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Friday, July 19, 2024

‘Super Committee’ crashes and burns

Sen. Patty Murray: Failure was an option (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Turns out the over-hyped Congressional “Super Committee” wasn’t so super.

In fact, it was a dud.

The joint House and Senate committee, charged with coming up with a plan to overcome the government’s record $15 trillion debt, threw in the towel Monday and admitted it could not overcome partisan bickering and political divides.

The failure sent stock prices into the dumpster as the uber-secret committee dissolved into bitter, finger-pointing oblivion.

It leaves behind another Congressional legacy of failure, a monument to gridlock that symbolizes Congress and a political system unwilling to make the tough decision to solve an economic crisis.

“The end wasn’t pretty,” an aide close to the committee told Capitol Hill Blue. “Even the yelling died down.”

Yet, even in failure, the committee disbanded in a sea of spin.

“Despite our inability to bridge the committee’s significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation’s fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve, said a formal statement from the committee’s two co-chairs — Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex.

Amid the spin, Murry and Hensarling admitted that “any bipartisan agreement is not possible.”

President Barack Obama immediately blamed Republican members of the committee for the failure, saying the party’s refusal to raise taxes on the wealthy doomed all efforts.

Republicans, Obama said, “simply will not budget from that negotiating position.”

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30 thoughts on “‘Super Committee’ crashes and burns”

  1. The paralysis in Washington is due to its utter corruption.
    Corrupt government does not benefit the general public, and ossifies around defending the status quo, big wealth.

    • Thanks Tzx4 for your spot-on input. : )

      Many times…short, to the point commentary is far better than ‘windy ones’ that I and others crank out. : )

      Carl Nemo **==

  2. Well, that worked exactly as I predicted: Republicans so far up Mr. Norquist’s behind, they couldn’t agree to any tax increases whatsoever. Now the automatic stuff will end the Bush/Obama tax rate cuts, and the main spending cuts will come out of the military budget and payments to Medicare providors. I think they blew it: The deal Obama offered was actually much closer to their demands!

    This looks like a big win for the Democrats, as far as I can tell.

  3. Good points Larry. But where is the money that should have influenced your senator to locate the cuts? Don’t blame the money, blame the people who sat there and did nothing.

    The American voters are passive because they are not educated on the subject of freedoms. A huge percentage of American voters want to be told what to do so they don’t miss “Dancing with the Stars.”

    Last night Gov. Huntsman mentioned “term limits” and there was a moment of movement in the audience. I have never wanted limits but with the current Congress, that may be the best solution.

    • You may have found the problem with expecting Congress to make cuts.

      But where is the money that should have influenced your senator to locate the cuts?

      I can’t think of any group off the top of my head that lobbies for cuts and not pork for themselves.

      Once again proving government is only good at one thing, growing larger.

  4. Hey it’s not just Murray. I live in Washington and seen the positioning emails from her office. I have to agree with Carl.

    But, remember there are 5 more in that committee.

    I would like to know how much $ was spent on this endeavor. I believe that none of them believe they would close this issue.

    Theater for the masses.

    Wouldn’t it be cool if we has a People’s Congress, that represented voters directly. I’m sure in 1776 they didn’t have a technology that allowed that option.

    For example when a lobbyist shows up at a congress person door – we all get an email with the sale pitch.

    Hec, for all the time congress spend claiming they think like the worker class. I’m quite more confidence in the folks who actually take an interest in the vote.

    Probably being foolish.


  5. Carl, I have a lot of relatives that live all over the State of Washington. They are all fairly wealthy and of course, capitalists. Republican to the bone and complain about Senator Murray ever since she won her seat. I cannot figure out why they don’t work with others to get her out of their hair. But Washington has always leaned to the left politically.

    California does as well but we seem to take a stand for the freedoms of anything that breathes and walks. I love this about California and was not as aware until I moved to Arizona just how wonderful our golden state was.

    We tend to be tougher due to the forest fires and earthquakes. I think it has made us better neighbors. We have many of the most active Red Cross centers and we are opening one right here in my part of the desert. Washington State is also on dangerous faults but my family simply stocks up in booze for their final days.

    We used to travel to the two race tracks in that state and our horses did well. Playfair and Long Acres? They may not even exist anymore. I do know your opera company is one of the best and does all Wagner Ring operas at least once a year. Your Seattle Symphony is one of the best and I sent them my mother’s Steinway when she died. I had my own baby grand which was big enough for my book store. We had a cabin at Priest Lake up by the Canadian border and spent some glorious summers at many of the lakes in the area. You live in a beautiful state. I have hiked all over the western part and of course around Spokane where we had a furniture store until the last of my mother’s brothers died.

    Senator Murray has to go!

    • Thanks Ms. Price for your Washington State friendly repartee’ along with your family connections to the “Evergreen State”.

      Seemingly from analyzing your posts to CHB and RR over time you’ve lived a full, productive life.

      Just remember, that we’re all friends in thought here regardless of our diffences of opinion on occasion.

      Happy Thanksgiving 2011 to you and yours…!

