After the Congressional Supercommittee, charged with achieving $1.2 Trillion in debt reduction over ten years, fizzled out with a whimp and no agreement, President Obama made a statement from the White House at 5:45 pm. In his statement he mentioned “fair share” twice and said that a larger sacrifice was needed from the top 1%. In his statement he clearly blamed Republicans for their unwillingness to budge, while apparently Democrats on the committee were prepared to sacrifice. The statement sounded like another campaign speech.
He said that there was already talk by some in Congress to eliminate the automatic cuts and he warned that he would veto any measures that would do away with them.
“There will be no easy off-ramps on this one. We need to keep the pressure up to compromise, not turn off the pressure,” he said.
The statement of blame by President Obama seems odd. He has been out of the deficit reduction debate since last August. He has geared his strategy towards the Jobs Act, waging a “We can’t wait campaign” against a do-nothing Congress. With $15 Trillion debt and counting, Obama will be hard pressed to run on his record.
The President has not lead on this issue and the Super Committee was bound to fail. When one looks at the debt problem in the Eurozone, it is hard to fathom why Washington can’t compromise. Sadly decisions are being made to set the stage for the next election and not for the good of America.
House Speaker John Boehner thanked the members of the committee and said,
“This process did not end in the desired outcome, but it did bring our enormous fiscal challenges into greater focus. “I am confident the work done by this committee will play a role in the solution we must eventually find as a nation.”
Harry Reid on the other hand blamed the Republicans for failing to budge because of the hold of the Teaparty on House Republicans.
Republicans never stood up to tea party extremists, cowered to anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and “relentlessly sought to end Medicare as we know it.”
Other Republicans dished it back. Freshman Sen. Marco Rubio aimed at Obama, saying the committee’s “fate was sealed by the President’s failure to put forward a plan to cut spending and his unbreakable obsession with raising taxes on job creators.”
Several Republican lawmakers immediately jumped to the next step in the process, vowing to block the steep cuts in defense spending triggered by the failure.
“As every military and civilian defense official has stated, these cuts represent a threat to the national security interests of the United States, and cannot be allowed to occur,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in a joint statement. LA Times