Mark your calendars. No, I'm not talking about Thanksgiving. I'm talking about the day before. That day -- November 23 -- is when the so-called "Budget Super Committee" is supposed to come up with a deal to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal budget. And guess what? About the only thing they seem to be talking about is increasing your taxes. We have a budget problem, because the country spends too much. Yet those tasked with solving this problem don't have the guts to make the cuts.
As Fox News reports, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that the panel "is under great pressure to get a deal done to chop $1.2 trillion from the 10-year budget, but he believes its members can succeed by Nov. 23, the day before Thanksgiving."
The Super Committee is stuck on the trade-off between revenue increases and spending cuts. If it fails to reach a deal, the law that it is operating under requires automatic cuts, called "sequestration," to take effect. That would entail chopping $600 billion from the defense spending budget and another $600 billion from the entitlement programs Medicare and Medicaid.
Even the law which will force the committee's hand is stupid. Half of the mandated cuts would come from defense? Come on! That is one of the reasons we exist as a country... so that we can have a military to defend our interests. Where America has gotten out of control is in entitlement spending.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified before Congress on Monday and said that "deeper defense cuts would leave the military with the smallest ground force since 1940." Panetta also foresaw "possible months-long furloughs of civilian employees" and the country being forced to accept a national security setting of "substantial risk."
"Such a large cut, applied in this indiscriminate manner, would render most of our ship and construction projects unexecutable -- you cannot buy three quarters of a ship or a building and seriously damage other modernization efforts. We would also be forced to separate many of our civilian personnel involuntarily and, because the reduction would be imposed so quickly, we would almost certainly have to furlough civilians in order to meet the target," Panetta wrote in a letter.
By his calculations, "we would have the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest number of ships since 1915, and the smallest Air Force in its history" at the end of the decade, Panetta said.
All you have to do is look at the numbers to see that our leaders in Washington are not serious about cutting spending. This year alone America had a $1 trillion budget deficit. The Budget Super Committee is charged with cutting $1.2 trillion over TEN YEARS! Take that along with the fact that almost every time a Washington politician talks about a "cut," what he or she is likely talking about is not increasing the budget for a program as much as planned. Thus, spending continues to rise, and politicians hold press conferences patting themselves on the back for all the "savings" they negotiated.
It's a complete mess in Washington. Not only is the Super Committee not doing what needs to be done, but Congress still has not put together a budget for the 2012 fiscal year. All they can muster is yet another "stopgap" bill that will keep the government running past a scheduled shutdown this weekend.
Lawmakers face a midnight Friday deadline to act on the measure. House and Senate leaders promised votes this week.
The legislation would represent the first concrete step to implement a contentious budget pact sealed by President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans this summer, which traded a $2 trillion-plus increase in the government's ability to borrow to meet its obligations with promises of future budget cuts.
What a joke! They talk about the "promise of future budget cuts" and expect Americans to believe it. Yet, some do. It's the only way these people continue to be reelected.