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  1. #1 Blame Obama for supercommittee’s failure 
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    I think this commentary hits all the key points.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...y.html?hpid=z1

    By Michael Gerson, Monday, November 21, 10:50 AM

    Budget deals get done because presidents prod, plead, cajole, demand and threaten. A few phone calls and tepid public statements do not count. It is the executive, not the legislature, that gives the budget process energy and direction. The supercommittee failed primarily because President Obama gave a shrug.

    The process was not doomed from the beginning. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner wanted an agreement. Senate Democrats in difficult reelection bids would have preferred to vote for deficit cuts. Vice President Biden’s deficit talks from earlier in the year identified at least $400 billion in relatively easy savings. Republicans, during the supercommittee negotiations, put modest revenue increases of about $300 billion on the table.

    These were the ingredients for a deal. But only a president can mix them and apply the heat.

    Obama’s cool distance from the supercommittee process is disappointing but not irrational. There was little immediate economic cost to failure, and some possible political advantage.

    Administration economists were generally indifferent about the outcome of the negotiations -- and right to be. The amount of deficit reduction at issue — $1.2 trillion over 10 years — is small. It amounts to about 8 percent of GDP — essentially a rounding error when compared to a national debt running at 100 percent of GDP. These cuts are automatic — applied either through congressional agreement or by across-the-board spending reductions. And they are not triggered until 2013 — meaning that, by definition, they will have no direct economic impact during the president’s re-election campaign.

    In contrast, the expiration of payroll tax cuts or unemployment insurance before the end of this year would be a swift economic blow. Avoiding this possibility is the primary focus of the administration. The supercommittee became a sideshow.

    The attention of markets is also diverted. A European economic meltdown is more threatening than another, half-expected political failure in Washington — at least for the moment. America’s debt crisis is just as severe as Europe’s but deferred a few years. Europe quickly approaches its fiscal endgame.

    Some economists estimate that a European recession, coupled with a decline in the value of the euro, would depress American economic growth by about 0.5 percent. And the problems of the European banking system could be contagious. There are currently 21 financial institutions that act as agents for the U.S. Federal Reserve in the buying and selling of bonds (recently down one with the collapse of Jon Corzine’s MF Global). Eight of the total are European banks -- generally undercapitalized and backed by insolvent governments. All of these institutions are exposed, through complex transactions, to the weaknesses of one another.

    So the White House and markets have bigger things to worry about than the humiliation of members of the supercommittee — none of whom are likely to put the experience on a resume. And Republicans, though not primarily responsible for the failure, felt little urgency in avoiding it. They are reasonably confident, in Sen. Jon Kyl’s words, they can “work around the sequester” to avoid large, automatic cuts in defense spending. And Republican leaders now seem content to wait on the election of a Republican president and likely gains in the Senate before pursuing a serious budget deal. Why risk internal GOP divisions on the issue of tax revenues in order to seek agreement with a president apparently uninterested in agreement?

    On the budget deficit, there are always a thousand reasons for inertia. Obama seems to be calculating that he benefits from running against congressional dysfunction — and Congress seems happy to reinforce his point. Congress, after all, is much less popular than Richard Nixon on the day of his resignation. Since adopting a harsher tone with congressional leaders, Obama’s public approval has stabilized. The political advice the president is receiving is probably sound. His re-election depends on shifting blame for an economy that can’t be defended.

    Yet Obama’s strategy depends on a difficult communications task. He is attempting to run against the failures of a political process he is supposed to lead. He wants to campaign against the brokenness of a system he was hired to repair. His critique is a confession of ineffectiveness. Obama’s main self-justification could be turned into an argument against extending his tenure — that he is simply in over his head.

    And even if Obama’s reelection strategy succeeds, it only succeeds for a time. Until our fiscal endgame comes.
    Last edited by Elspeth; 11-21-2011 at 04:42 PM.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Arroyo_Doble's Avatar
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    Republicans, during the supercommittee negotiations, put modest revenue increases of about $300 billion on the table.


    No, they didn't.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Zathras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arroyo_Doble View Post
    Republicans, during the supercommittee negotiations, put modest revenue increases of about $300 billion on the table.


    No, they didn't.
    Really? Care to prove this statement or are you talking out of your ass once again?
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  4. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
    Really? Care to prove this statement or are you talking out of your ass once again?
    Yes, I'd like to know too.
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arroyo_Doble View Post
    Republicans, during the supercommittee negotiations, put modest revenue increases of about $300 billion on the table.


    No, they didn't.
    I believe they did. My question would be------------WHY???
    We cannot afford ANY increased spending. We should be cutting, cutting some more, then cutting again. These idiots are supposed to be LEADING. They need to lead or get the Hell out of the way. Start with that detestable little worm of a Senate Majority "Leader," Dingy Harry, make him a has been like Queen PeeLousy and do the right thing in spite of the Utopian Tyranny Party. :mad:
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  6. #6  
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    Still no proof?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
    Still no proof?
    Fanboi won't answer because that would require him to do something he's never done on this forum...back up his words and actually take a stand.
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  8. #8  
    Best Bounty Hunter in the Forums fettpett's Avatar
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    I don't blame Obama, he did exactly what we expected. I blame Boener for agreeing to and passing this bullshit bill and creating this damned fool supercommittee to begin with instead of pushing Cut, Cap and Balance or any of the other Bills that had passed the House.
    "Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings..." Patrick Henry
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Arroyo_Doble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fettpett View Post
    I don't blame Obama, he did exactly what we expected. I blame Boener for agreeing to and passing this bullshit bill and creating this damned fool supercommittee to begin with instead of pushing Cut, Cap and Balance or any of the other Bills that had passed the House.
    Pushing it where? It takes both houses of Congress to get anything done and no one seems to be in the mood to make it happen.

    Although, I think the argument could be made that doing nothing solves the near term deficit problem.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Zathras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arroyo_Doble View Post
    Pushing it where? It takes both houses of Congress to get anything done and no one seems to be in the mood to make it happen.

    Although, I think the argument could be made that doing nothing solves the near term deficit problem.
    How about you providing evidence to your post that the Republicans, during the supercommittee negotiations, did not put modest revenue increases of about $300 billion on the table.
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