After the Congressional 'Super' Failure

Posted by: Joshua Green on November 28, 2011

It’s not hard to find the biggest turkeys this Thanksgiving - they’re the 12 members of the bipartisan supercommittee who were deputized in August to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the deficit.

The group made a half-hearted bid, then threw in its hand a day early and announced its failure. Jaded Beltway types had already dismissed this as a given. But it’s significant nonetheless. The supercommittee operated under the most favorable conditions possible, designed to avoid the traps and pitfalls that typically make Congress such a frustratingly ineffective body. Had agreement been feasible, the supercommittee was the best bet. That it couldn’t manage to arrive at one - and apparently never came close - should be regarded as a new milestone of congressional futility.

In August, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, the frantic last-minute compromise to avoid a national default that had become necessary when Republicans refused to raise the debt ceiling without steep cuts in spending. The new law cut $900 billion and pledged $1.2 trillion more than the supercommittee would identify. To prevent straggling or postponement, the law set a deadline of Nov. 23.

To minimize posturing for the public and for lobbyists, the members were allowed to meet privately. To incline them toward compromise, the law included a “sequester” that would, in the event of their failure, automatically trigger $1.2 trillion in cuts evenly divided between military and entitlement spending - a prospect meant to be sufficiently unpleasant that neither side would permit it.

The law’s most valuable and perceptive feature was the provision suspending the rules most commonly employed by both parties to thwart legislation. A supercommittee agreement could not be amended, so it would be invulnerable to poison pills. Nor could it be filibustered, which meant that it would take only 50 votes to pass, rather than the 60 votes that today’s systematic Republican obstructionism typically requires.

And identifying good ideas for deficit savings with bipartisan support was hardly a heavy lift. From the Bowles-Simpson report to the Rivlin-Ryan plan to the Gang of Six proposal to the Obama-Boehner framework to the white papers and proposals of every think tank and institute in Washington, the supercommittee had an entire library on which to draw.

All these advantages were squandered. Republicans’ refusal to consider any serious increase in revenue, and Democrats’ refusal to entertain entitlement cuts without them, doomed any chance of success.

Disappointing as that may be, it does offer some clarity on how the country will at last confront its spending and entitlement problems.

Over the last year, as the deficit has increasingly dominated Washington’s attention, it has gotten harder, not easier, to agree, as the two parties have moved further apart. The Bowles-Simpson plan, which would cut $4 trillion over 10 years and require $1 trillion in new revenue, drew more support from Republicans than later plans like Obama’s, which raised less revenue. It’s now obvious, as former budget director Peter Orzsag argues, that not enough common ground exists between the parties to strike a compromise, which leaves two possibilities for government to function: Either one party dominates, as Democrats did during Obama’s first two years, or decisions can only be made outside of Congress.

The supercommittee’s collapse imbues next year’s election with enormous significance. Twelve years ago, Ralph Nader ran on the idea that there wasn’t “a dime’s worth of difference” between Republicans and Democrats. Today, that’s less true than ever - and this latest failure should soon make clear why this is so.

Washington’s best handicappers expect Republicans to win control of the Senate and maintain control of the House. That would put even greater significance on the question of which party occupies the White House. A Republican president working with a Republican Congress could probably enact the sweeping tax and spending cuts that conservatives demand - changes radical enough to rewrite the social contract, if they dared follow through on them. But if President Obama is reelected, he’ll be able to veto any such plan. And the imminent expiration of the Bush tax cuts gives him an extraordinary opportunity to raise trillions of dollars in revenue without having to deal with Congress, simply by letting them expire.

Congress having failed, the broad future of government spending and deficits therefore must hinge on who wins the presidency.

Joshua Green writes a weekly column for the Boston Globe.

Reader Comments

meg43tr44gi joe

December 9, 2011 11:57 AM

I've come across that nowadays, more and more people are now being attracted to cams and the discipline of images. However, like a photographer, you must first invest so much time frame deciding which model of digital camera to buy and also moving out of store to store just so you might buy the most inexpensive camera of the trademark you have decided to choose. But it does not end right now there. You also have to take into account whether you should purchase a digital camera extended warranty. Thanks a bunch for the good points I gathered from your site.

ex7r4 b4links pow3r

December 9, 2011 12:21 PM

After the Congressional 'Super' Failure - BusinessWeek is a great model for article marketing. Article promotion is typically the method of writing articles for the biggest goal of including anchor links to your site and it's among the easiest and the most effective link building methods in existence.

undelete files windows xp

January 31, 2012 12:08 AM

Awesome blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I'm planning to start my own website soon but I'm a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I'm completely overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Kudos!

