Debt Deal ‘Achieved’…By Leaving Tough Decisions To A Yet-To-Be-Convened Special Committee

Turns out it is not at all hard to find a picture of a sweaty wad of cash on the Internet.

The good news: in a deal yet-to-be-passed by either house, Obama and Boehner’s Raucous Caucus have finally agreed to raise the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion in two stages, in exchange for an equal amount of spending cuts — with $917 billion of the cuts to span the next 10 years.

How will the rest of the cuts be administered? By special committee. (That’s the bad news.) Why rush these cuts when we were all starting to have so much fun?

Part of keeping the fun going is that Americans will continue to live in the shadow of the sword. Due to a small proviso cleverly tucked into this legislation, if the special committee doesn’t come up with at least $1.2 trillion in additional cuts (the goal here, is actually more like $1.5 trillion in cuts) or Congress doesn’t agree to green-light them, something akin to martial law will kick in.

What will this look like? Think of a nail-bomb set in advance, designed to spray cuts to the military and Medicare if anyone makes one ill-advised move.

Basically, this part of the deal ensures that even you, the taxpayer, will be begging members of Congress to ratify every last spending cut, lest you dial 911 one day and find that nobody answers.

Hey, what’s a bill without a little blackmail?

Still, it is a sad state of affairs that the only way to get things done these days is to hold ourselves at gunpoint.

The bill is expected to be voted on today. Obama, for all his speeches, has been brutally cowed, again. Spending cuts reign supreme, while Bush-era tax cuts remain unchallenged. It is official: our president buckles like a belt.

7 thoughts on “Debt Deal ‘Achieved’…By Leaving Tough Decisions To A Yet-To-Be-Convened Special Committee”

  1. special supercommittee?

    is that so radicals that do not vote upon orders from leadership cannot ruin the party?
    concentration of power is not only a dangerous precedent—it may be unconstitutional.

    why not just appoint obama dictator?

    i really want to look at this “deal” –the devil is in the details——but the process design seems very strange–especially when coupled with the parties use of redistricting to eliminate the districts of individual legislators that are not in lockstep with leadership—-

  2. The elepbhant in the room is the role corporate money has played in this “Debt Ceiling”process. Tracing the dollars and the imperatives of the wealthy contributors to Congressmen and women are vital here. One of my graduate school professors insisted that we always regard the following when assessing political outcomes. ” Who pays and who benefits”.

    Clearly, today the least able to pay are being robbed by politicians who should be paying for their own health care and their retirements. Additionally, the wealth they have accumulated while in office should be recorded and updated quarterly if not monthly.
    The specifics of the relationships of each member of Congress with lobbyists should be documented as well.

    These are just some the recommendations I have and I would like to hear more ideas from other readers with respect to these grave robbers who disregard the will of the American public daily.

  3. the problem goes back as far as the British East India Company. The answer was break up the companies. However, they have evolved into international giants that owe nothing to particular national populations. The domestic governments must in the main eventually reflect the interests of their populations or face a loss of power. Read the Declaration of Independence. The elected officials must bear a strong nationalist sense–or they fail to represent their poular constituencies–who happen to be citizens of one country today at least.

    How to limit the abuses? Disclosure is important–and supposedly already in force. its the pay packages after the termination of public service that drive the poor politician. Watch Geithner on how this works.

    The prohibitions on post public service employment in the private industry must be stronger–but then who will do it?

    The pay for elected representatives either assures that they must be millionaires to play or be assured of fat back-end private jobs. A better pay plan for congress would actually save more in contractor waste and reduce corruption.

    Let it be honorable —-without starving the honest politician.
    The worst problem in my view is the basic lack of choice. there are at least 5 levels of philosphy of govt–ranging from global socialism to the floks who live in cabins in the hills, ask nothing of govt but to be free of it. However with but two –the choice is gone. They must cater to different wings and are subject to financial intimidation in order to gain their majorities. We do not know what the evolving thoughts of everyday R’s an D’s might be. There is a shift underway–that is restrained by the two-party system in which the old-line leaders are vested. Inertia results. The coalition forms of European govt—and reconstruction of policies demonstrates acutely the rapidity of change in the EU. The US –although in as bad a financial shape as Greece measure the GDP against all fed/state/local debts and unfunded liabilities to verfy this awful truth. However, this govt is unable to adjust–not because the Constitution is a failure but because the two-party system enables multi-nationals and monopolists to exploit it relentlessly.

