Winslow Wheeler: Super Committee Crashing & Burning

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Winslow Wheeler

Not only is the Super Committee headed straight for failure, the “automatic” cuts that would happen in the Pentagon budget are not going to occur.  To “save” the Pentagon budget from further cuts, it’s doomsday for budget restraint in the short term.  The only thing to be elevated for the longer term and foreseeable future is our political and governmental dysfunction.

Why Pentagon bloat will kill real deficit cutting

Congress has taken a hostage that no one wants to shoot

EXTRACT:

It is not going to happen that way.

First, the supercommittee is bound to fail; it will reach no meaningful budget agreement.

Second, when the committee fails, the defense cuts envisioned by the supposedly automatic trigger mechanism will not occur. That will be for the simple reason that almost no one wants that to happen. While they are quite mistaken about the consequences, almost everyone on Capitol Hill (and in the Pentagon) thinks that those defense reductions will be “devastating,” “disastrous,” “doomsday” and any other apocalyptic term you can think of.

In short, the debt deal took a hostage that no one wants to shoot.

. . . . .

That “frozen” 2011 level will be more than twice the combined defense budgets of China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Somalia. It will be more than $80 billion more than we spent, on average, during the Cold War when we faced a threatening and heavily armed Soviet Union and a hostile, dogmatically communist China. In the absence of these two huge threats, we are now being told we need to spend more.

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