Eufemia Levander

February 6, 2012 12:32 PM

nice blog

idee deco chambre

February 10, 2012 9:48 PM

Excellent site you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics discussed here? I'd really love to be a part of group where I can get suggestions from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Bless you!

Ellena Berliner

February 20, 2012 1:11 PM

pussy sucked Obama is a whole lot worse

Georgene Cozzone

February 25, 2012 4:38 PM

Sandeep kumar Might Something like 20, This year Respond

Walk in Dusche

February 27, 2012 5:58 AM

Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in reality used to be a entertainment account it. Glance complicated to far brought agreeable from you! By the way, how could we keep up a correspondence?

Shirley Spitzer

March 1, 2012 7:48 PM

It is really a great and useful piece of info. I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

lumbago

March 2, 2012 5:05 PM

I was struggling to look at this page on my iphone, and seemed to be receiving several bizarre errors. Other than that, excellent web site.

tinnitus cure

March 4, 2012 11:12 PM

NHJezn I loved your article post.Thanks Again. Great.

tensiometro

March 5, 2012 12:41 AM

mVSX6B I almost accidentally visited to this site, but stayed here for a long time. Stayed because everything was very interesting. Surely will share with all my friends!...

Watch The Hunger Games Online Free

March 6, 2012 5:08 AM

Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in reality was once a amusement account it. Look complex to more brought agreeable from you! By the way, how can we keep up a correspondence?

Iona Fleischer

March 7, 2012 5:11 AM

I am glad to be one of many visitors on this outstanding web site (:, thankyou for posting .

John Carter Watch Free

March 8, 2012 4:03 PM

My brother recommended I may like this blog. He used to be totally right. This submit actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how a lot time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

Long feather EArrings

March 8, 2012 7:04 PM

Many thanks for a tremendous put up, may see one's others content. thanks for your ideas with this, I really felt a bit thump by this post. Many thanks again! You make a good aspect. Has fantastic facts here. I believe that in case a greater number thought about it like this, they'd have a better time receive the hang ofing the situation.

Liz Montez

March 9, 2012 9:06 AM

Wonderful site you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I'd really love to be a part of community where I can get suggestions from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Kudos!

long feather earrings

March 10, 2012 7:17 AM

Thanks for an unbelievable post, would study one's others posts. thanks for your thinking for this, I experienced somewhat strike by this text. Thanks again! You earn a great moment. Has great report here. I think that when more individuals thought of it like that, they'd possess a better time obtain the hold ofing the difficulty.

Izzykonto

March 11, 2012 10:24 AM

Hong Kong, in my opinion, is the only functional illustration in the globe of a major city that has been developed from scratch and run as something of an offshore, cost-free industry experiment - initial by the British, then by the Chinese.

Clare Utley

March 11, 2012 11:49 PM

It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

Jeanetta Hindsman

March 12, 2012 11:31 AM

Thx for this stellar page - blogesaurus vso software convertxtodvd free After the Congressional 'Super' Failure - BusinessWeek

Jefferey Yerka

March 13, 2012 7:47 PM

There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well.

Tiffaney Mcclenton

March 13, 2012 9:22 PM

Greetings, Might I download your photo and utilize it on my personal site?

Izzykonto opinie

March 13, 2012 10:18 PM

Nice site! How did you get that design?

Kyoko Heffelfinger

March 14, 2012 10:28 PM

I would like to express some appreciation to this writer just for rescuing me from such a challenge. As a result of searching out by way of the internet and finding techniques that were not helpful, I was thinking my entire life was more than. Being alive without the approaches towards the difficulties you’ve sorted out by means of this posting is a serious case, as nicely as the kind that would have badly damaged my career if I had not encountered your internet site. Your know-how and kindness in taking care of plenty of things was exceptional. I'm not confident what I would’ve done if I hadn’t come upon such a step like this. I am able to at this time look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time so a lot for this skilled and effective assist. I will not hesitate to endorse your web web sites to any individual who need to get care on this difficulty.

extra long feather earrings

March 15, 2012 6:28 PM

I appreciate an unbelievable post, would examine your personal others reviews. i appreciate your thinking for this, I soon became somewhat struck by this article. Merit again! You commit a good moment. Displays the beauty through fantastic report here. I think if a greater number thought about it like this, they'd have a better moment in time get the hang ofing the situation.

Konto

March 16, 2012 8:42 AM

Perfect website! How did you get that awesome layout?

lisa tantro

March 17, 2012 4:29 AM

Excellent post once again. I am looking forward for your next post;)

Darmowe konto bankowe

March 17, 2012 8:27 AM

Nice website! Where have you get that awesome design?

