Posts Tagged ‘supercommittee’
December 1st, 2011 at 4:15 pm
Podcast: The Supercommittee’s Failure and the 2012 GOP Primary Field
Posted by Print

Troy Senik, former presidential speechwriter and Senior Fellow at CFIF, discusses the failure of the Supercommittee and how and why the Republican primary field has shifted.

Listen to the interview here.

November 28th, 2011 at 10:51 pm
Chris Christie Takes President Obama to the Woodshed
Posted by Print

We’re way overdue for a Chris Christie video here on Freedom Line. Thankfully, the New Jersey governor is back in the saddle and he’s seemingly competing with Newt Gingrich to see who can blister the sitting Commander-in-Chief more thoroughly. This is a thing of beauty:

November 22nd, 2011 at 6:08 pm
The Supercommittee Fallout Begins
Posted by Print

I’ve been shouting from the rooftops for as long as anyone would listen that the Congressional Supercommittee was (a) a bad idea (b) doomed to failure and (c) destined to put the funding of America’s military forces in danger because of triggered cuts that could add up to more than a trillion dollars.

Now that’s all coming true and the lines are beginning to get drawn in the sand. From today’s coverage in Politico:

Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) vowed to eliminate the automatic cuts, which would take effect in 2013, citing dire warnings from his panel’s analysts and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about the impact of an additional $500 billion reduction on the nation’s security.

“I will not be the armed services chairman who presides over crippling our military,” he said just before the supercommittee admitted defeat Monday afternoon…

President Barack Obama later said he would veto any attempt to undo the spending cuts. “There will be no easy offramps on this one. We need to keep the pressure up to compromise, not turn off the pressure,” he said.

The president’s callousness is stunning. Fully funding the men and women of the United States military is not an “easy offramp” — it’s a strategic and moral necessity. An easy offramp would be proposing an increase in the debt ceiling without offering any spending cuts during a time of record national debt. An easy offramp would be allowing Congress to grope its way through the supercommittee process without any leadership from the White House. In short, an easy offramp would be everything President Obama has done to avoid any responsibility for reducing the national debt.

It’s time for the Congress to make a stand — and not just the Republicans. Many Democrats will understand that it’s both good policy and good election-year politics to keep the Pentagon from being gutted. And let’s hope they’re not just limited to Capitol Hill. Nothing would put the issue in starker terms than Defense Secretary Leon Panetta — a good man and one who has consistently opposed this reckless policy — standing in solidarity with a bipartisan congressional majority against the president. If he’s worthy of his job, that’s exactly what he’ll do.

November 22nd, 2011 at 1:32 am
Super Committee: Able to Kick the Can Down the Road in a Single Bound
Posted by Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

November 18th, 2011 at 10:52 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Super-Committee
Posted by Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

November 16th, 2011 at 2:45 pm
Supercommittee One Week Away From Implosion
Posted by Print

Begin the countdown. November 23 — one week from today — is the deadline for the bipartisan, bicameral congressional “supercommittee” to deliver its plan to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit. Only problem? No one expects it to happen. From today’s Washington Post:

White House officials are quietly bracing for “supercommittee” failure, with advisers privately saying they are pessimistic that the 12-member Congressional panel will find a way to cut $1.2 trillion from the deficit as required…

Obama has stopped short of issuing a blanket veto threat if the committee tries to undo the severe cuts that would take effect in 2013 if an agreement is not reached. Obama has simply said that Congress “must not shirk its responsibilities” and, in a news conference from Hawaii, said he would not comment on the potential for a veto.

Oh, so now it’s Congress that’s shirking its responsibilities? Where was President Obama’s veto pen when more than $4.2 trillion was being added to the federal debt under his watch (more than the total federal debt from George Washington to George H.W. Bush)? And if the role of Congress is so important, why leave the task of debt reduction to a dozen congressmen out of a body of 535? And why keep members from being able to so much as amend the proposal, making the compromise that will be necessary for such a grand bargain that much harder to ascertain?

The answer, of course, is that this process has been intended all along to grease the skids for tax increases. And by threatening the welfare of the men and women of the U.S. military (failing to pass a plan would result in automatic cuts to the Pentagon’s budget that could add up to over $1 trillion), liberals are hoping they can force conservatives’ hand.

The supecommittee process deserves to end in failure. The automatic spending cuts deserve to be overridden by Congress, as does any veto that President Obama may subsequently issue. And every member of the legislative branch who helped midwife the president’s record-breaking debt deserves a one-way ticket home.

November 3rd, 2011 at 2:31 pm
Why the Supercommittee’s Job Should Be Child’s Play

Last week I wrote here about Sen. Ron Johnson’s proposals to save $1.4 trillion over ten years. Today, for the University of Mobile, I add that to proposals by Jeff Sessions, Tom Coburn, Paul Ryan and others to show that significant savings shouldn’t be all that hard.

