Dick Morris explains:
Mark Twain famously wrote that "no man's property or liberty is safe while the Legislature is in session." The same could have been said for the Deficit Reduction Super Committee. Now that it has reached an impasse, we can all breathe easier!Not a surprise really.
There is a fundamental, deep difference between the parties in Washington. Democrats want higher levels of taxes and spending and Republicans want lower levels of each. The gulf between them can only be adjudicated by the electorate at an election. That's the way we do it in a democracy. To split the difference in a spate of legislative deal making is to deprive our people of their right of self-government.
Because we are not Japan, we use our elections to air fundamental policy differences. Because we are not Italy, we come to conclusions and are not always looking to split the difference in fuzzy compromise.
For the last weeks many conservatives have been concerned that our Republican members of the panel would sell us out and go for a tax increase. Some, like Tennessee's Senator Lamar Alexander, urged one. For them to have agreed to a compromise would have been disempowering to the voters. It would have been a sin.
Now the great question looms before us: How large should government be? Should it consume the 41% of our national resources it now does or even less than the 33% it did when Obama took power? Let the debate begin and let the voters decide. And let one or the other party return to Washington in 2013 with control of both Houses and of the White House, determined to enact the will of the voters.
The insiders in Washington wanted a deal because they don't trust the voters. The insiders on Wall Street wanted one because they want predictability. But this decision is not to be made by insiders. It will be made by voters. It is not the triumph of gridlock, but of democracy. The absence of a deal is not a failing of our system, but a manifestation of its most glorious success.
We are still, after all, a democracy.
Let’s get real here. Only the play-along-to-get-along media could hype a business-as-usual non-event like the supercommittee’s thumb-sucking task into sounding like the Cuban missile crisis — or at least the lead-up to the Super Bowl.
Sorry, but the truth is that the media’s hand-wringing over the supercommittee’s deficit-reduction work is nothing more than a monumental farce. By getting the public to focus on the choice of cutting $1.2 trillion from the budget over 10 years or triggering automatic spending cuts of $1.2 trillion, Congress is once again able to distract from what really needs to be done.
And by “really needs to be done,” I mean cutting a minimum of $1.5 trillion from the budget next year. Why $1.5 trillion? Because that’s what it would take to balance the current budget, which is already 10 times greater than it should be.
It’s all part of the same old Washington game, and the rules of the game are very simple: Democrats never agree to any serious spending cuts, and Republicans always give in (while pretending to be victorious, of course).
In other words, from the Democrats’ point of view, it’s: “Heads, I win; tails, you lose.” And from the Republicans’ point of view, it’s: “Just let us continue to eat in the Congressional dining room, work out in the Congressional gym and have access to insider stock-trading information, and we’ll go along with just about anything you ask of us.”
It never really mattered whether the so-called “spending cuts” came from the super committee or as a result of “automatic, across-the-board spending cuts.” Either way, the budget, the deficit and the national debt were guaranteed to continue to rise — and at an accelerating rate, at that.
What does this mean in terms of next November’s elections? Well, if the Republicans run a progressive candidate like Mitt Romney, once again allowing themselves to be intimidated by the Democrats’ constant admonishments that “voters want Democrats and Republicans to come together,” then they will have learned nothing from their Mush McCain mistake in 2008.
It’s scary to think about, but even Ann Coulter has fallen into the ageless trap of believing that conservatives should once again set aside their principles and nominate a candidate who can win. Not only is such a position unprincipled, it also yields either a losing Presidential race or a Republican President who does nothing more than carry the water bucket for Democrats. (Think George W. Bush.)
Perhaps the biggest tip-off that Romney has Democrats licking their chops at the thought of his winning the Republican nomination is that their liberal media cheerleaders keep insisting he is the candidate Democrats fear most. That’s a dead giveaway for just how badly they want him to be the Republican nominee. Trust me, the thought of running nonstop ads that feature Barack Obama thanking Romney for creating the model for Obamacare has them both salivating and cackling.
Of course, if voters bypass Romney and flee into the arms of Newt Gingrich, Democrats would also have a ball with some of Gingrich’s more infamous positions — supporting the Troubled Asset Relief Program, global-warming couch sessions with Nancy Pelosi, favoring an individual mandate for health care, and, worst of all, referring to Paul Ryan’s serious budget-cutting plan as “extreme right-wing social engineering.”
The important question of the day is not whether the super committee will “compromise” and work out a spending-cut plan or take the easy way out and allow automatic spending cuts to be triggered. Either way, you can be sure there will be no significant cutbacks in government spending.
A far more important question is: Will conservatives be smart enough and tough enough to understand that promising to cut the size and scope of government and put an end to the criminality in Washington is what got them elected to Congress in 2010?
Or will they misread the political climate once again and run scared — right into the arms of their socialist pals across the aisle — and hand the only Marxist President in American history a default victory that will give him the time he needs to finish the job of destroying what is left of the U.S. economy?