Keller @ Large: No Surprise Supercommittee A Failure

BOSTON (CBS) – To the surprise of absolutely no one with a clue, the bi-partisan congressional supercommittee formed three months ago to figure out how to get our dangerously out-of-control deficit and debt problems under control is reportedly on the brink of admitting failure.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

This wasn’t exactly hard to predict when the committee was created last August, since both parties stocked their side of the table with members of the House and Senate who are either ideologues or harsh partisans, or both.

Expecting them to courageously and open-mindedly negotiate their way to compromise was like dropping a cheeseburger into a Labrador retriever’s bowl and expecting him to save it for later.

I risked ruining a relaxing weekend yesterday by watching some of the clips of supercommittee members from both parties frantically playing the blame game on the Sunday talk shows, and I must say, neither side was convincing.

I look into the eyes of most Washington politicians these days and see a toxic mixture of hunger and fear – the hunger for a chance to demonize and eliminate their partisan opponents next fall, and the fear that if they offend their own party’s orthodoxy, it’ll spell curtains for their wretched political careers.

The Republicans don’t have the slightest intention of giving up their love affair with tax cuts, and the Democrats have no intention of seriously curbing the growth of budget-busting entitlement spending.

And in their tiny, stunted view of the world, the continued deterioration of our economic standing that will accompany continued failure to act is OK if it can be successfully blamed on their opponents.

In the meantime, there is one elected official who conceivably could provide the political leadership these sad sheep need to find a way out.

But the president has been AWOL, choosing instead to abdicate a leadership role to the aforementioned sheep.

When all you have left is your personal popularity, why risk it on a solution to a tough problem that is likely to anger many voters for years to come?

It’ll be hard to keep a straight face next time I hear him talk about doing the right thing.

In the meantime, did you hear about the new book members of the supercommittee are writing about themselves?

It’s entitled: “Profiles in Courage – Not.”

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

More from Jon Keller
  • web

    12 people can’t come to an agreement, how can we ever expect any better from the full congress? It’s shameful and pathetic. Not surprised, but what a waste of time.

  • tsal

    I don’t see how your comments can be added to – they are what I was thinking yesterday as I too wasted a lovely Sunday on reading about this garbage and listening to the blame game. If any of the idiots believes it is just the republicans or just the democrats – or any American citizen believes that for that matter – he or she is a huge part of the problem.

    And it is precisely the words you used, “continued deterioration of our economic standing,” that has us all scared to death.

  • foamy

    tsal – I think this might be the first time I agreed with something you said. It was rather intriguing to watch “Meet the Press” yesterday watching John Kyl calmly blame the Democrats for not being serious, and then our own John Kerry get all up in a bunch to defend inaction – like he did when he got nabbed parking his yacht in Rhode Island. Hold onto your 401(k)’s people…’s going to be a bumpy ride.

    • tsal

      foamy – I have always said we either begin working together or we sink………..simply message and one no one wants to hear. As is the case with all Americans, I am sick and tired of fingers pointing while absolutely nothing gets accomplished. I’d like to vote every last one of the idiots out of office. And if that isn’t good reason for a revolution, I do not know what is

  • decol

    Come on VOTERS!!!! get rid of all incumbents—they are all looking out for themselves ONLY!!!!!

  • FireGuyFrank

    All I hear in my mind is Daffy Duck exclaiming, “This is a job for Super Duck!”

    This committee has served its intended purpose — to cause the gridlock we have had and to cause each side to point fingers. It is my belief that the president wanted this so he could make a case to the American electorate that if he doesn’t get a Democrat majority back in both houses of Congress, nothing will ever get fixed.

    Ronald Reagan campaigned against gridlock, too.