    How can we encourage the resurrection of parties with the interests of the citizenry at the forefront. —–that in my view
    is the key question to salvation of socio-economic confidence. We should always be able to find a person or group that we want to VOTE FOR because we support their platforms and they support our ideals. I fear that many many people in the US vote AGAINST candidates with little confidence in their chosen default representative. All too often there is little real choice. Give me 5 parties and there will be one for whom I may vote with enthusiasm. These trying times are crucibles for development of true leaders—but the young and uncorrupted individuals will not survive the party ystem–the vote machines. The leaders are paid directly or indirectly to deliver the votes of the young uncorrupted future leaders–thereby corrupting them in the process.

  4. @Sparky
    As I have noted in another context, my typing skills were avoided at a time when type-writers banged on sets of paper with actual carbon copies. When I made corrections to 50 page legal briefs, which was then the limit, secretaries had to bang out every word unless the correction was subject to correction by white-out. at that time it was deemed inadvisable by clients to pay attorneys to type.

    Irrespective, I have hand-written for subsequent typing reams of legislation. I have observed the deterioration of representative Democracy 1st hand. Im not sure the ability to produce volumes of commentary with grammatical accuracy is the test of knowledge–legislation has grown along with the ability to cut-n-paste. It has not been a positive trend. Today bills are judged by weight rather than content—–the longer “form” allows for small loopholes and schemes to be buried. The disdain for imperfection in typing skills misses the mark—–maybe the focus should be on substance over form?

    Skim through a 1200 page bill and tell me if length and wordiness provide clarity–or defy comprehension—and perhaps this in part contributes to the inability of more than a few insiders to actually comprehend the content, and to conceal concepts which will not emerge until regulations are being written and the Congress’ intent is broght into question. Today one must go to the committee reports to ascertain what the bill means–as do the supposed Congressional drafters. It is sad that bills are voted upon before being writ–a consequence of mass word generation. The result is that the agencies in fact write the legislation often under delegations of legislative rule-making. But that is nothing new—it is the breadth of rule-making which flows from interpretative rule-making authority. It has not been favorable to legislation or government that most legislative decision-making is actually buried in obscure provisions buried within stacks of paper–and later “clarified” by unelected regulators whose interpretations swing enormously based upn political persuasion rather than the language of the legislated measure. The result is that the political lobbying process does not cease with the passaage of a bill–but intensifies in the regulatory process. The 1st device is to delay or accelerate based on whether the administration is of a mind with the legislative branch. This of course is economically advantageous to the administrative rulemakers who can trade on the knowledge of the intricacies that they add to the legislative debate. The confusion and breadth are sufficient that the regulators can either upend the legislated language completely or simply ignore clear manadates. The failure of government has many features contributing and the word-processors have actually contributed to this. I cite the Internal Revenue Code and the regulations thereunder. Is length and precise placement of caps contributing to clarity?

  5. oh Yes now there is a new wrinkle—a new small problem perhaps for the returning supercommittee. President in reasuring the markets a couple days ago indicated firmly in the 1st 15 seconds that there would be “no further cuts” than what they did the prior week to military budgets. im not certain but im thinking that refers to the $400billion OVER TEN YEARS—i think that might end up as an npv of about $300 biilion –which seemilg would be about right each year—-but pretty meaningless over ten. Cut out metal paper clips?

    But only the fanatical Tea Partiers would be so cynical as that—-unless and until the rumor is verified or effectively denied. the rumor that seems to be on the lips in Boehnerland is that all 31 of the dead soldiers killed in the golden goose crash were inexplicably a racially segregated bunch of soldiers—all white. Now i do not know–like everybody else iv seen the family -offered up photos of their boys. This despite the military or other executive stories about the deep need for security to “protect the families safety” or protect the unit or some combination of protecting somebody from something.

    Could it just be to protect the presidency for the next election?

    To keep from the certain knowledge of the Tea Party types that maybe not only their money was being squandered thoughtlessly and fruitlessly, but also their sons—–exclusively. Just lets see the photos like back in the 70’s under the most reprehessive US govt in recent memory –the Nixon operation. Could we actually be one up on Nixon?

    Lets have a dose of truth–maybe the truth is the real demon here.

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