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Some delight in super committee's demise

November 22, 2011|By Kathleen Hennessey | Washington Bureau
  • Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is mobbed by reporters as he leaves the office of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) after a fruitless meeting of "super committee" members Monday.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is mobbed by reporters as he leaves the office… (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated…)

While lawmakers seemed contractually obligated to use the word “disappointed” when discussing the failure of the "super committee," there are plenty of others openly celebrating.

"Goodbye and good riddance," said Adam Green, co-founder of Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal advocacy group. "A super committee working to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits was an absurd anachronism in the era of Occupy Wall Street — in which the 99% are calling for Wall Street banks and the rich to finally pay their fair share."

And on the other side of the spectrum:

"This super committee nonsense is just a gimmick to make Americans think Congress is actually trying to rein in spending," Tea Party Patriots told its members in an email sent Monday.

The bases in both parties have reason to be pleased by the committee’s failure to make a deal to reduce the deficit. Both were able to protect their top priorities — for now, anyway. No deal means no painful cuts to Social Security or Medicare. It means no tax increases, in the short term.  

That has some on the left and right cheering. It also offers a window into the thinking of the super committee members who walked away rather than compromise.

"Simply put, no deal is better for America than a bad deal," said Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group, also saw a silver lining as he praised “free market super committee members for holding the line on higher taxes that would destroy jobs and undercut economic recovery.”

But Phillips also issued warning to Republicans, particularly those who appeared to bend, for the inevitable next round of deficit talks. “It is stunning to hear that some Republicans were apparently ready to accept as much as $640 billion in tax hikes .… Penalizing Americans with higher taxes for the rampant spending in Washington will never create jobs or revive our economy.”

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