Budget

Budget Geeks Agree: The Super Committee's Deficit Reduction Recommendations Won't Mean A Thing

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Maybe Bizarro Super Committee would work?

Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center spent time talking to experienced Washington budgeteers this weekend. What did the old budget hands think of the latest deal to reduce the deficit? Not much:

In short, don't count on much real deficit reduction any time soon, despite this summer's debt limit deal that, amid much angst, allegedly cut spending by $1.2 trillion over the next decade.

To these veterans of the fiscal wars, the odds are awfully long that Congress' new budget super committee will reach a broad deficit reduction agreement by Thanksgiving—perhaps one-in-three at best. But there is worse news for those who worry about long-term deficits: Although the debt agreement requires an additional $1.5 trillion in automatic spending reductions over 10 years should the Gang of 12 fail, not one of these experts believes those cuts will ever happen.  Congress will find a way to avoid, evade, delay, or otherwise confound these spending limits. In other words, the stick that is supposed to force lawmakers to act is mostly sawdust.

Pulling the debt-deal trigger may not merely be the best (bad) option. It may be the only option. 

NEXT: Quick! Call the Regulators! Those People Are Buying Gold!

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  1. I predict the greater resolve of the spenders will dominate the super committee and the budget cutting committee will find a way to tax and spend more. We are all doomed.

  2. Budget Geeks Agree: The Super Committee’s Deficit Reduction Recommendations Won’t Mean A Thing

    I don’t understand the warning – was the Super Committe supposed to do anything meaningful at all? I thought it was a jobs program for party hacks.

  3. As if there would ever be a real stick. Congress doesn’t need to follow laws like passing a budget because Congress is above the law.

  4. Congress will find a way to avoid, evade, delay, or otherwise confound these spending limits.

    He missed circumvent, block, dissimulate, pretend, parry, fudge, weasel, shirk, get around, eviscerate, sidestep, fend off, amend and dismiss.

    Not to mention lying, prevaricating, faking, falsifying, pretending, and ‘forgetting’.

  5. You don’t say.

  6. Even if they can’t just ignore the law, they can always fall back on Ol’ Tried and True: manufacture a “crisis”.

    “But…but…we CAN’T cut the budget now! Not with the Hamster Invasion looming over our heads!”

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