(Washington D.C.) – Today, the Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Representative Jeb Hensarling and Senator Patty Murray, released the following statement.
“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.
“Despite our inability to bridge the committee’s significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation’s fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve. We remain hopeful that Congress can build on this committee’s work and can find a way to tackle this issue in a way that works for the American people and our economy.
“We are deeply disappointed that we have been unable to come to a bipartisan deficit reduction agreement, but as we approach the uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving, we want to express our appreciation to every member of this committee, each of whom came into the process committed to achieving a solution that has eluded many groups before us. Most importantly, we want to thank the American people for sharing thoughts and ideas and for providing support and good will as we worked to accomplish this difficult task.
“We would also like to thank our committee staff, in particular Staff Director Mark Prater and Deputy Staff Director Sarah Kuehl, as well as each committee member’s staff for the tremendous work they contributed to this effort. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Douglas Elmendorf and Mr. Thomas Barthold and their teams at the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation, respectively, for the technical support they provided to the committee and its members.”
So that’s it then. The president who intentionally failed to lead is expected to make a statement within the hour, the words “millionaires” and “billionaires” sure to come up. “Fair share” should make a cameo. Bonus if he works in a hit on Grover Norquist, the Democrats’ current Emmanuel Goldstein.
One side is simply going to have to start winning the argument. A $15 trillion national debt and downgraded national credit thanks to the Obama spending spree ought to be the clinchers, but we’re dealing with a massive number of people who still want bailouts in some form or another.
Update: President Obama worked in at least two mentions of “fair share,” a couple of references to the top 2 percent and an oblique reference to Grover Norquist. He otherwise delivered a purely partisan broadside against Republicans in Congress, and promised to veto any effort to get around the automatic cuts built into the August law that created the debt super committee. He also pledged to maintain spending on “education” and “medical research” among others, despite the fact that we don’t have the money. He expressed the desire for Congress to find spending cuts with a “scalpel” rather than a “hatchet.” With a $15 trillion deficit, a scalpel won’t do.
Obama’s own Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, has said that the automatic cuts would be devastating to the Department of Defense. That apparently is a price that Obama and the Democrats are willing to pay to defend entitlement spending to the bitter end.
Update: How about we get Congress out of the job of declaring what is and isn’t a vegetable, and into the jobs that the Constitution actually hands it.
Flashback: Failure was not only an option, it was practically baked into the cake.