Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Don't Count on the Super Committee for Anything

As the leaves begin to change and the month of October slowly comes to an end, its time to start worrying about the Super Committee and its impending deadline in November. I was having a conversation with my Dad at dinner tonight, and I was startled to learn that the automatic budget cuts that are supposed to come to be enacted if the committee cannot come to an agreement about the debt will not come into effect until January 1st 2013. Coincidentally, the Bush tax cuts are also supposed to expire on the same day.

I am very concerned that the Super-Committee now will become embroiled in partisan gridlock and will allow the sequestration cuts to proceed until after the presidential election. It could be politically beneficial for one of the parties to allow the super-committee to fail thus portraying the White House in a negative light and making Obama look even more ineffectual at successfully governing. While this would be a very risky political maneuver, it is possible that the sequestration cuts would be dealt with by a lame-duck Congress after the election and the political damage has been done. A deal might be made to address both the enormous budget cuts and de facto tax hike from the Bush tax cuts expiring. Unlikely, yes, but totally improbable? I don't think so. I sincerely hope the super-committee can come up with a bi-partisan solution to our deficit problem. But I am not concerned that this might be an idealistic dream in our hyper-partisan age.

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