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Panic seems to be setting in Washington over the potential failure of the Super Congress to come up with an agreement by its Nov. 23 deadline. President Obama intervened directly with the chairs for the first time last week. Members of the Congressional leadership have started taking a direct role in the negotiations. And Catfood Commission II member Sen. John Kerry has warned of economic disaster if a deal isn't reached, an assertion for which there is no actual evidence.

In fact, as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Pau Van de Water blogs, a new analysis from economists at Goldman Sachs Research says that a debt downgrade "seems unlikely," and that medium-term deficit out look would change "only modestly, if at all."

In the final analysis, Goldman says, "the super committee process is important to market participants because it provides a signal as to how successful future fiscal consolidation efforts might be." But a badbudget deal could augur worse for the future than no deal at all.

For example, as Bob Greenstein and Jim Horney have explained, the most recent Republican offer would make further fiscal consolidation more difficult to achieve by essentially taking revenues off the table for future rounds of deficit reduction. Adopting the new Republican proposal—or any other proposal that is unbalanced or makes it more difficult to raise additional revenues in the future—would be worse than no agreement at all.

That was written before the latest brilliant plan to punt on the revenue side of this until next year was floated. That was about the Republican plan to "raise revenue" by dramatically increasing the burden on low and middle income taxpayers in order to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.

Any thought that Republicans are going to offer up something better than that next year, if this cockamamie put-taxes-off-until-later idea flies, is delusional at best. They will never give up on making the Bush tax cuts permanent and they will never agree to revenue increases that would actually make a trade for the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid cuts they demand worth it, in terms of politics or policy.

A Catfood Commission II failure would create far less damage for the nation than the kinds of bad deals we've seen offered by so far—by Republicans and Democrats. With what they've produced so far, failure is the best option.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 10:58 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  No good can come of debt negotiations (15+ / 0-)

    while the economy is borderline deflationary.  Make the stupid stop, someone.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 11:05:39 AM PST

  •  Yes, first do no harm. (14+ / 0-)

    The best option for the 99% is failure of the supercommittee.

    More jobs equal less debt, even our kids can understand that.

    by TomP on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 11:05:45 AM PST

  •  Declare gridlock, accept the auto-cuts... (11+ / 0-)

    ...and start campaigning.

    It really is our best option. I know they will be painful, but just about any other "solution" will be worse.

    Occupy Wall Street AND K Street!!!!

    by Egalitare on Mon Nov 14, 2011 at 11:05:50 AM PST

  •  The proposal being floated (11+ / 0-)

    sounds grossly disgusting. I still can not believe the Democrats will go so far as to give away social security and medicare benefits for a vague proposal of future tax cuts,  I am in denial .  Although the 50/50 split with the serial capitulating Senator Baucus as a member was set up to fail us regular folks.  I already know the Republicans are without souls but the Democrates What can you be thinking? Thank you Senator Reed and President Obama.  This is beyond the pale.  Occupy Wall street!! What else can we do.  I was cheered that President Obama was entertained by Occupy songs. There is so little left to be cheerful about.

  •  This is really turning into the Jackie Vernon (4+ / 0-)


    Super Committee was intended to rescue the Crashed Simpson-Bowles

       Here's the guide I got. His name was Guido. Very famous guide, in fact he was known as Guido the Guide.
        {click sound}Here's Guido the Guide leading me around a bed of quicksand.
        {click sound}Here's Guido the Guide from the waist up.
        {click sound}That's his hat right there.
        {click sound}Here's the rescue party rushing to his aid.
    {click sound}
    {click sound}
        {click sound}Here's the rescue party from the waist up.
        {click sound}And here we have a lot of hats and ropes and things.
        {click sound}Here's my next guide, Son of Guido the Guide.
        {click sound}
        {click sound}
        {click sound}
        {click sound}
        {click sound}That's his hat.
  •  This could be a very bad Thanksgiving (6+ / 0-)

    If these fools reach a freaking compromise the turkey will taste awful.

    Let's hope they do nothing.; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action 48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam

    by Shockwave on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 08:51:07 AM PST

  •  Thank you, Senator Shock Doctrine (7+ / 0-)

    from the great states of MA.

    Job well done on doing your best to help the ruling class steal some more... with fellow Democrats following right behind you.

    I'll remember, I'll remember, come next November.

