On the eve of this country’s darkest financial hour, the Super Committee is no longer trying to reach a deal on the nation’s deficit. They are trying to decide how to tell the American people they have failed to come to an agreement. The sorry part about the whole fiasco is that the Super Committee was destined to fail from the start. And here’s why.
Any business that’s in financial trouble must do two things to recover. One: reduce expenses. Two: Increase revenues. This is business 101, folks. Anything less is certain bankruptcy. So as the United States attempts to solve its financial woes, it too must adhere to this strategy. Congress, having failed to reach an accord last summer, voted into law the Budget Control Act which setup a Super Committee of six Democrats and six Republicans. They had six months to find a way to trim 1.2 trillion dollars from the deficit over ten years. As the nation held its collective breath, what we didn’t know at the time was that the Republicans on that committee had signed a pledge not to raise taxes for any reason.
What “pledge”? It’s called the Taxpayers’ Protection Pledge, the brainchild of Grover G. Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. He is said to be the most powerful man in Washington. Republicans running for office, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the President of the United States are forced to sign this pledge or suffer certain defeat at the poles. And if one should be so foolish to renege on the pledge they’d signed, the ATR would spend untold sums of money to inform that Republican politician’s constituents and get them voted out of office, essentially ruining his or her political career.
And here are the names of the Super Committee Republicans who sold out their country for their careers:
Jon Kyl – Arizona, Rob Prtman – Ohio, Pat Toomey – Pennsylvania, Jeb Hensarling – Texas, Fred Upton – Michigan, Dave Camp – Michigan
The entire list of shackled Republicans is here (PDF): http://tinyurl.com/7qxola8
So with their proverbial hands tied behind their backs, the Republicans entered into negotiations demanding cuts to Social Security and Medicare rather than risk their careers on any measure that would raise taxes. Mind you, the proposed increased taxes were not new taxes at all, but the monies recouped by simply allowing the Bush tax cuts on the rich to expire. Still, the Republicans held firm and demanded the Democrats approve a deal that would land the country’s debt on the backs of the elderly, the sick, and the poor. That’s not only unethical, it’s morally reprehensible.
So what’s next? Congress had included a measure in the Budget Control Act which stated that, should the Super Committee fail to reach an agreement, 10% cuts in spending across all government agencies would go into effect automatically… in January 2013, that is. In reality, Congress had simply given itself 13 months to rescind that measure, and guess what, folks, it’ll be business as usual in Washington.
Already I’ve heard my fellow Americans blaming Barack Obama for the Super Committee’s failure. Democrats blame the Republicans. Republicans blame the Democrats. But who is really to blame? Grover G. Norquist. Here’s a link to pledge for Senators. (PDF) Read it and weep.
How’s that for American Pork?