Wilhelmina

March 17, 2012 2:24 PM

Your site is really valuable. Thank you a great deal for providing an abundance of useful articles and other content. We have bookmark your site page and can be without the need of doubt coming back. The moment just as before, I value all of your get the job done and also comeing the following to communicate with me.

peacock feather earrings

March 18, 2012 7:37 AM

Many thanks for an incredible put up, would examine your particular others posts. many thanks for your ideas within this, I experienced a trifle struck by this short article. Thanks again again! You wanna make a great time. Portrays natures best by the great info here. I do think if a greater number of people considered it doing this, they'd have a very better time period get the hang ofing the difficulty.

Bank dla nastolatków

March 18, 2012 11:36 AM

Great website! How did you get that design?

Darmowe konto dla nastolatków

March 19, 2012 4:55 PM

Beatiful website! How did you get that design?

tara smith

March 19, 2012 7:26 PM

I went over this site and I believe you have a lot of wonderful information, saved to fav (:.

click here

March 19, 2012 11:39 PM

Thanks for an amazing submit, will study one's others content. thanks for your thoughts with this, I soon became a trifle made an impact to by this post. Thanks again! You wanna make a great point. Portrays natures best by the excellent data here. I believe that in case a greater number of people considered it like that, they'd have a very better time period obtain the suspend ofing the situation.

debby tantro

March 20, 2012 3:15 AM

thank you for this wonderful post, I am glad I detected this website on yahoo.

Credit Keeper

March 20, 2012 8:15 AM

Great article! I loved the insight and advice given. Additionally, your blogging style is very fun to read. If you have time please explore my brand new blog and tell me what you think.

awesome page

March 20, 2012 9:10 AM

nice blog

Ariella

March 20, 2012 10:14 AM

certainly, i essentially consent with you, i like your post, i promise someday i will be back again to read you posting once more, seriously enjoy it, i will bookmark it

wholesale men clothing

March 20, 2012 5:54 PM

I really liked your article post.Really thank you! Awesome.

click here

March 20, 2012 6:57 PM

Thank you an unbelievable publish, may see your personal others reviews. i appreciate your notions on this, I felt a trifle strike by this short article. Many thanks again! You wanna make a terrific time. Got some excellent data here. I feel that when more individuals thought about it like that, they'd possess a better time period have the grasp ofing the issue.

Gabriel Boerstler

March 20, 2012 11:46 PM

Youre so cool! I dont suppose I've read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. Really thank you for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. Useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

Mohammed Kussman

March 22, 2012 5:04 AM

There's noticeably a bundle to learn about this. I assume you made certain nice factors in options also.

fakfhuaweda aoijdawlf

March 22, 2012 10:59 AM

I??m a blog crazed person and i also like to read cool weblog like yours.??-,*??

Issac Maez

March 22, 2012 3:47 PM

your blog design is wonderfull, it makes me want to hang around longer, you obviously know what you are doing, cheers

Andrew Pelt

March 23, 2012 8:38 PM

i truly apreciate this post and hope you continue to supply us with interesting information. cheers

adlawdlkajdlakwdj ladkjalwdjaljd

March 24, 2012 4:53 AM

An fascinating discussion is going to be worth comment. I’m sure that you want to write significantly a lot more about this subject, could possibly not surely be a taboo topic but normally men and women are not enough to communicate in on such topics. To yet another location. Cheers

xbox 360 emulator for mac

March 24, 2012 5:16 PM

I relish, result in I discovered exactly what I used to be taking a look for. You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

Lisandra Biddy

March 25, 2012 4:49 AM

It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

Tyson F. Gautreaux

March 26, 2012 1:10 AM

i must agree with you here, and i thank you for allowing me to post!

Credit Keeper

March 26, 2012 2:19 AM

Great article! I loved the insight as well as the advice given . In addition, your blogging style is very fun to read. If you have enough time please explore my brand new blog and let me know what you think.

4946018

March 26, 2012 3:50 AM

What a lovely day for a 4946018! SCK was here

Andrew Pelt

March 26, 2012 10:24 PM

please keep me updated with this information , i really apreciate you posting this

domain registration

March 27, 2012 12:49 AM

Thanks for an unbelievable publish, would examine your others reviews. many thanks for your ideas within this, I felt somewhat thump by this post. Many thanks again! You make a great moment. Has wonderful facts here. I feel that if more individuals consideration for it like this, they'd have got a better moment in time get the hold ofing the situation.

ajgalfaw daowdhfalwd

March 27, 2012 4:39 AM

garwdaghbaldwjhalwghaowfdha;wodhaw

junk cars

March 27, 2012 4:46 AM

magnificent blog post u a talented publisher I have subscribed to this article

Edgard

March 27, 2012 7:03 PM

Outstanding ! hey I stumbled on to this writings! when looking the web-site for random downloads. thanks sharing I am going to e mail my acquaintances about this also.

