Don't let the super committee fail
September 17th, 2011
09:47 AM ET

Don't let the super committee fail

Michael E. O'Hanlon

Editor's Note: Michael O’Hanlon specializes in national security and defense policy and is senior author of the IraqAfghanistan, and Pakistan Index projects. You can read more from him on the Global Public Square.

By Michael O'Hanlon - Special to CNN

With President Obama’s expected unveiling of a detailed deficit reduction plan this upcoming week, aimed to influence and cajole the super committee, which must report with its proposal by November 23, the debate about how to reduce our huge fiscal overhang is about to get intense again.

President Obama can be expected to put forth a balanced approach for cutting $1.5 trillion in government spending, with a mix of tax increases and spending cuts in most discretionary parts of the government budget as well as some aspects of Medicaid and Medicare. Most likely, any tax increases the president proposes, relative to the current Bush-era tax rates due to expire at the end of next year, will focus on just higher-income earners.

This will be a reasonable plan. But if the super committee goes a different direction, and its 6 Republicans adamantly oppose any talk of any tax increases whatsoever (or, more accurately, any suggestion that Bush tax cuts not be extended), there is a better approach for Democrats than to simply vote it down and allow sequestration to kick in. They should take whatever package of balanced spending cuts is possible to achieve this year, approve it, and then let the 2012 campaign be a referendum on what to do next.

Read: Libya vindicates Obama's multilateral leadership.

Sequestration would be a bad idea because it would devastate national security as well as key domestic investments funded within the so-called domestic discretionary accounts. Both these areas of spending would be targeted for disproportionate cuts if the super committee is unable to forge a deal or if Congress is unwilling to pass whatever deal it comes up with. Among other things, defense cuts could then approach $1 trillion over ten years with precipitous cuts beginning in 2013. This would require the nation to make unpalatable and indeed unwise choices, like whether to maintain its strong defenses in the Persian Gulf or the Western Pacific Ocean, because it will no longer be possible to do both well, even as Iran intimidates and China rises.

Many Democrats, myself included, would find it unreasonable of Republicans to refuse to include any revenue increases in a budget deal this fall. Given that tax rates are historically quite low today - lower than at most periods of Reagan’s presidency, lower than during Clinton’s time in office - there is a very reasonable case to go back to 1990s rates until we can reform the tax code (ideally reducing exemptions in the process, and possibly adding an energy or a value-added consumption tax too, thereby permitting lower income tax rates to go with increased revenues). Globalization, automation, and other innovation have continued to help the wealthy of this country disproportionately and it is only right that upper-income Americans pay a bit more in taxes.

Read: The West's four military options in Syria.

But if the GOP refuses this argument in the fall, smart political tactics would not be to have Democrats fall on their swords and block a deal. Not only would the resulting sequestration jeopardize crucial federal programs and investments, but the resulting standoff would sour Americans even more on their current government - and jeopardize the economy even more, in both the short term and the long term.

The better strategy would pocket whatever balanced deal is available, including some entitlement reductions and even some social security reforms. Everyone could then acknowledge that more deficit reduction work needed to be done and the two parties could fashion their proposals for next steps and ask the voters to help the nation choose via the 2012 elections. Democrats would presumably suggest that some tax increases would be preferable to further deep cuts in discretionary accounts or big reductions in entitlements. Republicans would likely continue to oppose any tax increases and perhaps bring out a modified version of the Ryan Plan as their vision for the future. Ideally, both parties would also lay out ideas on tax reform, not just on income tax rates.

Read: How an accounting issue could destroy America's budget.

There is no reason such an approach should work strongly for or against either party. It would be a straightforward choice for the American people, easy enough to explain and campaign on, honest and constructive in its character, and in the best traditions of democracy. And any politician truly confident in his or her views on fiscal policy, national investments and taxes should be unafraid to ask the voter for a verdict.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of Michael O'Hanlon.

Post by:
Topics: Debt Crisis • Economy • Politics • United States

soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. fernace

    O'Hanlon is basically asking the Democrats to "cave" & let the Teapublicans "ride roughshod" again, while pushing their "put it all on the backs & the working class & poor"agenda! I don't like that solution! I understand calling for cooler minds to prevail in the face of all the hot heads, but don't just throw working Americans to the proverbial wolves (an appropriate depiction)! Try, at least, to get them to understand the concept of Compromise! Also, since we pay for the programs, we should have some say-so about the renovation of SS & MediCare, which so many older & ailing citizens depend on! Actually, our tax$$ keeps this nation going & all politicians would do well to remember that! Perhaps they should do a little of that "shared sacrifice" they like to spout about these days! It's been suggested before & I think it's only right!!

