Charlie Pierce on the inevitable SuperCommittee deal:
But the cuts will be real. Everybody agrees on that. Even Joe Lieberman, the world’s most revolting human:
“In the last week, each side has busted through a wall. Democrats are talking about entitlement reform, curbing the increase in spending on mandatory programs like Medicare. Republicans have broken through the wall on tax revenue increases. Now they have to figure out if they can meet each other somewhere in the middle.”
This is, of course, nonsense. While it is true that the Democrats have proven themselves willing to sell out their party on the essential social safety net — John Kerry, alas, has reported for duty on this one in a big way — the Republicans have no more “broken through a wall” on “tax increases” than they have all agreed to become Zoroastrians. The “tax increases” are the closing of some loopholes that most of the people who should be feeling the pinch of progressive taxation will never ever notice, and some of which the middle class has come to count on, and, anyway, here’s Grover Norquist, who swings the kind of weight that Lieberman can only dream of wielding:
“I am not losing any sleep” over the Republicans’ latest proposal. Mr. Norquist said he was confident that, “at the end of the day, the Republican House will not pass a tax increase.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is truly that.
One of the co-chairs of the SuperCommittee is Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Republican congresscritter from Texas and a real prize in his own right. In the past, Hensarling has been a real dope on the topic of health care. He got tough and stupid with the president and wound up launched into the cheap seats. And there he is in the WSJ, demonstrating for good and all that at least one very bloated part of the budget will be spared from the “draconian” budget cuts that are supposed to be triggered by the failure of the SuperCommittee to come to a deal.
“I have a hard time believing a 10-year sequester of national defense of that magnitude would ever happen.” He says, “At some point the American people rise up and say ‘Wait a second, we continue to live in a dangerous world, this is not smart.'”
This is why the SuperCommittee has conducted its deliberations in secret. So you won’t notice the chimps with the flamethrowers.