Hiram College professor Dr. Jason Johnson was interviewed by Al Jazeera English about the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (a.k.a. “the Supercommittee”) to reach an agreement to reduce the deficit.
Wait, what was that yesterday? Did we just see some actual LEADERSHIP from President Obama on a tough issue?
Clearly someone was feeling himself a bit more after coming back from a nine day tour in Asia because President Obama looked “large and in charge” (R.I.P Heavy D) yesterday during his 5:45 p.m. press conference discussing the all too expected failure of the Super-Duper-Debt-Reducer-Committee.
In a speech that was surprisingly partisan, Obama made it clear that Republicans were at fault for the committee not being able to come to a decision. He insisted that they were more concerned with protecting rich people and ideological rigidity than actually doing something for the nation.
What was particularly surprising about this speech, though, was that Obama made it clear that he was not going to budge. He insisted that he would not sign any bill that sought to get the Congress out from under the draconian across the board cuts that would start in 2013 because it was important to keep the pressure on both sides to actually negotiate.
This is certainly not as masterful as coming in and taking over the process as former White House insider Lanny Davis suggested. However, it is still a refreshing and all too rare example of Obama actually using the Congress and then controlling them rather than things working the other way around.
The only question now is how much work is anyone really going to put into this process? I sincerely doubt that any member of the committee is interested in hashing this process out past Christmas. And I don’t think it would be politically advantageous for either side to haggle over this issue in the fall of next year’s election. I suspect that the Super-Committee will be talked about a lot, but nothing more will likely be done until the final vote is counted next November.
This article originally appeared online at Politic365.com.
Because neither side, Democrats nor Republicans, were willing to face the tough consequences of not making a decision, not when an election was right around the corner that might bail everyone out.
Now we see the writing on the wall plain as day as the deadline for the “League of Extraordinary Congressmen” to agree to 1.2 trillion dollars in cuts over the next 10 years looms, everyone is trying to wiggle out of the automatic spending cuts that will occur without an answer. Democrats have always wanted to have a mixture of tax increases and closing of loopholes on the wealthiest Americans, while Republicans have all pledged that no tax increases will ever cross their rubicon of fiscal discipline. Now, there is a real possibility that huge across-the-board defense cuts could be looming and GOP committee members are whining jobs will be lost. Really? Funny they weren’t saying that when cutting public education and research budgets earlier this year. Is there any wonder why the 2011 Congress has lower approval ratings than Hitler?
This article originally appeared at Politic365.com.