Monday, August 15, 2011

Super committee: Our gang (dark) comedy

LET'S PAUSE FOR a moment to consider the newly created Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. It is the sort of title that bureaucracies love to name in a way to guarantee that nobody really understands what it is intended to do. In possible deference to the committee members' family and friends, the name has been reduced to "super committee", which is just as meaningless but more readily accessible to anybody who foolishly tries to bring it up in casual conversation.

But there is nothing super about the 12-member bipartisan panel that was created to forestall the Republican-driven track to default. At least until November. By then the six Democrats and six Republicans must work out a bloodless compromise to find upward of $1.5 trillion in budget cuts over the next 10 years. Make me laugh.

Compromise? Need I remind you that all of the panel's half-dozen Republicans, including Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, have already pledged not to raise taxes. They are the servile lemmings of a fellow that nobody has ever voted for- a rigid anti-tax carnivore with a name right out of a Dickensian novel, Grover Norquist. He is a Beltway operative with mystical powers over pols whose courage is adrift.

It's not a reassuring narrative. Indeed, it's a joke.


PJJinOregon said...

During JFK's presidential campaign, the whisper rumor insinuated that he was loyal to the Catholic pope first and America second. Conservatives were outraged. But now, they seem content if not out right jubilant that a pledge to Grover Norquist trumps national needs. Strange business, this politics.

Grumpy Abe said...

PJ, it is not possible to deal rationally with the lunatic fringe that has captured the Republican Party. Even those Republicans who know better - I assume there are some who still exist - are frozen in their tracks against this modern wave of a medieval social order.

Howard Tolley said...

Couldn't agree more re your column about the budget deficit committee. It's a sad
commentary on the state of politics today.