  • emom

    SUPER COMMITY, what a bunch of yah who. All they do is talk , bicker and make suggestions. Suggestions that do not even make it to the public, nor past there pads of paper. If at any time they did something worth while that would help benefit this state and this country, It would take an act of congress,,, OH WAIT THAT Will never happen..SINCE CONGRESS IS MUCH LIKE THIS SO CALLED SUPER COMMITTEE… for THAT MATTER SINCE WHEN IN THE LAST 12 YEARS HAS ANY POLITICIAN DONE ANYTHING FOR THEIR PEOPLE.
    And its only to get worse, If Romni is elected president we all know this country ls doomed. NO all the super committee cares about is the amount of money that they can steal from us in the form of taxes, take services away that are vital to all and yet tell us its for our OWN GOOD, What are we merely children running amok, having no idea how to take care of our selves, Really they treat the people as if they are stupid, thinking they are the only ones that knows what to do with us.. really I find that truly disturbing. Some super committee,, a bunch of grown toddlers fighting over there toys and play things, US. Does anyone have a package of diapers, cause I think they need a SUPER CHANGE.

  • Glass Half Empty

    I couldn’t agree more with this article. As soon as the members were announced, I knew what the outcome of the supercommittee would be. And to watch the blame game is almost amusing…if it weren’t for the seriousness of the inaction and incompetence of this group. But until the American people wake up and vote all the bums out, instead of re-electing their own members and hoping everyone else gets voted out, we will get no better. To watch John Kerry make his arguments is pathetic…..and he wants to be the next Secretary of State? We see how well he negotiates. We will only get out of Washington what we put into office, and we can make our voices heard at the ballot box.

  • tsal

    I know no one wants to hear the word Occupy – but what is everyone doing about this? At the moment there are Occupy groups walking down highways for several hundred miles to Washington to tell the “supercommittee” to work together. If we do not start speaking out – not on blogs but really speaking out – nothing will be solved.

    I have called every single person on the supercommittee – more than once – and get varying degrees of response – the most annoying being from our own senator’s support group. Until we do something – anything – this will not change. One person I believe it was on Jon’s topic the other day said what would happen if 99% signed a petition.

    They’d listen – I can guarantee it. But if the people cannot work together and stop pointing fingers, the politicians NEVER will. It is up to all of us to not only stop the blame game but to insist our politicians do as well.

    • FireGuyFrank

      If there ever was a better reason to vote every sing one of them OUT of office, this is it.

      It won’t happen.

      SSDD in 2012 and beyond.

      Unless that whole 12/21/12 thing comes true, in which case, it won’t matter.

  • tsal

    CNN breaking news – although since I said the same thing at 11:25 it is hardly news

    “A new CNN poll shows that the same partisan divide that’s keeping the congressional super committee from reaching a deficit reduction deal also exists among Americans who identify with a political party.”

    Either we the people stop pointing fingers or nothing gets done. It is up to us – literally.

    • mikey

      “GONE” – the wizard behind the curtain got it right tsal. I think you keep this place moving along.

  • mikey

    Communist China is waiting in the wings.

  • BostonIrish

    Mikey, China will inherit the Earth!

    The Super Committee was ALWAYS going to fail! Good! Let the bylaws that will be triggered be enacted! I don’t believe either side of the aisle. The only thing I know is my property value is way down, my town has a staggering number of empty houses, and I cannot afford to have my taxes increase. And my town is broke. The schools are about to lose their accreditation and guys in the government aren’t feeling ANYTHING that I am!

    • mikey

      Spot on Irish! In my town the public sector continues to receive a 3% unreviewed annual pay increase, 60% of their health-care paid for and a pension. Meanwhile, I like most others in the private sector continue to get blindsided(I’d like to use another word but I respect this blog) by this Depression-like economy. I’m sick of it!

  • BostonIrish

    How do you get the attention of guys in government making millions in salaries and investments? Their positions of influence allows them to enact the most egregious backdoor deals to endlessly line their pockets. They stand in front of the news cameras and act so frikkin noble and blame the other side. They’ve got the best healthcare, pension and salaries. You’d think they’d do something to earn it.

    The Occupy movement lacks so much. I don’t think anyone wanted them to turn out so vague and ineffective. But they’ve degenerated into an out-of-time hippie-type of message.

    My friend said it best. “Communist China is waiting in the wings”.

  • tsal

    Boston Irish – at least Occupy is trying but putting that aside your comments of course are absolutely correct.

    Mikey – how’s your Chinese? I’m practicing Swedish tonight – skål

    • mikey

      I’m practicing my Spanish tonight tsal>> “Corona Extra.”

