In a blog entry at the American Prospect, Jamelle Bouie writes that the super committee's failure to reduce the deficit is good news for Democrats as the presidential election approaches. Liberals have long argued that President George W. Bush's tax cuts should end. The recent impasse makes that a real possibility.
The failure of the Super Committee has been cause for much weeping and gnashing of teeth among Beltway pundits, but the important thing to remember about the current budgetary baseline is that absent any further action from Congress, we can expect around $7.1 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has the numbers: $3.3 trillion from allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, $0.8 trillion from allowing other tax cuts to expire, $0.3 trillion from allowing Medicare provider cuts to happen on schedule, $0.7 trillion from allowing relief from the alternative minimum tax to expire, $1.2 trillion from the Super Committee “trigger,” and $0.9 trillion from lower interest payments are a result of the above. Of course, now is a terrible moment for deficit reduction—austerity is useless when the economy is sputtering along with low consumer demand. But for those Democrats concerned with the deficit, there’s nothing the GOP could offer — short of a strong public option — that would make a deal sweeter than the “do nothing” option.
Read Jamelle Bouie's entire blog entry at the American Prospect.