Monday, November 21, 2011

Super Bad

In the wake of the long-winded, unnecessary debt ceiling fight last summer, it's now looking like the so-called "Super Committee" tasked with crafting substantive deficit reduction measures in its aftermath is barreling straight towards an admission of failure/defeat come their agreed-upon deadline this coming Wednesday. This failure is then set to trigger substantial cuts in defense and Medicare spending (on the order of $1.2 billion annually) come 2013. That trigger -- whose consequences have the potential to be absolutely catastrophic to both areas of expense, and the economy as a whole -- was supposed to be a "fear of God" mechanism that would keep the committee's membership (from both sides of the aisle) on task, but apparently even that wasn't enough to overcome the toxic atmosphere of partisan CYA that pervades Washington these days. This might sound like it's a bad thing, but as Paul Krugman explains, maybe not.

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