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Editorial: Enough with all the ‘super’ talk

November 23, 2011
Marshall Independent

There's probably not a daily newspaper in this country that didn't run a supercommittee story on Page 1 Tuesday, but we ask: Was it even news? Newsworthy, yes. But news?

We believe it was more of a foregone conclusion than anything.

The supercommittee, otherwise known as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, is made up of 12 members of Congress - six Democrats and six Republicans. They were charged with finding a way to erase $15 trillion of national debt.

How could this have possibly worked?

There seems to be more partisan divide among our politicians today than ever - simply winnowing the number of elected officials charged with this important responsibility and throwing them in a room to come up with answers was a longshot at best.

The Democrats said they would agree to significant savings from benefit programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security if Republicans would agree to a stronger dose of higher taxes, including eliminating Bush-era cuts at upper-income brackets.

In contrast, The GOP side said spending, not revenue, was the cause of the government's chronic budget deficits, and insisted tax cuts approved in the last decade be made permanent.

If this sounds all too familiar, it's because it is - we've heard it before, only now we're just hearing it from a smaller contingent of politicians.

Those 12 members are nothing more than scapegoats today, superscapegoats if you must. Congress as a whole has failed us - this select dozen merely served as the posterchildren of a shockingly dysfunctional Congress. These sacrificial lambs get to be the ones carrying the targets around as another election season approaches, while the other 523 members of Congress could sit back and tell us what they would've done if they were considered "super."

There is nothing "super" about this committee, yet the oxymoron has all but become part of the English language. What would've been super is if Congress, as a whole, could've found a way to compromise, but as we all know, political compromise is easier said than done - at the state and national level.

After a summer of indecision, our Congress remains divided, and it's frightening to think people like anti-tax activists like Grover Norquist can have as much pull as he apparently has with some of our political leaders.

But don't just blame Norquist for this superfailure, and don't blame those 12 superheroes who were selected to find common ground and lead our nation through this troubled time. If you want to point fingers, point yours at Congress as a whole.



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