According to the Associated Press' Mark Jewell, "investors have barely had a chance to recover from a summer of anxiety." Uh, yeah...how about you tweak that to perhaps the last three or four summers of anxiety?
With deadlines of November 23 and December 23 looming for the supercommittee to advance a $1.2 trillion package of deficit cuts and then for Congress to approve the package to avoid an automatic $1.2 trillion in defense and domestic cuts starting in 2013, the peoples are left to wonder what the supercommittee has accomplished towards their lofty goals.
That's because this whole hot mess is a masterpiece of suspense. The supercommittee has not held an open meeting, but don't worry, folks...no decisions are being made in secret, according to Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), (pictured above left). Yeah, that's reassuring. So if the meetings have been closed to the public, but no decisions are being made in secret, then no decisions have been made at all is what I am hearing. But on a positive note, Sen. Baucus also says the privacy has kept the lobbyists "at bay."
Because that image in my head of guards constantly having to beat the lobbyists off the walls of the Capitol building is probably not that far removed from reality. So the lobbyists are kept at bay for what, an hour or two a day? Fantastic. Now, what about the rest of the work week, Saturday, and Sunday? How far at bay are they kept then?
The single most laughable thing I have heard yet from the supercommittee and its desire to work in private came from co-chair Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), (pictured above right) who said the lack of open meetings was because they wanted to be "honest with each other."
Yeah. Honesty. Honesty. After three years of less than zero performance, and the commiserate return on that investment, other than that time...or, you know, when they...no, after three years of doing nothing at just the rate one would expect nothing to get done at, now these people are talking about being honest with each other?
At this point in the proceedings, with the deadlines starting to bear down, how does one not come to the conclusion that the best thing just might be to let both sides obstruct the hell out of each other and let the automatic cuts go through? Then again, raise your hand if you think, even for a split-second, that whichever party is "in power" come 2013 is going to let sweeping defense cuts go through, no matter how automatic they were supposed to have been in 2011.
I guess we will see how honest everybody was behind closed doors on November 23, at least as far as they will let us know...
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