      • tsal


      • tsal

        then alegrías – I have no idea what I’m saying but enjoy nonetheless!!!! I assume that is with lime!

  • petem

    Although I think he knew it was destined for failure, I believe the President had to agree to this Super Committee to at the least to be able to say he had tried EVERYTHING to get Congress to work together. It is either that or to start using Executive Orders to accomplish something.
    I hope the republicans start to see the light once the ax starts to take out some of their precious defense spending. Why we need a $658 billion budget which is more than every other country’s defense budget COMBINED, is clearly above my head.

    There is one part of the piece I take exception with Jon. It is the 6th paragraph;
    “The Republicans don’t have the slightest intention of giving up their love affair with tax cuts, and the Democrats have no intention of seriously curbing the growth of budget-busting entitlement spending.”
    While the first sentence is true, and everyone should watch the 60 Minutes segment on Grover Norquist. He has no interest in what is good for this country and uses the pledge to blackmail the moron Republicans who signed it. Interestingly, no mention made of Reagan raising taxes 11 times, although he was shown in a still shot with Grover and the cameraman made a point of shooting the Reagan bust on Grover’s desk.
    The second sentence though is a right wing talking point, Jon. The out of control entitlement spending for Social Security is easily solved FOREVER by raising the limit from the 106K to something more appropriate. I believe I have heard 250K mentioned. With that one change it would be solvent for good, whereas our current levels keep it solvent ONLY ‘TIL 2036!

    Medicare is a different animal, but I think the Affordable Care Act tries to begin to resolve its troubles with changes to the reimbursement rates and standards for payments to providers. Not great but a start.

    We have to get something started and thanks to the intransigence of EVERY Republican, we have now lost another year. We really can’t wait…

  • BostonIrish

    Petem, the entitlement programs have to be brought under control. I happen to agree with Norquist’s view regarding taxes. I only want reduction in spending. There is no way that it relies on revenue increases. There’s too much tax revenue being collected. The problem is that spending outpaces revenue. It’s really that simple. And if you have a government that refuses to accept that premise then you are foolish to think that they’ll “find” a solution. They are making this situation such a problem that it will be taken out of their hands. Obama is invisible in this whole process, and before anyone says that he was going to stay on the sidelines is a coward’s excuse. This is too important to the American people and the “global economy” in general.

    • tsal

      BostonIrish revoking tax credits is not increasing taxes. It is simply putting the tax base back to where it was before Bush decided the wealthy needed extra help during difficult times. Sorry – have to pause to laugh while I say that.

      If we take the taxes back to pre-Reagan – when he decided in his inimitable wisdom that if you give the wealthy more they will trickle it down to the mere peons – you will find that the additional revenue will pay down a good portion of the debt. Please do not anyone tell me that the trickle down has done anything but create this problem. It didn’t trickle down – it trickle up and it continues to do so. No one – repeating because I like to repeat – no one can justify the income disparity in this country.

      • Tsal

        BI no one can justify the gap. If you are not one of the 1% you understand that. It BTW is not a new tax. It is a roll back of a credit. If it makes the 1% happy then roll them all back. Cut the perks to the wealthy. If a group received an average 14% annual increase for decades while 80% received 0.8% and can’t live on that I’d classify that as pure greed.

      • BostonIrish

        Read my post: No new taxes!

        I want the tax break permanent! I need my money! I earned it and pay my fair share! Not negotiable!

  • BostonIrish

    “To destroy this invisible Government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.” Teddy Roosevelt, 1912.

    “Let the games begin” – me.

    • mikey

      Good 1 Irish!

      Where have all the statesmen gone? Into the pockets of those lobbying for corporations for starters, I expect.

      • Tsal

        and on that we all agree – I hope. But if we found a hero would we vote for him or her if he were not a member of one of the two major parties. I don’t like all Ron Paul says but I like it better than the majority of the others. I still have reading to do on huntsman. Sure as heck it isn’t perry or Cain or gringrich

      • BostonIrish

        Completely accurate, Mikey! It sounds stupid, but we need a HERO! Someone who doesn’t spew the garbage we all keep getting from any politician in front of a microphone!