      Carl Nemo **==

      • “regardless of our diffences of opinion” extract from post

        should read:

        …regardless of our differences of opinion…

        My apologies.

        I wear both bi and trifocals so it’s easy for me to make mistakes of this nature in my proofreading.

        I’m not vain enough to wear contacts.

        Carl Nemo **==

        • Ahoy, Cap’n,

          I wear progressive lenses and recommend them highly, conditioned, of course by the caveat that we need wear lenses at all to see properly!!

          Best to you on the holidays.

          • Thanks Logtroll for the T-Day cheer. Same back to you and yours.

            I’ve missed your commentary to the site of late. You have a knack for keeping the CHB pot boiling so to speak which isn’t necessarily bad. 😀

            Carl Nemo **==

            • Cap’n,

              Ja, been hanging out more over on the RR pasture these days.

              I had hoped for a nod to my eversoclever “progressive lenses” double entendre! Ya’ll getting lazy over here!

  6. What a surprise. Give politicians an opportunity to solve a problem and they use it to create political capital instead.

    Now the cuts go auto so it can be “blame the other guy.”

    • Maybe it’s best the cuts go on “automatic” rather than crafted by those with interests in carving their fattest slice of ‘pork’ for themselves in order to satiate their braindead, greedy, short-sighted constituents.

      I’ll sleep better knowing ‘full-auto mode’ is superior to that of our ‘single-shot’, braindead, indecision makers we have now at the helm determining what’s best in terms of budget cuts for this nation. Too bad it doesn’t start until 2013. Based on predictions concerning worldwide catastrophe’s in 2012 it seems this whole budget nonsense is mute. Then we’ll all get a ‘big budget cut’ for sure. / : |

      Carl Nemo **==

  7. The best part of the “crash and burn” is that the Congress must now get back to the business that the unConstitutional supers couldn’t get done.

    Good riddance.

  8. I think this is yet another symptom of “too much democracy”.

    That’s because our system of government (which spreads responsibility for governing among many elected and appointed entities) was all designed primarily to prevent any one person (or any one faction with in that entity) from having absolute political power.

    Unfortunately, that fear of one-person rule is now coming back to haunt us to the point that because political power in our system is spread out SO thinly amongst many players (The President, The Congress and The Judiciary) and because of the “hard over” positions between warring factions within each body…in particular the Congress…. NOBODY now has enough of a sitting majority to actually get something done.

    Indeed, that political power has been further eroded within the Congress to the point that now only a “super majority”…that is 2/3rds of each body within that branch…. can even BEGIN to form a clear majority to push through long-needed changes to politically explosive “hot button” issues (like long needed tort and tax reform) or changes to “sacred cow” entitlement programs with highly entrenched constituencies (like Social Security and Medicare).

    It think it’s also important to remember that our US political system was designed in an age when politicians rode horseback (sometimes for weeks) to travel between their home constituencies and seats of government. But, today, our Congresspersons, particularly those who serve only two year terms in the House, are seemingly locked in perpetual campaign mode, which, in turn, further undermines their willingness to tackle such highly unpopular issues and reforms that, while critically necessary for the good of the Republic as a whole, would most certainly also spell their own political doom at the polls just a year or so up the line.

    This is why nations such as Canada, where in the recent past clear Parliamentary majorities have been able to force through sweeping reforms to such unpopular issues as tort and tax reform when the old way of doing things had become clearly dysfunctional, might have a clear advantage over our own way of doing such things.

    Unfortunately, ours has now morphed into a system of government that, while it very effectively prevents any one branch of government (or political faction thereof) from gaining an upper hand, our system ALSO tends to spread so much power around thatlong needed changes that are vitally necessary for the long-term health and solvency of the Republic simply can’t get done.

    • Nice call Keith. My only argument is that there is one group, the uber-rich via their corporations, PAC’s, foundations, and NGO’s that are able to buy enough votes and campaigns to get anything they want from this government as evidenced by the highly unpopular bank bail-out and TARP.

      Our reality is the very rich minority have discovered how to vote themselves the republic’s treasure via graft, fraud in markets and subterfuge via the media.

    • Solid, well-written analysis Keith concerning our national political dilemma; I.E., too much power concentrated within one faction as opposed to being overly dilute as now with little forward motion concerning constructive, nation friendly legislation.

      Carl Nemo **==

  9. I thought it only fair that I post a link concerning Senator Murray’s bonafides as a gluttonous lover of ‘pork’ courtesy of the U.S. Treasury ‘deli’.

    When I heard she was appointed co-chair of this ‘gang of twelve’ I realized it would be a bust, but as always hope springs eternal even within cynics as myself.

    Here’s a link that will give those unfamiliar with her track record as to how she loves to spend and spend some more until there’s simply no more America as we once knew it.

    Carl Nemo **==

  10. Hear Hear, Captain Carl Nemo.

    I may not agree with you on everything, but your enthusiasm is inspiring.

    Personally, I’ve returned an incumbent’s fundraising letter with a diatribe of my own and two pennies taped to it – Thus I was sure they got my two cents.

