I’m not sure if anyone really expected the super committee tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in savings over the next ten years to be very transparent. And it’s not.
Did you know they’ve been meeting?
The 12 Members of Congress aren’t even discussing what goes on in these closed-door meetings. From Politico:
“The panel met for roughly 6½ hours in the Capitol, and when its members left, they wouldn’t answer basic, innocuous questions about the policies they were discussing nor specify when the next meeting would take place.”
House conservatives are circulating an important letter for signatures. The letter, sponsored by Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), tells committee co-chairs Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) that it would be “irresponsible and dangerous” for the super committee to “increase Americans’ tax burden.”
Conservatives understand – as President Obama did at one point – that “increasing taxes on Americans would destroy jobs” and “erase all hope of an economic recovery.” Unfortunately, higher taxes are already on the horizon and they are “already limiting economic growth.” The letter highlights a Congressional Budget Office report that found “tax revenues will reach or exceed the historical average of 18 percent of economic output by the end of this decade.”
It goes beyond the economic harm of tax increases, though. Increasing taxes on American workers and employers will “simply serve to feed out-of-control spending in Washington.” Today, the federal government spends roughly one out of every four dollars in the American economy – a post-World War II record. The taxes and borrowing required to support that spending drains money from the private sector, stymieing job creation.
The letter closes with a simple appeal: “Although there are diverse beliefs toward specific policies that should be included in any deficit reduction plan, we must recognize that increasing the tax burden on American businesses and citizens, especially during a fragile recovery, is irresponsible and dangerous to the health of the United States.”
The signers of this letter (which is still being circulated) understand the looming threat of tax increases will do nothing to spur businesses to use their capital to hire.
Every single member of Congress – regardless of party – should be on this commonsense letter.
The Congressional “Super Committee” is now set. If you’re trying to get up to speed, here are a few helpful links:
- Orlando Examiner has a good run down on who the members are and how well they stack up when it comes to conservative principles
- The Nation asks, who’s paying the super-committee?
- LA Times says the super committee reflects party leadership lines
On the policy, The Heritage Foundation lays out the standard:
The American people should demand recommendations from the new Committee that are equal to the great economic challenges our nation faces. Congress must drive federal spending down — including by fixing ever-expanding entitlement programs — toward a balanced budget, while preserving our capability to protect America, and without raising taxes. Congress should also get the federal government out of the way of the private sector, to encourage the saving and investment that generates economic growth and the jobs that millions of Americans need. It can be done. The Heritage Foundation has shown how, with Saving the American Dream: The Heritage Plan to Fix the Debt, Cut Spending, and Restore Prosperity.
What will ultimately become of the super committee: A super grand bargain? Another stimulus? Tax hikes and defense cuts? Serious pro-growth reforms? Regardless of the rhetoric that shrouds the committee or the deal, conservatives will be looking at the policy, seeking to ensure pro-growth tax reform (not tax hikes), serious entitlement reforms (not “minor adjustments”) and real cuts to spending (not Washington-style cuts).
The first three members of the “super Congress” have been announced. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) selected Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Max Baucus (D-MT), and John Kerry (D-MA). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have until August 16th to choose their representative members.
We’ve all heard of these three Senators, but what are we really getting with them on the “team?”