October 10th, 2011 at 10:15 pm
No Matter the Outcome, Congressional Supercommittee Set to Do Damage
Posted by Print

I’ve written at length here at CFIF about the doomsday scenario that will ensue should the congressional supercommittee fail to pass at least $1.2 trillion in debt reduction by its November 23 deadline. Because of an outrageous provision in last summer’s debt ceiling agreement, a fail to act would produce defense cuts that could end up cutting as much as $1 trillion from American’s national security budget.

While the supercommittee’s broad goal of debt reduction is laudable, congressional Democrats are digging in their heels and asserting that the real problem is that Americans are being taxed too lightly, not that Washington is spending too much. From the Associated Press:

The supercommittee is struggling. After weeks of secret meetings, the 12-member deficit-cutting panel established under last summer’s budget and debt deal appears no closer to a breakthrough than when talks began last month…

Democrats won’t go for an agreement that doesn’t include new tax revenue; Republicans are just as ardently antitax. The impasse over revenues means that Democrats won’t agree to cuts to popular entitlement programs like Medicare…

 “There’s been no movement on (new) revenues, and I’m not sure the Democrats will agree to anything without revenues,” said a Democratic lobbyist who required anonymity to speak candidly.

Let’s be clear here: either scenario — either massive cuts to the Pentagon’s budget or higher taxes — would imperil America’s ability to maintain its global leadership position. The former would gut our defense resources now, while the latter would hollow out our ability to generate the economic growth that will be necessary to fund our military in the future.

Unfortunately, the only sensible option available is to punt. The supercommittee deserves to go bust if it can’t find $1.2 trillion in unnecessary federal spending. When it fails to do so, Congress should pass a separate piece of legislation overriding the “triggers” that will wreak havoc with defense spending.

The debt crisis simply won’t be solved while Harry Reid and John Boehner are squaring off on Capitol Hill and Barack Obama is in the White House. Better instead to wait for Republicans to gain control of the Senate — and hopefully the presidency — in the 2012 elections. At that point, the debt can be meaningfully reduced through sharp spending reductions, entitlement reform, and a root-and-branch reform of the tax system that can increase revenue while spurring economic growth.  In the meantime, America’s military can be kept intact.


September 26th, 2011 at 7:55 pm
Congressional Analysis Shows Pending Pentagon Cuts Would Gut National Defense
Posted by Print

In my column last week, I detailed the devastation that the Pentagon will be in for should the bipartisan congressional “supercommittee” not enact major debt reduction by early next year. While paring back the size of the federal government is essential, the Obama Administration was unspeakably reckless in allowing defense cuts that could reach over $1 trillion to be triggered automatically should the committee fail to act.

The staff of the House Armed Services Committee has now released their analysis of the proposed reductions and, according to a report in Politico, the outcomes could be every bit as dire as warned:

The analysis notes that the Navy would need to take two aircraft carrier battle groups out of service and the Air Force would lose a third of its fighters. The Marine Corps would no longer be able to maintain forward-deployed amphibious forces around the world. New weapons systems, such as the Navy and Marine Corps’ versions of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, would be canceled. The U.S. nuclear arsenal would be drastically reduced and modernization plans scrapped.

Aside from the troop cuts, there would also be massive layoffs of Pentagon civilian employees and the elimination of many jobs in the defense industry, according to the analysis.

The Obama Administration never runs out of supplicants. Whether it’s labor unions, “green energy” firms, or corporate friends who can get a waiver from Obamacare in the blink of an eye, there seems to be no one that the administration doesn’t have unlimited cash available for on an on-demand basis. No one, that is, except the men and women of the United States military.
September 21st, 2011 at 1:01 pm
Dissolve Supercommittee, Hire Deloitte

The Canadian Press reports that its government will hire consultants from Deloitte Inc. to devise ways to reduce annual spending by $4 billion by next March.  Cost of the contract: $19.8 million.

Here’s the Conservative government’s response to those badgering it for spending $90,000 a day to reduce spending:

A spokeswoman for Clement defended the contract, saying Ottawa needs the best advice available for reducing costs.

“Engaging private sector advisers who have been successful with cost-saving operational reviews will better enable ministers and deputy heads not only to compile their individual cost-savings proposals but also to provide practical advice on what to look for and how to execute their plans,” press secretary Heather Hume said in an email.

“As always, our government is committed to maintaining an open, fair and transparent procurement process while obtaining the best possible value for Canadians.”

If President Barack Obama and Congress are so willing to set aside the normal constitutional processes for writing budgets and tax policies (as evidenced by the creation of the congressional ‘supercommittee’ charged with finding $1.5 trillion in savings by Thanksgiving), why not go all the way and let experts in the private sector scrub the books and find the savings?