As expected by most people and following a Sunday show round robin, where finger pointing was to the fore front. Members of the “super committee” charged with coming up with $1.2 trillion in budget cuts last night announced their failure to reach a deal.
The formal announcement came late last night, with President Obama making a short address to the nation and as predictable as the sun rising in the morning, blamed Republican and sounded off his now regular rhetoric of fair share and republican’s being unwilling to deal with negotiate.
What makes this failure a mockery is that while the politicians will say it was about budget cuts, the reality is quite different, the $1.2 Trillion in cuts was in fact, cuts from future projected spending levels not real actual cuts.
There was no willingness in truth by the Democratic side to reach an agreement and this has been evident with President Obama’s campaigning in recent months. The failure to reach an agreement is another example under the current administration and Democratic dominated Senate to run down the clock to next year’s election in the hope of blaming the Republicans. The Republican’s for their part had offered revenue increases in the negotiations but this offer was as quickly dismissed.
Washington is truly broken and it is shameful that the American people have been let down by their president, representatives and senators and left out in the cold while the nation’s debt spirals out of control.
Members of the 12-member bipartisan debt committee said Sunday a wide range of differences remained. A late Monday deadline loomed for some kind of plan to move forward, with a vote required by Wednesday however, it was clear no agreement after three months of talks could be reached.
To stave off automatic spending cuts known as a sequester, the super committee must propose ways to reduce deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years. At least seven of its 12 members must approve a plan in order to send it to the House and Senate in the form of legislation.
Then, both chambers must vote on the bill, without amendment, by December 23. For the plan to pass, a simple majority in each chamber must vote in favour.
The failure to pass any agreement now results in $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts across much of the federal budget starting in 2013, evenly divided between defence and non-defence spending. Since Congress made the law governing the sequester, it can also amend or repeal it, as some lawmakers are pushing for. President Obama said he will veto any such attempt last night.
Asian stocks and U.S. stock futures fell by over 240 points on the Dow Jones as news of the collapse weighed on markets. Market expectations for a deal already were low, and investors have viewed the United States as a relative safe haven from the debt crisis in the euro zone,
But failure could remind investors of the risks posed by gridlock in Washington.
The House is only scheduled to be in session for eight more days this year after the Thanksgiving holiday, and it remains to be seen whether there is the political will or even the ability to reach an agreement on these measures before they expire on January 1st.
This is not the first failure of gargantuan proportions by politicians in Washington when it comes to dealing with the financial health of the nation. One only has to look at the Senate’s record over the last three years, and their failure to pass a budget during a time in which, over $4 trillion has been added to the American National debt which, to be fair, has become an ever increasing problem since the 1970’s with all presidents except for President Clinton punting the issue down the road.
President Obama will no doubt come out attacking the Republicans this week but people should get a firm grip on the harsh reality coming America’s way. The nation is staring bankruptcy in the face and there is a desperate vacuum of real leadership to tackle the seriousness of the ever accelerating problem.
President Obama and his policies have been an economic failure for the country, he has blamed everything from the weather, Tsunami in Japan through to the financial crisis in Europe, while some or all will have a degree of impact, these are the unexpected challenges every president before him faced and indeed in some cases, much more.
President Obama simply has not provided the leadership to address this most serious of issues and if America goes broke, where will the government and nation be in five years when it is unable to borrow money to pay for welfare programs, education and other vital services, this is the clear truth that politicians won’t address.
America is going to get the real change it asked for alright, social and economic breakdown, and a once great nation, powerless to avert its position in the world being over taken by once so-called developing nations.
The “Super Committee” has indeed being a super failure however, the biggest super failure of them all is leadership, for which the absence of, there can be no substitute.
Surely 2012 represents an opportunity for American voters to change the current dysfunctional leadership, a failure to make the change through the ballot box will leave a once unique nation, facing four more years of failed policies and further economic and political damage. A more sorry state of affairs one could not have considered or even predicted entering the start of this new century just over a decade ago, American exceptionalism itself is under threat from the current administration.