What happens when you task six Democrats and six Republicans to work together to find more than a trillion dollars in spending cuts? If your answer was something other than “nothing” or “a bunch of politicians fighting to the death” than you need to stop playing with your pet unicorn Sprinkles, and come back to reality.
That’s right, in news that shouldn’t have come as a shock to anyone with an ounce of gray matter (sorry hipsters and Jersey Shore viewers), the possibly unconstitutional and definitely idiotic Super Committee has failed.
For those of you that have a life and don’t follow politics 24/7 like I do, the Super Committee was the bipartisan committee consisting of six Democrats, three from the House and three from the Senate, and six Republicans. It was created in a laboratory deep beneath Washington, DC during the wee hours of the morning to find $1.2 trillion in spending cuts after the debt ceiling increase this summer, in a way that both political parties could write off as not being their fault. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (I love saying that), senate majority leader Harry Reid (who along with my former senator Chris Dodd think that channeling Ted Kennedy’s ghost is a great way to negotiate with Republicans), speaker of the house John Boehner, and senate minority leader Mitch McConnell each got to pick three politicians to sit on the committee.
So who did our brilliant political leaders pick to sit on this committee? Well for the Democrat picks we have Senator Patty Murray of Washington, who told a group of high schoolers in 2002 that Osama bin Laden had made the lives of the people of the Middle East better by building day cares and hospitals. Also chosen was Senator John Kerry (do I need to say more?), Senator Max Baucus, who is conservative by Democrat standards, Congressman James Clyburn, House majority whip during the Pelosi congress (so a liberal), Congressman Chris Van Hollen, a liberal who loves gun control and abortions, and Congressman Xavier Becerra, the representative of Los Angeles. The Republicans picked Senator Jon Kyl, voted fourth most conservative senator in 2007 by National Journal, Senator Rob Portman, Senator Pat Toomey, Congressman Jeb Hensarling, Congressman Fred Upton, who supported a ban on incandescent light bulbs, and Congressman Dave Camp. From what I can tell from their Wikipedia pages (the source for 100% non-biased and factually correct information) all of the Republican picks are pretty conservative (well except for Upton’s hatred of incandescent light bulbs). The Democrat picks on the other hand, are all pretty liberal, especially Patty Murray, John Kerry, James Clyburn and Chris Van Hollen. Patty Murray is also in charge of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which basically tries to get Democrats reelected to the Senate, so I doubt she would’ve supported any deal that annoyed the Democratic base (so tax increases and defense cuts only).
So why did the Super Committee fail? Despite what Obama and the Democrats are saying, the failure is not because Republicans refuse to raise taxes on their evil, corporate 1% overlords. No, the real reason the Super Committee failed was because Democrats only really want to raise taxes (yes, eliminating “loopholes” is a tax increase) and cut the military, while Republicans want actual cuts without tax increases. The Republicans on the committee even offered some increases in revenues by capping deductions while lowering taxes at the same time, but the Democrats rejected it because it let the evil rich keep more of their own money (THE HORROR!!!!).
Now that the Super Committee has inevitably failed, the $1.2 trillion trigger cuts will kick in in 2013 (conveniently after the 2012 elections). The trigger cuts include $600 billion in defense cuts, essentially returning the department to its fiscal year 2007 spending levels, which Secretary of Defense Panetta says would cripple the military.
So was the Super Committee a smart idea? No.