Thanks, Super Committee!

Image by DonkeyHotey/Flickr

The massive automatic budget cuts known as sequestration take effect today, March 1. We should take a moment to thank those responsible for bringing Baby Sequester into the world: the Super Committee.

The United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, aka the Super Congress, aka the Super Committee, is a one of the outcomes of the debt-ceiling “crisis” orchestrated to distract U.S. citizens from the lack of jobs, rising cost of living and rampant corporate/government corruption.

Yes, this goes back to the August 2011 faux crisis when Republicans refused to raise the debt ceiling to pay off obligations that the government (aka Congress) had already incurred. To stave off disaster, a group of a dozen Senators and Congressmen put their heads together and… couldn’t agree on anything.

The reason we are facing the sequestration is because the “Super Committee” that was formed to come up with $1.2 trillion of more carefully targeted spending cuts failed to do its one job. The irony is that at the time of the Super Committee’s formation, it was widely believed that the sequestration was an awesome idea that would totally guarantee the Super Committee’s success. By hanging the sequestration over everyone’s heads like the Sword of Damocles, they reasoned, the members of the Super Committee would be Super Motivated to reach a Super Agreement. 

A year and a half later, Congress still can’t agree on basic fiscal policy. The Sword of Damocles has struck.

Be sure to thank Super Committee members today!

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), now Secretary of State
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), retired
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Co-Chair
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI)
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC)
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Co-Chair
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

(h/t DonkeyHotey)

Sins of sequestration: Republicans refuse to end giveaways to corporations and super-rich

Republicans are always for cutting the federal budget, right? Nope, not when it comes to protecting the assets of their super-wealthy friends.

In the sequester battle, here are some of the things they refuse to cut:

  • $10 billion in tax deductions for vacation homes and yachts
  • $168 billion in tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas
  • $3 billion in the “corporate jet loophole”
  • $25 billion in special tax breaks to the largest oil companies

Greg Sargeant of the Washington Post says that “the GOP approach to the sequester is so deeply unserious that no deal looks even remotely possible.”

John Boehner has admitted that he wants to eliminate the deficit in ten years–all without new revenues. That could mean reducing the size of government spending by one-sixth to one-third.

The sequester is a gift to Republicans: starve the beast until it dies. Until we all perish along with it.