"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Jul 24, 2011

Revisiting the Enormity: "Super Congress"

When I wrote "The Enormity of It All" and attempted to paint a portrait of the crisis facing the ruling class, I had no idea that their Congressional stooges would be so overt about the solution.

Here, anyways, is the boldness of their solution:

"WASHINGTON -- Debt ceiling negotiators think they've hit on a solution to address the debt ceiling impasse and the public's unwillingness to let go of benefits such as Medicare and Social Security that have been earned over a lifetime of work: Create a new Congress. 

This 'Super Congress,' composed of members of both chambers and both parties, isn't mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, but would be granted extraordinary new powers. Under a plan put forth by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his counterpart Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), legislation to lift the debt ceiling would be accompanied by the creation of a 12-member panel made up of 12 lawmakers -- six from each chamber and six from each party.

Legislation approved by the Super Congress -- which some on Capitol Hill are calling the "super committee" -- would then be fast-tracked through both chambers, where it couldn't be amended by simple, regular lawmakers, who'd have the ability only to cast an up or down vote. With the weight of both leaderships behind it, a product originated by the Super Congress would have a strong chance of moving through the little Congress and quickly becoming law. A Super Congress would be less accountable than the system that exists today, and would find it easier to strip the public of popular benefits. Negotiators are currently considering cutting the mortgage deduction and tax credits for retirement savings, for instance, extremely popular policies that would be difficult to slice up using the traditional legislative process.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has made a Super Congress a central part of his last-minute proposal, multiple news reports and people familiar with his plan say. A picture of Boehner's proposal began to come into focus Saturday evening: The debt ceiling would be raised for a short-term period and coupled with an equal dollar figure of cuts, somewhere in the vicinity of a trillion dollars over ten years. A second increase in the debt ceiling would be tied to the creation of a Super Congress that would be required to find a minimum amount of spending cuts..."

I have no doubt that Boehner wants this.

I also have no doubt that Obama would love to find a way for him to get it.

That golf game is paying dividends for Corporate, eh?

9 comments:

Coldtype said...

These venal fuckers are toying with fire now. What shred of legitimacy they once possessed in the eyes of the captives will vanish completely and then things may get interesting.

mp said...

so they're saying even this current body is still too representative of regular people? nice.

coldtype--i wish i were that sure. i figured everything'd turn when there were no weapons in iraq, or when katrina hit, or when the bailouts happened ... there've been no end of opportunities.

Jack Crow said...

Cold,

According to Larry Kudlow (sigh) this "super committee" would have authority over entitlements, taxes, debt and deficit, spending and the debt ceiling.

And that its reports and drafts would mandate an up or down vote.

As it's a rule change, it doesn't seem likely that it's a one shot deal, but I haven't found the actual text of the proposed change to confirm all that.

mp,

Unfortunately, I agree. I'm not sure what the bar for too much is, but it's either too low or too high to make much of a difference.

fish said...

I do feel like we are entering a new phase where the don't even have to pretend now. I think the torture "debates" gave them confidence.

Abonilox said...

The people hate gridlock. So much so that this proposal will strike many as a supremely practical solution to the problem.

Karl Franz Ochstradt said...

reichstag fire

ergo said...

reichstag fire

Interestingly enough even Yves Smith, who hosted that thing about coin se-whatever that was excoriated here the other day, compared this latest exercise in power centralization to the 1933 enabling act. I guess this would be different in that its still technically under the auspices of the legislative branch, though that should provide comfort to nobody.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/07/more-shades-of-tarp-latest-deficit-ceiling-plan-to-establish-extra-constitutional-legislative-process.html

Karl Franz Ochstradt said...

I've drawn the analogy many times before (going back 7 yrs now) and used to comment on some forums as "Article 48"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_48_(Weimar_Constitution)

good to see others on the gig!

Randal Graves said...

I just hope Super Congress doesn't ruin their gig with a crappy theme song.