Live Casinos

March 27, 2012 9:50 PM

An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

Casino Review

March 28, 2012 6:24 AM

Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet

slotomania hack ipad

March 29, 2012 7:43 AM

It is in reality a great and useful piece of info. I'm satisfied that you just shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

xbox 360 emulator full package

March 29, 2012 5:10 PM

I simply couldn't leave your web site prior to suggesting that I really loved the standard info an individual supply for your visitors? Is gonna be back regularly to inspect new posts

Lance Palilla

March 30, 2012 5:16 AM

Spot on with this write-up, I truly suppose this web site needs rather more consideration. I’ll probably be again to read much more, thanks for that info.

Oem Software buy

March 30, 2012 7:09 AM

hKK7mQ I truly appreciate this article post.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

pictures of droid phones

March 30, 2012 8:37 AM

I appreciate a tremendous publish, can study your personal others content. thanks for your thinking for this, I really felt a lttle bit thump by this article. Thanks again again! You commit a good time. Portrays natures best by the fantastic facts here. I feel that when more individuals considered it that way, they'd possess a better time frame receive the suspend ofing the difficulty.

Ira Pfund

March 31, 2012 2:06 AM

Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass' favor.

Joanne Wilson

March 31, 2012 2:15 AM

I really enjoyed your blog! I put it in my favorites so I can come back again. I found it on Bing.

had adhakwdh

March 31, 2012 7:07 AM

khdaklwhdkaljwhd klawdh kljhawkjdeh kjawh kjawhdkjwh

spara pengar

March 31, 2012 3:52 PM

Do you have a spam issue on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; many of us have created some nice procedures and we are looking to swap solutions with others, be sure to shoot me an email if interested.

new games for xbox 360

April 1, 2012 12:15 AM

Thanks for an unbelievable post, will examine your personal others reviews. many thanks for your thinking within this, I experienced somewhat made an impact to by this short article. Thanks again! You earn a great aspect. Displays the beauty through excellent facts here. I do think that if more individuals thought of it that way, they'd have got a better time obtain the hold ofing the difficulty.

Przecieki matura 2012

April 1, 2012 9:39 AM

Woah this blog is great i really like reading your posts. Stay up the great paintings! You realize, a lot of people are hunting round for this info, you could aid them greatly.

William Hill Review

April 1, 2012 10:41 AM

This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

Denae Sippel

April 1, 2012 2:16 PM

Hello, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, awesome blog!

Mark b. Hether

April 1, 2012 3:37 PM

That was a good read. I will be back. Thanks

Alteriwnet Cheats

April 1, 2012 10:15 PM

Hi, i think that i saw you visited my website thus i got here to return the favor?.I am attempting to in finding issues to enhance my site!I guess its adequate to make use of some of your concepts!!

Will Hill Review

April 2, 2012 3:04 AM

This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

Stargames Casino

April 2, 2012 4:07 AM

I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.

Warrock Hack

April 2, 2012 6:28 AM

You realize therefore significantly with regards to this matter, made me personally believe it from numerous numerous angles. Its like men and women are not fascinated except it's one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. All the time take care of it up!

tjana

April 2, 2012 9:20 AM

Hello! I simply wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice info you have right here on this post. I can be coming back to your weblog for extra soon.

Darryl Cockrill

April 2, 2012 12:13 PM

Together with every little thing which appears to be building throughout this particular subject material, a significant percentage of viewpoints are generally rather radical. Nevertheless, I appologize, because I can not give credence to your whole theory, all be it exciting none the less. It would seem to us that your comments are generally not completely validated and in actuality you are generally your self not wholly convinced of the assertion. In any event I did appreciate looking at it.

Marilou Bielski

April 2, 2012 3:07 PM

Shoot, so that's that one spoupses.

seo expert blogspot

April 3, 2012 2:04 AM

Aw, it was a truly good share. In idea I would really like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual energy to generate a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.

Credit Keeper

April 3, 2012 3:38 PM

Great article! I loved the knowledge as well as the advice given . In addition, your blogging style is very pleasing to read. If you have time please browse my new webpage and let me know what you think.

Post a comment

 

About

Led by Bloomberg Businessweek's Washington correspondent, "Joshua Green on Politics" is a blog devoted to national politics and public policy issues, from Congress to the 2012 Presidential campaign trail. A special focus will be the intersection of business and politics. Follow the author on Twitter (@JoshuaGreen). To book for television or radio appearances, call Patti Straus, 212-617-3279, or e-mail pstraus@bloomberg.net.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!