    September 17, 2011 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Many rich are prepared to pay more tax. Why can't they and the Democrats campaign together next year and let Bush's ax cuts expire! Money must come from somewhere for certain expenditure. One can't just cut all spendings!

      September 17, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Reply
      • Melvin Earl Swanson Sr.

        If they would cut the pay of everybody in Washington, quit paying 10 times the market price for stuff they buy from Masonic companies and stop paying Masonic contractors 10 times market price that would help 75%

        September 17, 2011 at 8:31 pm |
      • DB

        Simple, Let the rich send the check to government, no need to raise taxes on everyone.

        September 17, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
      • Kimki

        You guys don't get it do you. Taxing the wealthy heavier will stop any job creation. Who do you think invests in the little guy entrepaneurs who need an investor to back their ideas. Heavier taxes on the oil industries and gas industries will be passed on to the consumer through not only the gas pumps but higher food prices. How does a $7 loaf of bread sound to you? Does anyone out there think a reform of the Federal Tax code is needed? Or that the Democrats had majority rule and did nothing but increase government and spend us into oblivian.

        September 18, 2011 at 4:29 am |
      • Paul

        Kimki you are wrong. When your hero bush was in office his first term the House, Senate and White House was Republican. What changed was the tax cut, prescription drug plan but nothing to cut spending. Did they reform welfare? No. Sense that time of the great tax cuts for the rich please tell everyone how many jobs were created in America, that is. All the jobs are overseas and will stay there unless people are willing to work for wages paid in China. America is in deep trouble with no relief in site.

        September 18, 2011 at 6:47 am |
      • sharky

        No one stopped the rich from paying more. THEY CAN PAY MORE, they are choosing not too. Any rich person that says they want to pay more taxes is lying.

        September 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
      • Frank

        No one stopped the rich from paying more. THEY CAN PAY MORE, they are choosing not too. Any rich person that says they want to pay more taxes is lying.
        Like Obama's buddy Warren Buffet?

        September 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
      • john


        No one stopped the rich from paying more. THEY CAN PAY MORE, they are choosing not too. Any rich person that says they want to pay more taxes is lying."

        this is the same kind of juvenile posturing that prevents any serious discussion. Of course they can send in money. The point is, the government needs to be able to forecast its income so that it can responsibly plan. You cannot plan around chance of someone sending in money or not. The Republicans are great about demanding 'predictability' of taxes. Depending on voluntary contributions brings no predictibility.

        Please either contribute responsably or don't comment.

        September 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
      • Matt

        @ John:

        Beautifully said!

        September 18, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
      • Rod from Indy

        Kimki: I don't buy your argument...Or your sympathy for the rich. They were given drastic tax cuts under W. to the point the GOP begged him to stop (and he didn't) and he crashed the economy but grew the # of billionaires. Jobs were lost, and now the only place they're hiring is overseas. People like McCain fought all regulations of the banking industry and they had to be bailed out. Coddling the rich in fear they might take away our jobs is pointless. Obama is correct in trying to make the tax rates fairer and giving more incentives to create jobs here in America. Arguing against that is ludicrous.

        September 18, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
      • LV

        Kimki, you betray the fact that you are neither rich nor connected. The uber-rich lack empathy, generally, and more than that only want quick ROI, so 'job creation' and 'economy' are not even crossing their minds. They don't create anything but profits for themselves. We all know taxes must go up and spending must go down, but nobody has the guts anywhere to just start doing it. And when I say costs I mean all costs, including defense and SS. All expenses.

        September 18, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
      • Russ

        uh, you DO realize, right, that if the "Bush Tax Cuts" expire, EVERYBODY'S tax rates go up, yours, mine, everybody, because all tax rates were lowered by Bush. That means the lowest rate will increase 50% from 10% to 15%. I guess you are ok with that. It ain't just the 'rich'.

        September 18, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
      • dem737

        What you are talking about is refered to as trickle down economics. We have been try that for nearly 30 years and it is a total failure.

        September 19, 2011 at 12:19 am |
      • Stacy

        Who is stopping the rich people who want to pay more from paying? If Warren B. wants to pay more write a check today.