  • Tsal

    Sorry jon if I misspell names. Blame the iPad.

    BI. I should have said It doesn’t sound stupid all because it is exactly what we need

  • BostonIrish

    I know, Tsal.

    There are a couple of democratic pollsters that 2 years ago voiced their opinion that if Obama continued down the road of non-partisan policies that he would fail to win a second term. They also said that their opinion was that he lost the populace with poor governing and they were showing clear signs of defecting.

    Their latest, today, is they recommend that Obama not run for re-election and turn the reigns of the democratic party over to Hillary Clinton. Very poor view of the future.

    • Tsal

      I wouldn’t mind seeing someone run against Obama. For reasons I feel our country should be ashamed I do not believe Obama can be an effective leader. I am ashamed of myself for saying he would be wise to step down and see if someone else – a hero – could take his place. I don’t think any rational person sees that hero in the curent list of potential GOP contenders

      On that note I’m going to enjoy the PATS game – I hope.

  • Tsal

    BostonIrish I wouldn’t mind seeing someone run against Obama. For reasons I feel our country should be ashamed I do not believe Obama can be an effective leader. I am ashamed of myself for saying he would be wise to step down and see if someone else – a hero – could take his place. I don’t think any rational person sees that hero in the curent list of potential GOP contenders

    On that note I’m going to enjoy the PATS game – I hope.

    • Tsal

      My fault for double post – sorry.

    • Tsal

      Ok at this point I’d rather talk super committee than watch PATS

  • Willowwww

    I would say that there are many intelligent people on this blog who have a clue about what needs to happen in this country to resolve the economic crisis. Why do we continue to vote in and pay those who do not?

  • BostonIrish

    Hi, Willow. We do have an intelligent group. Miss talking with you.

    • gramps

      Never have so many ‘known so little’, about so ‘much’….


    • Tsal

      I bet if we put us all in a room we’d solve the problem. As long as Stephen and Mikey bring the beer.

    • Willow

      Thanks BI, likewise!

  • Stephen Stein

    Jon, you’re wrong wrong wrong.

    Is it a disaster to do nothing? No! If you’re really concerned with the deficit, doing nothing is what you have to do. Doing Nothing means letting the Bush tax cuts expire, and those cuts are the primary reason for our ballooning deficit. Obama and the Democrats should have had the courage to see this though 2 years ago, but they wimped out.

    Obama, meanwhile, hasn’t been talking about the deficit. The hysteria about the deficit has been a red herring. Interest rates are effectively zero, so why are we worried about borrowing? Obama has been on the stump talking about the real problem – 9% unemployment.

  • FireGuyFrank

    I noticed the president wagging a finger at Republicans who refused to “compromise” and “listen to reason.” I guess that means that the only way is the Democrat’s way?

    Sorry. I didn’t buy that from my ex-wife; I’m not buying it here. Compromise means each side giving something up to gain something. It means Republicans allowing a tax increas (even something as simple as eliminating a tax credit or deduction) and Democrats willing to cut entitlements.

    The debt stands at some $15 TRILLION today. Even if the committee had been “successful”, cutting one trillion over ten years is like peeing in the ocean to warm it up.

    • Stanley11

      It’s just a silly game. The Democrats didn’t want to comprimise when they had control over everything, and now the Republicans are giving the finger back to them now that they have some influence. It’s a lose-lose for all of us on this post.

  • tsal

    Hi Stephen – the posting problems seem to have been fixed so hope you’ll be here more !!

    As you know I agree with you that it costs nothing to borrow and if we were to do so to jump start job growth it would make sense.

    I’ve been thinking too about BostonIrish’s comments – no taxes (which you also know I don’t consider taxes but a repeal of an unnecessary credit to the wealthy). However, Irish is a smart man and I wondered if perhaps I am taking his comments and that of others to another level that is not intended.

    BI, when you say no repeal of Bush cuts, I was assuming you are fine with the cuts in SS or medicare or medicaid which of course would dramatically affect seniors. I’m wondering if I am wrong and in addition to no repeal of Bush tax cuts you also mean no changes to the “entitlements” either.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Taz Show
Download Weather App

Listen Live