    More and Better Democrats

    by SJerseyIndy on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 08:55:03 AM PST

  •  Republicrats you mean.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, opinionated, vigilant meerkat

    Sanders, Kucinich, Lee..

    How many actual democrats (Small D due to Sanders) do we actually have????


  •  Ah yes the impending disaster rationale (5+ / 0-)

    I've never heard that one before

    Commission II member Sen. John Kerry has warned of economic disaster if a deal isn't reached, an assertion for which there is no actual evidence.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 08:56:04 AM PST

  •  And Rs are already backtracing on deal they (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, opinionated

    coerced in the debt ceiling crisis, but trying to put military spending in a separate bill.  Because debt is bad, they simply add on more of it.

    Tails they win, heads we lose.

    My wife says I couldn't have done it. And leave my wife out of this.

    by Inland on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 08:56:15 AM PST

  •  failure is built into the system (0+ / 0-)

    nobody's actually proposing budget cuts with no tax increases.  Dem aides say it's misreported (that only a vote on tax cuts out of the committee would trigger a vote on expenditures or entitlements) but if they weren't, at most it sets up a free congressional vote against medicare cuts.  

    there's no reason to believe Obama would sign onto proposals he rejected in the face of default on the national debt, when there isn't that possibility again, just as there's no reason to believe there would be a republican compromise when there wasn't in the face of certain calamity.  the supercommittee was designed to fail, but to give each party the opportunity to blame the other for it.  It's a round about way to give John Boehner and Obama the clean debt ceiling increase they both wanted.  (oh, you don't seriously think the defense cuts won't be promptly ignored by the next congress?)

    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by Loge on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 08:56:34 AM PST

    •  Are those the Dem aides (0+ / 0-)

      Who are eagerly awaiting their reward of lucrative jobs as corporate lobbyists?  

      "When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

      by Betty Pinson on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 09:43:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  some of them perhaps are (0+ / 0-)

        but if they're worth hiring, they can describe the legislative process accurately.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 09:46:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If by "describe accurately" you mean (0+ / 0-)

          that they would say, "we passed just about everything the Republicans wanted when they were in charge, but when it was our turn, we passed almost everything the Republicans wanted", then you're right!

          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

            nothing has passed, so i don't quite follow, and the point is even the underlying proposal was different from what was reported.  anyway, you're describing substance, not process.

            "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

            by Loge on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 01:43:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  How is "acceding to all R demands" (0+ / 0-)

              not about the process which the Dems have used for decades? And if you are restricting your conversation only to a single piece of legislation ("nothing has passed"??), your original comment makes little sense, since the internal process changes with each bill, other than the broad strokes one can garner from "Schoolhouse Rock."

  •  Amen (5+ / 0-)

    to every word in this essay.

  •  What's Worse? (0+ / 0-)

    If Republicans give in on taxes and Democrats on cutting Social Security and Medicare, is that supposed to be a "good" deal?

    If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 09:00:00 AM PST

    •  Rs will not give in on taxes. (0+ / 0-)

      Not to any degree that will help. "Closing loopholes" is their watchword, and it is 100% meaningless. There are no good deals that will ever emanate from a Republican-controlled House, and it's nearly a given that no good deals are going to come from either house of Congress as long as there are any Republicans there at all.

  •  We should NOT save the Super-Com from itself. (3+ / 0-)

    The compromise was bargained for in tough negotiations. It was clear from the outset. The default was negotiated in good faith. It was a lousy deal for us, but none better was available and default on the debt was unthinkable to those who gave it realistic thought.

    If these cats can't now agree, the default applies. End of story. It's time to stop this ridiculous saga about debt reduction/size of guv'mint and get on to higher and more worthy priorities, every one of which will favor Democrats in 2012 if we have the smarts and the guts to explain it to the public.

    As far as Senator Kerry's admonition of economic disaster, much as I respect the man, that is utter hogwash which given the history of this compromise deal, no Democrat or Republican should take seriously.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 09:00:01 AM PST

  •  Is that a real option? (0+ / 0-)

    I thought failure to reach a deal triggered automatic cuts, which may mean choosing between a bad deal and a worse one.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 09:01:46 AM PST

  •  For the White House (3+ / 0-)
    For the Super Congress, the biggest failure would be a bad deal

    For the White House, the biggest failure would be no deal as any deal keeps the process moving and Obama can then claim he did "something".  