        September 19, 2011 at 12:56 am |
      • a6102658

        Kimki: You don't get it, do you?.... During Bush 8 years with all the tax cuts giving to corporates and millionaires, did not create any jobs, but instead abused the surplus, I need you to point me to the a verifiable government report that says the contrary.
        In the other hand using the bumper sticker "Job creators" tells me that your heart is not with the American people, you are aligned with corporations.

        September 19, 2011 at 8:53 am |
      • warren in Va

        "this is the same kind of juvenile posturing that prevents any serious discussion. Of course they can send in money. The point is, the government needs to be able to forecast its income so that it can responsibly plan."

        Hahaha, now that is funny. "Plan Responsibly" and the "Govt" in the same sentence! In case you were unaware, your "govt" hasn't passed a budget since Obama has been president and the Dems have had both houses for 2 of his 3 yrs. No what was that again about needing to tax workers so that the gov't can "plan responsibly"???

        September 19, 2011 at 10:20 am |
      • Duncan

        "You guys don't get it do you. Taxing the wealthy heavier will stop any job creation."

        That is a tired lie which only the Republicans and Fox News reports. If you have higher taxes, you invest it to avoid having to pay taxes. When you have low taxes, you take the money and run. There have been countless studies supporting the fact that lower taxes on the wealthy does not equal job creation.

        September 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
      • 1nd3p3nd3nt

        warren buffet has pledged to 'give away' over 50% of his fortune.
        Not sure how that makes him one of the 'bad' rich guys.

        September 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Edwin


      I agree 100%. There is a reason that the committee's creation gave draconian alternatives - to give incentive to make *something* work. If the GOP plays hardball and the democrats cave in, then we are faced with two parties in 2012:

      1) the party that works only for the very rich, and
      2) the party that is too weak to do anything.

      Neither is worth anything.

      September 17, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Reply
      • Psycles

        Right, we've seen enough to KNOW that the t-publicans are hard-wired to deny any so-called tax increases, like oil company subsidies, corporate jets tax breaks and all the other tax breaks that make it possible for the wealthy and corporations to shirk their responsibilities to pay taxes. And the Democrats seem to enable that shirking by caving in, even pre-emptively. When will we the people stand up and throw those bummers out?

        September 17, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
      • Psycles

        Right, we've seen enough to KNOW that the t-publicans are hard-wired to deny any so-called tax increases, like oil company subsidies, corporate jets tax breaks and all the other tax breaks that make it possible for the wealthy and corporations to shirk their responsibilities to pay taxes. And the Democrats seem to enable that shirking by caving in, even pre-emptively. When will we the people stand up and throw those bummers out? ANd i notice he never mentions cuts to the Defense Dept. as if they are above it all, and sacrosanct. We spend super-exorbitantly on defense, for wars that do us no good and destroy other nations. Our leaders are insane.

        September 17, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
      • Melvin Earl Swanson Sr.

        Either way, we still have a big probem. Both partys are liars and thieves. It's easy to tell when they are lying " if their mouth is moving, they are lying."

        September 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
      • Dandy

        Are you sure we aren't there already?

        September 18, 2011 at 8:47 am |
      • sharky

        You do know that Democrats play for the Rich too, don't you. LOL Many MANY rich Democrats as well. Kerry avoided paying taxes on his yacht. Murray sent a letter to the Koch Brothers asking for donations.

        September 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
      • whodathunk

        2012? That's what we have in 2011. Why wait?

        September 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
      • dem737

        Agreed. Obama needs to grow a spine, but I have little hope of that happening

        September 19, 2011 at 12:23 am |
    • LKJ

      @Kimki: What job creation? The wealthy aren't creating jobs, they're keeping the money for themselves.

      September 18, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Reply
      • whodathunk

        and that is the wise thing to do at the moment. you would do the same. there is too much uncertainty at the moment.

        we need stability, certainty and confidence to invest again. and the repubs are determined to not let that happen as long as obama is president

        September 18, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • LV

      There are no 'cooler heads' to prevail. Our entire collection of leaders have turned into accusers only. The idea is by making the other side look bad you get power. We need another Reagan or Kennedy, and there is not one in sight anywhere.

      September 18, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Reply
      • Gene Sr

        RON PAUL

        September 19, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Joe

      Liberal policies have failed for the last 6 years. Time for the democrats to stop ruining America. Time to get back to work.

      September 19, 2011 at 10:33 am | Reply
    • Howard


      September 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • Howard


      September 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  2. james2

    Fareed sure has a lot fewer viewers on his blog lately. And now we know why.