    If ineffective. Money talks, and the love of money is the root of all evil (Yep, look up the quote).

    I have my difference with calling them all equally evil, though.

    Getting a papercut is bad and hurts.

    Getting stabbed is bad and hurts.

    They’re not the same.


    • I love that you sent him 2 cents. That is hilarious!

      I stopped writing to my representatives when I got their form letters back thanking me for writing and explaining how I was wrong and they were right. History and the course of events later proved I was right, but they didn’t care. They were actually a little mad when I rubbed that in their face and they stopped even sending back the form letters at that point.

      Now I merely observe and comment with those that will listen. I’m brutally honest about what I perceive to be the truth. To heck with the rest. I step on some toes. I’m not very popular. I’m free.

  11. I do not have quite as pessimistic view as Carl but IMO the entrenched party politics need someone to step up above the fray. Time for someone to take charge in the playground and that is where leadership steps in. What do we have for leadership? Obama! Brings to mind the term “Dough faces” that was applied to the presidency from 1850-1860.

    • Thanks Rick for your commentary. You piqued my interest when you referenced “Dough faces” of the mid 19th century era.

      I’d agree that indeed our gaggle of pols are nothing but, doe-eyed, dough-faced wimps all to our collective hazard.

      Here’s a link explaining the origin of the pejorative term.

      Carl Nemo **==

  12. Thank you Carl Nemo for that wonderful commentary on your actions contacting your Representative. This morning I emailed Doug an article from Politico that touches on the cuts that could destroy the senior retirement funds. I have no idea how to bring this to CHB and hope that Doug will use the information.

    All I can add is to suggest that we use every effort to remove the current House and Senate. I do not endorse the President but feel that we voters can get to work for change even if our Congress has to start over.

  13. The Republicans wanted massive cuts – especially in “entitlements” like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – without any tax increases on the 1%.
    The Democrats also wanted massive cuts, just not as large, “balanced” with some tax increases on the 1% (many of whom are Republicans).

    I’m happy that the SuperCommittee failed to agree on anything.
    “Credit” for that happy non-development is due to the uncompromising stance of the Republicans!! If they had agreed on something, they would have found a way to cut Social Security and emerge unscathed politically.

    Thank you, Republicans!

  14. Patty Murray is one of my Washington State Senators, also the featured mug in the photo supplied with this article.

    When this effort started I received an email along with other Washington State voters soliciting our input as to what needed to be cut.

    Myself being proactive wrote a comprehensive email to her office in addition to calling and discussing various areas to focus upon with her aides on several occasions. They always seem sincere, but I’m too jaded to believe such.

    To make sure my points got through I also fax’d the information to the office and being the persistent cuss that I am, made sure someone was on the far end fax confirming they received the docs in addition to the following link material concerning fraud and waste in government.

    I utilized the “Government Fraud and Waste Report” as my basis for enumerating the many areas that needed to eliminated or cut back with prejudice along with my personal ideas. I’ve posted the link a number of times on this site.

    Initially my input was received with seeming enthusiasm. Then…nothing! I finally received a personal ‘feelgood’ letter to my home thanking me for the input and the fact she/they were working everso hard to come up with a solution.

    Senator Murray is known as the “Queen of Pork” in D.C. circles, so I had little hope that her input would be constructive; no sharp-edged scalpels wielded on her part.

    These legislators are addicted to those tasty ‘pulled pork’ sandwiches provided by the U.S. Treasury ‘deli’. There is to be no turning about of this nation’s fiscal irresponsibility until they scuttle the USS America which seemingly is their globalist marching orders from their shadowy controllers.

    No fear, the capital markets will take care of their profligacy. When this nation has a DOW 7000 or lower with trillions more of retirement wealth pruned from citizens’ portfolios and the stark reality we have long term unemployment in the 30% or higher level as in many third world countries, cities are ablaze, martial law declared and blood running in the streets, then and only the will they realize the supreme price to be paid for their legislative shufflebutting.

    Then again, should they care? Our legislators have their place in cush national bunkers with a ten year supply of food and other dark pleasures I darest not mention in this article supplied by their jettisoned tax slaves. They’ll party hearty eating fine cuisine, watching endless movies at our expense. They’ll still be getting their paychecks too courtesy of COG; meanwhile outside chaos will be the order of the day.

    They are all elitists and deadly to this nation’s well-being…believe it! : |

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Khadaffi had forty years. Most of the Arabian strongmen dated from about that era. Some escaped to very comfortable retirement.

      It’s wonderful work, if you can get it.


  15. Of course, the cuts don’t take effect until 2013.

    And they’re going to be unpopular.

    And Barack Obama has promised to veto any effort to ‘roll back’ the agreed-upon cuts, but if he doesn’t get re-elected, it would be trivial for Congress to simply repeal what they wrote, rewrite the rules, and go back to business as usual.

    Congress is never bound by what it legislated. They can always just repeal it, amend it, write more laws that supersede it, et cetera.

    See the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, for example.


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