    Indeed, "The Stupid" goes on.  

    Dedicated to the GOP debates: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Hunter Thompson

    by NyteByrd1954 on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 09:02:46 AM PST

  •  On the bright side, I think most of them have (0+ / 0-)

    heard of Libya and that funny dressing whatsisname who used to run the place.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 09:03:22 AM PST

  •  The only thing the weak kneed Congressional (0+ / 0-)

    Dems are good at is theatrics.  When nose and toes come together in a fight, the crowd knows who the Dems are because of the yellow running down their legs.  It's Stockholm Syndrome on steroids.  Kerry is such a disappointment.  

  •  Dear Democratic Super Committee (5+ / 0-)

    If you delay any tax revenues (which we all know will not happen later) you will do so at your own peril.  Even middle of the road, non-progressive democrates will resent you for this mistake.

  •  What a mess (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, jennylind, hester

    We need more spending and less taxes, and they're arguing over less spending and more taxes. Wow.

  •  Failure is the best option ... (3+ / 0-)

    That's what some of us felt about the ACA ...

    But Our President sure loves his Big Deals.  On campaign/fundraising tours he sure talks like a feisty fiery Democrat ... but in the end -- "It's all about the Deal (and the moderate/centrist Voter, of course)"

    So my guess is: the committee will find common ground on painful but pointless cuts to the Big Three and argree to disagree about what specific revenue measures might be considered in 2013.

    Sort of the same legislative philosophy as the ACA, ain't it?  

  •  As I suggested before, (0+ / 0-)

    you really should think about getting a clue before you write this stuff.

    ...Democrats aren’t offering to simply take the GOP at their word. Their plan is to make any cuts to programs like Medicare and Social Security part of a trigger that would only be pulled if and when Congress passes hundreds of billions of dollars in new revenue.

    Multiple Democratic aides confirm their strategy hasn’t changed: Dems will only support this sort of two-step tax reform process if there are serious revenue guarantees and the deal includes a trigger to make sure the revenue materializes.

    •  And Those "Triggers" Could Be Changed By A Future (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Congress, correct? My problem is that Democrats should not be on record for ever agreeing to ANY CUTS in Social Security or Medicare, with or without revenue triggers. Democrats have traditionally been protectors of those social safety net programs. Being for cuts to these programs could haunt Dems in future years.

      •  Let me put it to you this way... (0+ / 0-)

        what the Democrats have said is that no spending cuts will occur unless and until "Congress passes hundreds of billions of dollars in new revenue."

        Now take a minute and think about how likely it is that will happen.

        If you can do that, you might be starting to get the picture.

  •  Just Say NO! (0+ / 0-)

    Nancy was right. It's so easy, and it feels so goood!

  •  NO, NO, NO To Cuts To Social Security & Medicare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in exchange for "revenue increases in the future." Because those revenue increases will NEVER HAPPEN. Look at what happened to a (supposedly) simple thing like letting the Bush tax cuts expire  -  IT DIDN'T HAPPEN. The Democrats are getting suckered (again) if they agree to this cockamamie deal, just like agreeing to set up this "Super Congress committee" in exchange for getting the debt ceiling raised was dumb. Let the automatic cuts go in - I know Medicare will be cut, but so will the Pentagon and defense budget. If the Rethugs are serious about "cutting spending and the deficit" then they will just have to swallow big Defense department cuts! Screw the Rethugs and their "cut the deficit" BS - let em put up with some of those cuts and see how they like it.

  •  why is Kerry saying things like this? (0+ / 0-)

    Whatever his faults, he was always fact-based before.  He never just spewed a lot of hooey. Never.  Even his justification for voting for AUMF, wrong as it was, was based on something that, if you believed Colin Powell, could be imagined to be factual. And that was just about his worst ever decision!

    What is going on up there?  I'm starting to think I'm right, and Wall St. guys are threatening to blow up the economy if there isn't a deal they like!

    Somebody please suggest another, less CT explanation for me, cause I'm running out of options here!

    Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 10:34:12 AM PST

    •  I just explained it... (0+ / 0-)

      right here.

      Apparently DK front-pagers can't be bothered to get the whole story - which is how almost all CT theories get going. At least this time TPM gave us all the facts - if we care to look.