    September 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      No, it has nothing to do with our disinterest. Yes, some blogsites are defect, therefore we can't post anything substantial or anything at all!

      September 17, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Reply
  3. Michelle G

    If they couldn't pass anything before,why would they do it now?

    September 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Reply
    • Edwin

      Michelle: there are two reasons why now might result in more success:

      1) there are only 12 people on the committee, not 400+. It is easier for 12 people to talk and work together, even if they bring extreme agendas, and
      2) failure to produce a plan forces extreme cuts to come into play - including drastic cuts to nearly EVERY lobbyist's favorite cause.

      Forget Congress - the LOBBYISTS have a stake in making sure something is done. So this time it might work.

      September 17, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Reply
      • 2tor

        2 of the demos and one of the pubs on that committee are some of the most polarizing. As soon as I saw Kerry's name, I knew it would be a waste of time.

        Same with this article, same pretentiousness that the demos keep trying to use. They want what they want, the pubs want what they want, but it's the demos that keep claiming the pubs won't budge. It works both ways. Just like Obama's last debt attempts, You can't touch this that or the other, but then claims it's the pubs that won't work together.

        Quit letting the media dupe you, and quit parroting. Then you'll see what's up!

        September 18, 2011 at 8:25 am |
      • Brett

        2Tor – Are you actually implying that the Democrats have been unwilling to bargain? How can they bargain when the Republicans won't talk unless "job killing tax increases" are off the table. The Republicans create a negotiating environment where there is no room for either side to maneuver. It is pure stupidity. I wonder how anyone (that means you) can look at this situation and forgive the Republicans for being completely inflexible. Both parties are at fault for the situation we find ourselves in, but the current stalemate is owned by the Republican party.

        September 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
      • Dave

        Brett – The Republicans have calculated that it is in their best interests to be obstructive. The more damage they do to the economy, they feel, the better their chances are at being elected in 2012. Everyone knows it. So it's the people who will reward them for this behavior with votes who are the problem. But we already know what kind of people they are; cheering for executions. Regular Republican voters who side for these policies are evil. The same spirit of character who were traitors and slave owning religious hypocrites in our historical past. The genetics haven't changed much since the last time they tried to ruin the country.

        September 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
      • Russ

        uh, yes, the democrats REFUSE to bargain at all. They are totally unbending in their warped views. It you don't agree with them totally, they will not even attempt to compromise. pitiful

        September 18, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
  4. pmk1953

    I got an idea! Since elections are paid for with tax money, cancel all the elections in the repub states and when all their terms expire kick 'em out. Then the democrat states can annex the repub states and we won't have repub states any more. It's a dumb idea, but it makes as much sense as any repub plan.

    September 17, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • cobra

      I can tell you are known for intelligence.

      September 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Reply
    • PY

      don't you think it's time to go back to school?Maybe you will learn something...

      September 17, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Reply
  5. Ken in NC

    TeaPublicans want zero regulations and cheap labor so let the fools move to China.

    September 17, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Reply
    • 2tor

      If we keep the status quo that is the demo party, THIS WILL BE CHINA! 😉

      September 18, 2011 at 8:28 am | Reply
      • Brett

        And gross overstatements are very convincing. Both of you are clearly simpletons.

        September 18, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
      • Hawk1

        Off your medication are you.

        September 18, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • sharky

      And Liberals and Democrats are trying to weasel in Socialism which leads to Communism, so maybe they should move to China.

      September 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Reply
      • kd from nati

        you must have been an "F" student in school. do you even know what socialism and communism are? anyone who touts the whole democrats/liberals want to make our country socialist are truly stupid. research those two concepts and misrepresent them no more!

        September 20, 2011 at 12:25 am |
  6. Natalie

    It will fail.
    Etch it in stone.

    September 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  7. clark1b

    the democrats don't want the debt panel to succeed ... the democrats hate the military and the liberals hate the military even more ... so if the debt panel fails .... almost $1 trillion will automatically be deducted from the military budget over the next ten years and the federal government charity programs will remain intact.

    September 17, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • Joel

      Horse hockey. I'm a liberal and I work for the DoD, so it's pretty clear I don't hate it.

      September 17, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Reply
    • Frodo1008

      That actually comes out to only some $100 billion per each year of a ten year period! Gates has already stated that the military could easily take such a hit, and even more if we get out of the Middle East as President Obama proposes totally by the year 2014!

