It’s Official, the Super Committee Failed

In a joint statement, super committee co-chairs Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that the committee had failed to reach an agreement to cut at least $1.2 trillion from our national debt over the next ten years:

“After months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee’s deadline.”

The stalemate came when liberals on and off the committee failed to understand that the reason we’re in this mess is because we spend far more than we take in and promise far more than we can afford (entitlements). You don’t solve that problem by hiking taxes and taking more money from the American people. You need to curb spending and reform entitlements.

Now we get the $1.2 trillion sequestration (maybe). These cuts are supposed to go into effect on January 1, 2013.  The Miami Herald (via the Associated Press) has a great breakdown of the sequestration:

  • $454 billion – Congress-approved spending on defense programs will be reduced from 10% to 8.5% by 2021
  • $294 billion – Congress-approved non-defense spending will be reduced from 7.8% to 5.5% by 2021
  • $169 billion – Savings from the reduction in interest payments on the national debt
  • $123 billion – Medicare spending reduced by 2 percent a year (that’s $10.8 billion from cuts in Medicare reimbursement payments to providers…another future “doc fix”)
  • $47 billion – Other mandatory spending program reductions (including $5.2 billion to programs such as farm subsidies)

The Miami Herald also has a handy list of what was exempted (hint: a lot of programs that are driving our debt were exempt from sequestration):

  • Social Security
  • Medicaid
  • Food stamps
  • CHIP (children’s health program)
  • Child nutrition
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • The Earned Income tax credit
  • Veteran’s benefits and medical care
  • Federal retirement (pensions)
  • Pell grants (which were actually increased in the initial debt deal)

Further, sequestration will amount to a cut of $54.7 billion in 2013 defense spending. Considering that we were only able to cut $38 billion this year from spending, the likelihood of that $54 billion taking place is small. A cut of $54 billion represents a 9% reduction in defense spending. How would you like nearly 1 out of every ten dollars taken from your paycheck? How will it impact our brave men and women serving overseas?

What we know about the sequestration was that it was designed to hurt conservatives (and our country) and only appear as though the left was making concessions. The “cuts” to Medicare, which will result in a “doc fix” down the road, will not solve the problem and will nothing to curb entitlements.

We are over $15 trillion in debt. We need to take a good, hard look at our government and solve the problem, not by punishing the private sector, but by cutting spending and reforming entitlements. Americans need to learn to rely less on government, and more on themselves.

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