Will Chuck Schumer's Defense Cutting 'Equality Sword' Bring Republicans To Their Knees? UPDATED: Triggers Agreed Upon?
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I included this clown logic by Schumer earlier, but I wanted to highlight it in a separate post. Sen. Schumer is trying to make us believe that the threat of defense spending cuts will be enough to keep Republicans in line if there's a Super Cat Food Commission.
BORGER: But it's the second part of the deal, I think, that could give Democrats some heartburn here. And that is the question of this enforcement mechanism for cuts in the second part of this, and Senator McConnell was essentially saying that this could affect across-the-board cuts in things like entitlement programs and no revenue. So how do you negotiate that?
SCHUMER: Well, certainly the enforcement mechanism is one of the key issues that is still being debated, and it's one of the issues that has made this process go on for so long.
And here is what you had to say about it. An enforcement mechanism gets -- doesn't require, but importunes, makes it very likely that the people in this bipartisan, bicameral committee come to an agreement, because if they don't, the pain inflicted is so great that they have an incentive to come to an agreement. Now that means there should be a sword of equal sharpness and strength hanging over each party's head, obviously the sword over the head of Democrats are the cuts. We don't like them. We want to help middle class people pay for their kids to get to college help with prescription drugs, things like that.
What is the sword over the Republican? Well, it has to be equal -- the one thing we are certain of, it has to be of equal sharpness and strength. The preference would be some kind of revenues on wealthy people, on tax loopholes that would be in that. But another alternative possible, being discussed, no agreements have been reached, would defense cuts of equal sharpness and magnitude to domestic cuts. And in the past, when the trigger has had significant defense cuts, it has brought the parties to the table, and they've come up with a balanced agreement that had both revenues and cuts.
BORGER: So, what you would like, essentially, is if this committee gets deadlocked, which is a possibility to say, here are all the things everyone hates sitting out there, and they will all be triggered and they will occur?
SCHUMER: Yes. That's right. And that, hopefully, brings the parties to an agreement that each side...
BORGER: What if it doesn't?
SCHUMER: Well, if it doesn't the -- we hope it does, because if the sword is tough enough and sharp enough the likelihood of agreement increases. And in the past that has worked.
He's trying to sell us on an imaginary sword that is so powerful just the threat of it will bring Republicans to their knees. I loved Game of Thrones, but we're not in Westeros, Chuck. We're supposed to trust this sword to protect our seniors and our working class families from draconian cuts to our safety net programs in a Super Congress setting? The Tea Party Caucus will hold up anything that has revenue increases so is he saying that defense cuts will make them suddenly not try to gut Medicare?
UPDATE: Jake Tapper reports that the trigger deal is all but done:
Sources from both parties tell ABC News that the major potential roadblock in deficit negotiations-- the triggers -- are now essentially agreed upon. The plan is for the House to vote on this tomorrow, assuming all goes according to plan.
The agreement looks like this: if the super-committee tasked with entitlement and tax reform fails to come up with $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction that passes Congress, the “neutron bomb” goes off, -- as one Democrat put it -- spending cuts that will hit the Pentagon budget most deeply, as well as Medicare providers (not beneficiaries) and other programs.
If the super-committee comes up with some deficit reduction but not $1.5 trillion, the triggers would make up the difference. So it’s a minimum $2.7 trillion deficit reduction deal.
Both sides will declare victory –- last week the biggest difference between the Boehner and Reid proposals was whether, as the GOP demanded, there would be another debt ceiling vote before the election. That wont happen in this deal.
But at the same time, Republicans got almost every single other item that they pushed in this process.
So what's left to discuss on the triggers according to Jake?
1) The exact ratio of Pentagon to non-Pentagon cuts in the trigger – Democrats want 50% from the Pentagon, Republicans want less;
2) Democrats want to exempt programs for the poor from the cuts.
Also Democrats say –- if tax reform doesn’t happen through the super-committee, President Obama will veto any extension of Bush tax cuts when they come up at the end of 2012, further creating an incentive for the super-committee to act.
And you were wondering where the Bush Tax cuts were, weren't you?