      Once again, just a little simple math puts and end to your ignorant post. One $trillion divided by ten years yields $100 billion per year, and this is only about an average cut of some 12 % of a military cost that is already just about as much as ALL other major nations on this planet spend!

      September 18, 2011 at 12:35 am | Reply
    • OhioDem

      If Dems and liberals hate the military so much, tell me: Why do we value their lives enough to want them home when it was Bush and Cheney who sent them off to die? Bin Laden was killed under President Obama's watch, after Bush/Cheney FAILED. I don't hate the military, I respect and applaud their efforts, bravery and selfless dedication. But if you're going to send them into a fight, make it a worthy goal, not just profits for Halliburton/Cheney and senseless death for our finest patriots. I am sick and tired of being accused of "hating the military". If YOU care about our troops, you would want them home safely.

      September 18, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Reply
      • Russ

        hey, stupid. If it hadn't been for the intelligence gathering for all of those years under Bush, Obama wouldn't have been able to give the green light to kill Bin Laden. Obama deserves very little credit for Bin Laden's death. If anything, they were able to succeed IN SPITE of Obama.

        September 18, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
      • Smulliganeous@Russ

        You are an idiot.

        September 19, 2011 at 8:51 am |
      • Floyd

        Wow... revisionist history much? if the Bush intellegence was so good, why was his administration unable to capture/kill Bin Laden in the 7.5 years after 9/11? Why, if his intellegence was so good, did they insist that Sadam had weapons of mass destruction (which has been proven false over the last 8 years).

        September 19, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  8. Wally

    Hey O'Hanlon, it already failed.

    September 17, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  9. Jon

    This is the worst advice I ever heard. The whole advantage of having the sequestration option with automatic debt ceiling raise is that the Republicans can no longer hold a gun to the country's economy and get whatever they want. What this author is saying is "Well, sequestration is just as scary as a gun, so lets let the Republican's control us again, even though they only control one house of one branch of congress." Truly idiotic advice. Sequestration is definitely better. Let the Republicans run chicken - we don't need the democrats running chicken **again**. My Gosh. In fact, this advice so bad, I have to ask, why is it being published? I think the author is really a spy for the Republicans.

    September 17, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  10. Jimbo

    Someone enlighten me please. If the super committee fails to come up with a proposal or if congress fails to approve any proposal, then what happens? How are mandated cuts across the board determined? More specifically, who determines the percentage each sector, such as medicare/social security, defense, etc will suffer?

    September 17, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Reply
    • Chuck in Jasper,Ga

      The cuts would be split 50/50 between domestic and defense spending.

      September 17, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Reply
      • Daniel

        Yeah, Don't stop sending billions of dollars to foreign governments. That'd be too smart!

        September 18, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  11. Chuck in Jasper,Ga

    b.s. Constant submission to the hijacking of our governments legislative process by Republicans and the Tea Party slugs has to be stopped. "Kicking the can down the road" seems to be a well thought of phrase by Republicans and conservatives. Giving in again to unreasonable, uncompromising demands of the Republicans and conservatives is exactly the same.

    September 17, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Reply
    • sharky

      Raising taxes in these economic times is not a good idea. Even Obama said that a couple years ago. The fact it WAS spending that got us into this mess the fact you are blaming the Republicans and Tea Party to do something about the spending makes no sense.

      September 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  12. GOP2

    Yet another great example of CNN's contribution (void) to our nation: an abysmal excuse for an opinion.

    Our nation is imploding, and all CNN contributors continue to base their opinions on ignoring the obvious devastating truth of our financial condition:

    Federal Debt is $14.5 trillion. Our debt to GDP ratio is > 100% and going up 10% a year due to deficits > $1 trillion. 58% of our current public debt maturing in < 4yrs. Astronomical money supply growth. Unfunded liabilities are north of $120 trillion present value. And annual revenue from ALL income AND Social Security taxes = just $2.5T!

    Compared to these numbers all this guy's thoughts aren't even piddly.

    So much so, is anyone else yet questioning his & CNN's motives?

    September 17, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Reply
    • 2tor

      The left doesn't question itself, it only parrots.

      September 18, 2011 at 8:32 am | Reply
    • OhioDem

      What the Teapublicans refuse to acknowledge is that the defecit was already soaring under Bush/Cheney since they refused to list the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan in the Federal Budget. When Obama became President, he insisted that these costs be public knowledge. Bush was already spending the money; Obama just told us how much had already been spent. The GOP is attempting to reward Bush/Cheney for their deceit, while punishing Obama for his honesty.

