“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Monday, November 14, 2011

Why The SuperCommittee May Not Matter

Despite the hand wringing of many media pundits and members of Congress concerning the fate of the work delegated to the 12-member Congressional supercommittee, there could be considerably less to the situation than they believe.

As we learned from FDR's NRA and much of Ronald Reagan's accomplishments, what one Congress does, a subsequent one may undo. Especially when one party controls both Houses and the White House.

When you read the presumed impacts of failure of the supercommittee to make the requisite cuts in the federal budget, they sound dire. Draconian cuts in defense and entitlements are mandated.

Yet, those cuts, while alleged to hit earlier than a successful supercommittee deal- which tells you something already about how effective such a plan would be- it still isn't until 2013.

Between then and now, of course, is next November's election. If the Republicans hold the House, regain control of the Senate, and, for good measure, the White House, all bets are off concerning the entire supercommittee deal. A new Congress and President could repeal the entire original deal which created the supercommittee and its attendant rules consequences as early as the afternoon of January 21st, 2013.

If such electoral results don't occur, the subsequent ongoing political gridlock will make the mandated cuts look minor by comparison with the fiscal problems which will likely be visited upon the US. And if the Democrats keep what they control now and somehow retake the House, well, the US will take its place behind Italy as the next large OECD economy to face a fiscal disaster.

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