Wow, Pretty Super

Well, it looks as if the deficit-reduction “supercommittee” is about to fail. Political analyst Larry Sabato tweeted:

Could it really be that 12 able legislators will fail utterly at the most important task they’ll ever be asked to do?

Yeah, I’m sure he’s shocked, along with the rest of us. U.S. government spending is an utterly intractable problem; you could confiscate 100% of annual corporate profits in America and still only cover six months of it. As a sage observer pointed out in a book I read recently, we are doomed.

Once the committee officially chokes, a series of automatic cuts will go into effect. On the block will be discretionary defense spending.

I just hope we’ll still be able to build a few of these.

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8 Comments

  1. “I just hope we’ll still be able to build a few of these.”

    Don’t need ’em. We got Obama to sweet-talk our enemies into submission.

    Posted November 20, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink
  2. the one eyed man says

    While we may disagree about the solution to the debt problem, I’m sure that we are aligned in disappointment over the timidity and short-sightedness of political leaders here and in Europe. What a sorry abdication of responsibility this is.

    Posted November 21, 2011 at 11:30 am | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    Hard to argue with that, Pete — watching your civilization go down the toilet really is kind of disappointing.

    Posted November 21, 2011 at 11:36 am | Permalink
  4. the one eyed man says

    Well, that may be an overstatement, but it’s hard to imagine previous generations of leadership as feckless as this one. A commentator this morning said that our country has not been this divided since 1860. Hard to argue with that.

    Posted November 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Permalink
  5. the one eyed man says

    Lawrence O’Donnell had an interesting take on the failure of the super committee. He viewed it as a good thing, because had it succeeded, using a small group of Congressmen would become normative whenever Congress had a difficult problem to solve. Placing the burden on twelve members is an abdication of the responsibility which all 535 members share.

    Posted November 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink
  6. “Placing the burden on twelve members is an abdication of the responsibility which all 535 members share.”

    Good point, Peter. But, as has become abundantly clear, getting a consensus out of 535 legislators is not unlike herding cats. And as a result, Congress has evolved into a system for generating legislative work-arounds, technicalities-based “solutions”, and retro-fits. Not surprisingly, all the kludges so generated satisfy no one, and lead to legislation that is chuck-full of un-intended and mostly debilitating consequences.

    Posted November 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  7. the one eyed man says

    Worst. Congress. Ever.

    Posted November 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Permalink
  8. Except for the one preceding it.

    Posted November 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink