The Hill is reporting:
Republicans are calling for President Obama to jump into the deficit-reduction talks gripping Washington, reflecting the widespread view that the congressional super committee is now headed for a failure.
Please tell me they are kidding. Do they not remember how helpful he was during the debt ceiling crisis? If they had any sense, Republicans might actually prefer that Mr. Obama had stayed in Australia until after the super committee’s deadline.
It is beginning to appear more than likely that the super committee won’t be able to come up with a plan to trim $1.2 billion from the federal budget, triggering across the board cuts in the federal budget. This may turn out to be the right outcome.
GOP Senator Pat Toomey put forward a proposal that increased tax revenue by $500 billion, but this wasn’t enough to satisfy tax-addicted Democrats. As columnist George Will notes, the Democrats “responded with the one-syllable distillation of liberalism: ‘More!’”
Will also points out something important about the supposedly drastic cuts to be triggered by a super committee failure:
Ignore loose talk about “draconian” spending cuts. Veronique de Rugy of George Mason University’s Mercatus Center has a graph you should see.
It shows two lines. The top one charts spending, 2013-2021, without the sequester; the other shows spending with the sequester. Both lines are ascending. Both show annual spending rising from less than $4 trillion to more than $5 trillion. The space between them is so narrow that it is difficult to see that there are two lines. Without the sequester, spending will increase $1.7 trillion; with the sequester, spending will increase $1.6 trillion.
Will also comments on one particular example of our government’s recent spending:
The supercommittee’s difficulties are not shocking. This is shocking: Amid a darkening fiscal crisis, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, whose department has become a huge and incompetent venture capital fund, has not resigned as penance for complicity in the administration’s “green graft” and crony capitalism.
Jonathan Tobin raised the possibility that Democrats never had “any interest in actually meeting their opponents anywhere close to halfway” because they plan to use the super committee’s failure in the 2012 election. Tobin writes:
It may be that the committee has always been doomed to failure. But if it does fail, it will not be because the Republicans never put forward a viable alternative.
The main thing to fear is not failure to reach a deal—that failure may be our best hope.
The thing to fear is that the Democrats succeed in spinning the failure as the result of GOP intransigence.
The GOP must start readying an argument as to why no deal is better than a bad deal.
In a way, I am wondering if the GOP isn't laying the ground work for this by calling for the president to get involved. What that does is show how aloof our globe-trotting leader has been during the process.
You’d almost think he wanted to run against a do nothing Congress.