Jobs, Deficits and the Congressional Super Committee
Cause and effect: jobs and deficits
So the Super Committee (yes, it looks like that's what it's going to be called...) met for the first time today. They all agreed that the debt was crippling and must be dealt with immediately. But there were differences. Sort of:
Although Murray said she agreed that the "deep and long-term deficit and long-term debt" is placing an "overwhelming burden" on the nation and future generations, she and other Democrats spent more time talking about the desperate need for job creation, while Republicans led by Hensarling argued that reducing the deficit is a jobs-plan in and of itself.
I think it's interesting that Hensarling said that outright, but it is, of course, the underlying message Washington been flogging for the past two years. Indeed the entire subtext of the deficit debate is that it's the
of unemployment, not the result. And it's completely reasonable for people who are busy with their lives and only peripherally paying attention to the details to assume that as well. After all, why in the world would the President and both parties be obsessed with it if it wasn't the most acute problem we face and the reason why so many people are out of work? One would have to believe that our leaders are extremely incompetent or slightly unhinged to be worrying so much about debt if it wasn't the reason for our current problems, right?
It's true that most politicians don't come right out and say this. They jabber about the confidence fairy instead. But when it comes to austerity,
During the Q&A, one of the questioners wondered what Christie had learned in New Jersey that might be applied to the nation. His answer was direct: "This is not hard. We spend too much. We borrow too much. We tax too much. It is time to turn those three things around."
"Now, pain will be inflicted when we change that," he went on. "People are going to do with less. People who are used to having entitlement at a certain level will not have them at that level anymore. That's the story." Christie cited Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's "courageous" and "thoughtful plan" to "fix those systems" by replacing Medicare with a voucher program.
Hensarling was just saying what they all believe --- that government spending is the problem. Even though it isn't. And the Democrats dissent by saying that it's all completely true but it might also be nice if we could extend Unemployment Insurance for a little while longer to keep people from being tossed into the streets --- at least until after the election.