As everyone should know by now, the Super Committee – appointed in August under the terms of the misbegotten debt ceiling deal – has failed to come up with any plan to cut federal spending by $1.5 trillion, so, on top of the $465 bn cuts imposed on the DOD by the deal, a sequester will kick in and cut another $600 bn from the core defense budget.
Many people now say that the Super Committee was doomed to fail from the beginning and that they always knew it. On the first part they are right; on the second part they are arguably wrong (where were they in August, September and October?).
I’m proud that I was one of the few people to recognize at the very beginning that this was a dumb idea from the start and that I always opposed it.
So why did the Super Committee fail?
For the reason stated by Sen. Pat Toomey and conservative media: the Democrats insisted on a tax hike to the tune of at least $1 trillion, knowing full well that Republicans could never agree to that. The Democrats, however, knew that they had the advantage, because the sequester was holding America’s defense hostage, and would gut America’s defense if Republicans did not compromise.
In other words, the Democrats were holding the military hostage to their tax hike demands, threatening to execute the hostage if Republicans did not comply. Now that Republicans have refused to go along with a job-killing tax hike, the Democrats will execute the hostage.
The Super Committee and the sequester were, from the start, designed to force Republicans to choose between tax hikes and defense cuts, and that was because the Democrats who dictated these terms, and President Obama, knew full well that Republicans hate both.
So yes, the Super Committee was doomed to fail from the start, because the Democrats were making demands that Republicans could never accept, and now that Republicans have refused to give in to these demands, the Democrats are going to execute the hostage.
I oppose the sequester and the defense cuts it will make, but I believe Republicans were right not to agree to a job-killing $1 trillion tax hike, and I respect them for not capitulating to the Democrats on this issue.