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(Not-So) Super Committee

This article first appeared on Nov 22, 2011.

Should we all feign shock at the failure of the “Super Committee” to find a budget resolution?  The sheer fact that this group is made up of members from the larger Congressional delegations that have shown no ability (or desire) to reign in government spending should have been a clear signal that this vision would end in disappointment.  Congress as a whole is unable to come to consensus – why do so many talking heads seem surprised that this smaller subset have had equally poor results?
Frankly, the American people have seen numbers of “committees” and “commissions” and “study groups” over the past twenty or so years.  Most are made up of retired or retiring politicians who banter and debate before publishing recommendations that are received and never enacted.  Our most recent example (Simpson-Bowles) was a year invested a taxpayer expense that has seen no action at all.  For any disagreements that I may have with their conclusions, the fact remains that political leaders are keen on “studying” the debt problem, but have little motivation to take action to solve it.

For the benefit of our leaders in Washington, deficits and debt are fiscally very simple problems to resolve.  They exist when you spend more than you earn!  To resolve that challenge, you must either cut your spending, increase your income, or both!  There is really little to be gained by “study”; America will benefit when its leaders exhibit the will to act.

In my humble opinion, our government already takes in more than would be needed to fund its Constitutional role.  In our example above, that would lead to recognition that cutting of expenditures should make up the vast majority of equalisation of spending to income.

Recent history of “compromises” where taxes are immediately raised with promised (but never delivered) spending austerity exhibits that there is no trust deserved by proponents of government spending.  America’s taxpayers have shouldered too high tax burdens for too long.  Acceptance of smaller government and, thereby, more self-reliance among the growing dependency class should be our targeted path.
Hopefully, from this yet again failure, future opportunities for spending restraint can be recognised.  We need only the will of political leaders to act.