      September 18, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Reply
  13. John

    President Obama has to stand his ground against the Republican and tea party and Not give In this Time. Because the Republican and the tea party are going to try the some stuff they did be for.

    September 17, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Reply
    • 2tor

      I hope so, someone needs to do something to try to save this nation, not let it get run into the ground by self serving, self righteous, dimwits!

      September 18, 2011 at 8:33 am | Reply
    • sharky

      Tell me John, what in the last 4 years has Obama and the Democrats done that HAS worked financially? What? Has spending MORE worked financially? nope. So tell me what has worked?

      September 18, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  14. Bman

    Dude, Comb your hair.
    There is one thing I like about the debt comittee. Failure means a buzz cut for the military.
    That is the one thing that I like. I want to see those five star generals buying Hyundais to get to work.

    If you think taxes on the rich are unpalatable then suck on that for a while.

    September 17, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Reply
    • Bman

      Oh I forgot to mention failure is inevitable. The republicans are so hidebound they'll never raise taxes.

      September 17, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Reply
      • tom

        And you are so stupid no amount of help even a brain transplant will help you

        September 18, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
      • OhioDem

        Tom how about some fries (or FACTS) to go with that mindless character attack?

        September 18, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
    • Paganguy

      The President should propose a war surtax for Afghanstan-Irag. If the Republicans don't go along, pull out the troops immediately and declare those wars the failures of the Bush administration. Cut the military budget to half.

      September 18, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
      • tom

        gosh you are stupid. glad you arent running the country and instead working at Walmart or McDonalds like we all know you are working at.

        September 18, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
      • OhioDem

        Tom, you should be moderated. How do you know where someone else works? YOU DON"T! You're just another TeaPunk who says "Where are the jobs" out of one side of your neck while accusing anyone who is unemployed of being lazy out of your other side. FOUL! Let's hear some facts, or at least an intelligent opinion instead of blind hatred and ignorance.

        September 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm |
  15. Marshall

    Being a Middle Class Republican – I find it funny that people think I only support the rich? I have no problem with raising taxes on the super wealthy (millionaires) . But I am concerned about raising taxes on those making $250K ( a lot of small business owners). I also don't buy the argument that democrats are for the working people – BS! If they cared so much about the working class why didn't they pass bills to help the working class and even pass a budget in 2009-2010 when they controlled both houses and the White House? They didn't – because they didn't want to and did not have enough support in their own party to do so. Both parties are out to simply keep themselves in power – Democrats want to keep the poor poor for their support and Republicans want the help of corporations – things never change.

    September 17, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Reply
    • Dandy

      >>Raising taxes on the people making over 250K and own small biz's
      I agree that is a big problem. I own a small biz and I suffer from a lot of risk every year. If the company makes 300K and I take out 50K in salary that I can actually spend, I am still taxed on all 300K in my personal taxes even though I never actually receive the money which takes a chunk out of the company and prevents growth.
      The tax code in this country is a mess. It is only marginally functional. They should really trash what we have and start over. If the tax code can't be described in less than 25 pages, it is a failure. We now have thousands of pages of tax code.

      September 18, 2011 at 8:55 am | Reply
    • OhioDem

      Marshall, the Dems actually vote their beliefs/conscience. You'll have differences of opinion. The GOP vote what their bosses (Cheney/Rove/Boehner) TELL them to vote, whether they actually believe it's good for the country or not.

      September 18, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  16. Chris1030

    "...devastate national security as well as key domestic investments..."
    An investment is when you purchase an asset and expect to sell it later at a financial profit. What the government does is "spend". An expense. You try to make an expense sound more politically correct by incorrectly using the word "investment".

    September 17, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Reply
    • Paganguy

      Your investment is "speculation". Investment is when you buy an asset (a machine, a factory) that will make money by producing something.
      Venture Capitalists are investors. Wall Street traders are speculators contributing nothing to any business except to the Wall Street big-wigs.

      September 18, 2011 at 11:24 am | Reply
  17. Columbus, OH

    @ Marshall. Uh..WHy do people think that the Dems had the senate in 2009 when they needed 60 to pass to break a filibuster? Well?...Answer that one. Don't blame the DEMS blame Mitch McConnell

    September 18, 2011 at 12:06 am | Reply
  18. chelseallj

    These 12 clowns will never agree to anything Why are they wasting our tax dollars? Has everyone already forgotten how the republicans held the country hostage over the debt ceiling? Well, hold on because there will be more of the same old cr**!

