?

The debt ceiling and taxes could have been quickly raised last year when the Democrats controlled Congress.
Why was it not increased back then if it was so critical?

This was exactly 12 months of political theater after the mid-term election of 2010.
The Democrats nearly quadrupled the deficit and raised the debt over 3 trillion dollars without passing a budget for any of it and rather than take responsibility for what they hath wrought, they passed the buck and the expensive bill to the Republican controlled House in 2011 to deal with while they fought them every step of the way with the usual demagoguery and defamation.

The Democrat leadership created a manufactured economic and political crisis for nothing except to cover their tracks while accusing their opposition of putting politics ahead of the interests of the nation.

Nov. 25 2011 10:46 AM

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