      •  OK, that's somewhat better but (0+ / 0-)

        not really enough, given that 1)it's not clear that "revenue increases" don't just mean letting the Bush tax cuts expire, which they should have done anyway, meaning the goalposts have been moved again and we're now willing to trade massive cuts to earned benefits in exchange for what we should have gotten as a matter of course, and 2)it's not at all clear that if Republicans get control of the Senate or even retain control of the House that they won't find a way to revise the trigger agreement.

        But at least it sounds like maybe he's not spouting hooey.
        But, then again--where is the economic/financial doomsday he predicts as a result of not coming to an agreement going to arise from, if not from a massive temper tantrum on the part of the FIRE folks?  Certainly there's nothing about not coming to an agreement that should automatically result in economic doomsday.

        Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 12:38:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  First of all, (0+ / 0-)

          I myself would prefer to leave the Bush tax cuts out of this deal. They expire 1.1.13 if we do nothing. That's the strongest negotiating position Dems have on them right now.

          Secondly, I don't think you're understanding the "trigger" mechanism here. On this one the proposal is that NO cuts happen unless and until billions are added to revenue. Think for a minute about how likely it is that Congress will pass that kind of tax increase. And then remember that there will be no cuts unless/until that happens.

          Contrary to what these dkos front-pagers are writing - If we can get the Republicans to sign on to this - its actually pretty genius.

  •  FAILURE: a totally predictable outcome here, (0+ / 0-)

    because to steal a line from Dr. Phil, the best predictor of future behavior, is past behavior, and since all the Repugs on this circus commission have signed the Grover Norquist tax pledge, again, failure would come as no surprise here. The Repugs do not care about this though, and don't forget all the past clues. Like the downgrading of our credit rating, at least once so far, and its pretty clear they only care about defecits when a Democrat is in the White House.  Norquist is an econmic terrorist, same as the Tea Pot Party.  I hope the people can finally put 2 + 2 togther next November and put the party out to pasture where they belong!

  •  Sharp cuts in defense are very important to me. (0+ / 0-)

    I will tolerate a lot of pain--selfishly, since it's not my pain--to get those cuts.  So I vote for failure.

    But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

    by Rich in PA on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 10:36:33 AM PST

  •  stock up now while you still have Social Security (0+ / 0-)
  •  What I'd like to see. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    1.  There is nothing wrong with Social Security that needs to be resolved today.  Period.  SSA has been subsidizing the wealthier tax payer for almost thirty years and should continue to do so for another twenty unless some stupid Democrat reaches some sort of compromise.  Frankly, the goal of Republicans is to get additional revenue out of SSA to keep the more regressive income tax lower.    

    2.  Medicare isn't a problem, the problem is the increase in health costs.  You can gripe about Medicare all you want, but the real issue is the cost of medical services.  When government begins to implement incentive programs into Medicare that reward cost savings, then you will see a savings.  Until then, the cuts won't live up to their estimates.  Doctors will just recode their bills in a fashion to make up for the lost revenues.

    3.  Austerity measures when the Federal Funds Rate is effectively at 0% will result in an even larger deficit.  So, as it pertains to the Commission or any negotiation "success" is failure and "failure" is success.

    4.  Republicans won't budge, Democrats will cave, and we will get some horrible compromise.  I am sorry I have so little faith in my party, but I'd be a fool not to acknowledge the obvisous.  The bottom line is you can't negotiate with someone who doesn't want to, so don't.  Instead, how about going to the American people in one voice and say the Republicans don't want to negotiate because to do so would make President Obama look good and improve his chances of being reelected?  Up until now, being an obstructionist hasn't cost the Republicans anything.  It's about time all leaders of the Democratic Party speak in unison that this is what is occurring.  And when I say in unison, I mean everyone, every Senator, every Representative, every staffer, etc.  EVERYONE.  Think of the Mushroom Cloud.

    5.  Lastly, typical of Washington, while they negotiate for months on end as to what they perceive to be the immediate problem, the real immediate problem - European debt and the foreclosure debacle - remains unaswered.  Generally, Washington is about six months behind real world events, and in some cases four and five years.

  •  Send Grover Norquist a nice bouquet (0+ / 0-)

    with a bag of Purina Cat Chow...

    "Speak out, judge fairly, and defend the rights of oppressed and needy people." Proverbs 31:9

    by zdefender on Tue Nov 15, 2011 at 04:17:01 PM PST

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