    September 18, 2011 at 12:51 am | Reply
    • Smulliganeous

      Hear, hear!

      September 19, 2011 at 8:59 am | Reply
  19. CaliforniaBC

    Taking AGAIN whatever the republican tea party says will be viewed as caving again, painting the Democrats as weak again. The whole supercommittee is set up in favor of the gop so that if they don't their way they STILL get the draconian cuts they want.

    This is just a bad situation all around. And letting the Americna people to decide in 2012 isn't all that reliable either because emotion will override rational thought and people will think a change to everything will be a good idea which would more than likely give more power to the GOP. This of course would be disasterous given their policies that have already stalled out the recovery.

    I'd say the best chance is for the Democrats AND Obama to hire a few communications bulldogs who will aggressively and virolently attack ALL lies and misinformation strategies grom the Right. They cannot let those lies become "truth" in the eyes of the American public.

    September 18, 2011 at 2:21 am | Reply
  20. tonyl

    We all know that there will be no compromise by the Tea publicans on any revenue increase by the super committee. Let the cuts in defense and the budget cuts get through if no compromise is reached. Let the American people understand before the election and frame the debate that GOP vultures are not allowing any increase revenues from the millionaires and want to slash the budgets with elimination of department of education and cutting social security and medicare and if they get in to white house will extend the Bush tax cuts and may even give further tax cuts to the millionaires. Can the nation afford to let the hired politicians by the rich take control of the white house? Let the American people see the real contrast and difference. That is what will decide the future. The real compromise should be a reduction of 4 trillion by cuts and taxes on the millionaires.

    September 18, 2011 at 3:04 am | Reply
  21. john b

    Giving in to Republican demands to keep the Bush tax cuts and prevent any other tax increases is not a solution, it's a surrender. Let the Super Committee fail. Let the automatic cuts kick in. Let the Republicans get blamed for their constant failure to work with Democrats to solve our problems.

    September 18, 2011 at 7:23 am | Reply
  22. Wizard1234

    The Debit Committee was doomed from the start. With the six Repugnican't members fully committed to the Tea Party and his Royal Highness King Bohner's dictatorial edict to not raise taxes nor allow the tax breaks for the rich to expire, the only solution the committee can put forth is no solution at all.

    Simply a sham. The end will come when the American electorate comes to its senses and simply cleans House and Senate (literally). These ego-ridden fools are all slopping at the federal trough to the tune of $174,000 per year (or more) and instead of doing the work of the people, they are busy spending 80% of their time (and our money) in getting reelected for another go-around at the free lunch.

    It is sad indeed that the party of the man who saved this democracy almost 150 years ago should now be the party that will destroy it.

    September 18, 2011 at 7:32 am | Reply
  23. Walter

    Much talk is made that the percentage of taxes the so-called rich pay are not as high as the middle class pays. Here's a solution – make everyone pay the same percentage of their income in income tax. Of course , that means everyone – from those that make a million dollars a year to those who make 10,000 a year. Why should those who don't make enough (and often get help from the government) be allowed to avoid income taxes?

    September 18, 2011 at 7:36 am | Reply
    • VoxVerum

      OK Walter, let's do that. Now imagine you make $20,000 a year and I make $2 million, and we both pay 15% to Uncle Sam. After taxes, you're left with $17,000 to live on, and I'm left with $1.7 million. Sound fair to you?

      September 18, 2011 at 8:22 am | Reply
      • 2tor

        Why wouldn't it be? Fair that is... I make more, so I should pay an unfair amount? Everyone should pay the same, bar none.

        September 18, 2011 at 9:15 am |
      • Smulliganeous

        If you do some reading about a "flat tax" you'll find that rich folks will actually wind up paying less in taxes and poor and middle class folks pay a whole lot more. Be careful what you ask for.

        September 19, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  24. clarke

    If I did my job in the private sector, the way the Congress and Senate do theirs, I would of been fired long ago.. What gives with that and why do we allow it.

    September 18, 2011 at 8:07 am | Reply
  25. Frodo1008

    I really hate it when some of our more conservative posters here say that everybody should be paying the same tax rate!

    To a head of household person with a family of four total that makes less then the mean taxable income of some $50,000 per year any kind of an increase in their federal taxes is translated directly to the taking of food from the mouths of their children!

