WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT FOR THE SUPER COMMITTEE?
COLONEL DONALD J. MYERS USMC(Ret)
As I write this article there are only eight more days before the deadline overcomes the super committee in congress. This committee is tasked with arriving at $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over the next ten years. Perhaps I just don’t understand, but I fail to see the difficulty. We are not talking about real cutting of the budget, but merely cutting the anticipated increases in spending.
Those people on social security became accustomed to and depended on rather annual increases in their checks because of inflation. The last two years, that did not happen and seniors merely sucked it up. The government response was that inflation was in check and so there would not be an increase. That sounds logical so why not apply the same rationale to the government and its budget. As an aside, our government has not passed a budget for two years because it does not want citizens to discover how out of control in spending that it truly is. The economic environment is such that real cuts must be made in federal spending. Just look at all of the additional spending that has occurred over the last several years.
If the economy continues to sputter, we can look forward to deficits for the foreseeable future of about a trillion dollars each year. The base line budget plans for increased spending each year no matter what the economy is doing. That is madness. On the conservative side, we can expect about another ten trillion dollars to be added to our debt that just turned $14 trillion and we are talking about reducing that additional ten trillion of debt spending by $1.2 trillion? that is more madness.
The majority of Americans do not live like that. When times are tough, we tighten our belts, but the government continues to spend, spend, spend.
Again, I fail to understand the difficulty in reducing spending. I would start with every new program over the last five years and either eliminate them all together or cut them in half. Any country that did not support our position at least half the time in the United Nations during the past twelve months would be cut off for five years or until it shows that it can be in our camp at least half the time. Freeze spending. Eliminate the Department of Energy and the Department of Education. Neither one has contributed to the areas that they supposedly represent. Education performance has declined since the creation of that department. The energy department was established to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The opposite has occurred.
These are just a few items off the top of my head. The government should not be involved in anything that the private sector can do. Think about all of the things that the government does and does poorly. With very few exception, the private sector performs more efficiently and cheaper. I am aware of the expensive toilet seats and hammers along with the additional overrun costs, but they are exceptions.
Look at how the private industry performed following the earthquake in Los Angeles that destroyed the highways. When the government got out of the way, they were fixed in record time. When one of our carriers was seriously damaged at the battle of the Coral Sea, it was repaired at Pearl Harbor in days and returned to sea for the battle of Midway.
The special committee is merely a smaller reflection of congress. No wonder its reputation is in the teens.
Col. Myers is the author of Leadership Defined.
- National Debt Hits $15 Trillion as Congress Strains to Cut $1.2 Trillion From Deficits (foxnews.com)
- Bipartisan coalition to Super Committee: Why not actually do something? (hotair.com)
- Can A Deal Be Struck With Super-Committee For Deficit Reduction? (dekerivers.wordpress.com)
- Deficit talks shift toward blame game (cnn.com)
- CNN Poll: Americans doubt super committee will meet deadline (politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com)