    If this is done, eventually these people will directly sponsor a French Revolution in this country and then their really will be class warfare and the wealthy will end up suffering far more than if a true progressive tax system is actually implemented. I do see where there are indeed some very wealthy people that can see this kind of thing happening (such as Warren Buffet), and this at least gives me some hope at least that this situation can eventually be avoided. NO, I am not for this kind of revolution at all, but I can see the possibility of it coming!!

    A compromise by the Committee could very well be to allow the Bush era tax cuts to the wealthy to expire, but then to raise the definition of wealthy to a modestly higher level to get it out of the realm of the small business owner. Say, to $500,000 from the $250,000 for a family that seems to be the current definition, even raising that definition to $1 million would still generate at least $1 trillion over the coming decade!

    But would such a reasonable compromise be acceptable to the Republicans and the Tea Party types especially? Even though the latest pols show that some 75% of general American voters would find such an agreement in revenue increases perfectly acceptable?

    If not, then perhaps those same 75% should seriously consider voting the Tea Party types and even the Republicans out of office in 2012!!!

    September 18, 2011 at 8:46 am | Reply
    • suebon

      Warren Buffett talks a good line but has no intention of paying more taxes. He says it's unfair, then procedes to take every possible deduction, shelter every possible cent of his income, take minimal salary subject to higher income tax rate and instead rely on interest and capital gains income which is taxed at a lower rate. It's all PR, and many people buy into it. I suspect Obama's "Buffett Rule" tax proposal won't affect Buffetts tax bill a bit.

      September 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Reply
      • Smulliganeous

        I would argue he does that so he can indeed make the arguement that the tax code is unfair and should be reformed.

        September 19, 2011 at 9:12 am |
  26. Dandy

    I'm an independent but I don't think that the advice in this opinion is a real option. Somehow they have to make this situation a win-win situation. No party is going to turn everything over to the other party and hope they can regain in the next election. The voting population in the US has a memory about two weeks long. Sad but true.
    I predict a stalemate and the draconian automatic cuts go into action.

    September 18, 2011 at 8:59 am | Reply
  27. Dave

    Everytime Repubs and Tea'ers say the wealthy are paying enough already in taxes, they are leaving out a very important point. That is the upper 1 -5 % of all taxpayers own or control 90% of all the wealth. Wealth as in land, corporations, stock, businesses large and small. So the adage that 'the Rich get richer and the poor get poorer' is very true. The middle class is going to have to fight tooth and nail to keep from being taken to the cleaners time and again regardless of party.

    September 18, 2011 at 9:05 am | Reply
  28. 2tor

    I love how you folks climbed on the the leftist lies about the TP and the pubs being the one's "holding America hostage", that's so immature, and shallow. The demos are no more workable than the pubs and the TP. So it's hypocrisy to blame others for the very same thing.

    When the left realizes this, then we can have some mature conversations. Not kiddie blame games.

    September 18, 2011 at 9:17 am | Reply
    • OhioDem

      It's a known fact that President Obama was elected to pass healthcare reform. The GOP managed to spread lies and confusion, and obstruct the political process that our country was based on to the point that the bill that was finally passed is unpalatable to even the people who voted for Obama. What company would YOU do business with if they took your money to DENY YOU SERVICE? Yet the GOP seems happy with the Crime Syndicate known as health care insurance, to the point that you care more about an industry that has FAILED ALL AMERICANS than you care about Americans themselves. What does that say about YOU? Single-payer is the only way. If anyone in today's economy deserves to be unemployed, it's the medical insurance racket. Thanks, GOP, for more of the same corruption, and for thwarting the will of the voters. Thanks for nothing.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Reply
      • OhioDem

        By the way, remember when the Natalie from the Dixie Chicks said that she was ashamed that Bush was from Texas? Well, I'm ashamed that Boehner is from Ohio, and that Ohioans would actually vote for such a heartless poser!

        September 18, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  29. rightospeak

    Empty plans , empty promises while we make the government bigger, spend billions on endless , stupid wars, cut the benefits for the poor and the elderly.How about cutting pay and benefits of the President and the useless Congress ?
    What I fear is that the action may come from the streets like Mayor Bloomberg warns or what we just saw in front of Wall Street turning BLOODY. Our leadership is too stupid to see it .

    September 18, 2011 at 9:33 am | Reply
  30. KeithTexas

    There is no way that they can fail. I am 60 years old and have never heard a single politiction say they have failed. Ask any of them they have a perfect record.

    September 18, 2011 at 9:51 am | Reply
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