Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Super Committee’s failure adds to Congress’ 9% approval rating (video)

Americans across the political spectrum can agree on one thing: Congress is ineffective and dysfunctional.

The recent dismal failure of the much-ballyhooed Super Congress is just another example of their inability to govern. Last August Congressional Republican gamesmanship forced a downgrading of the US credit rating when they dragged their feet on raising the US debt ceiling– an exercise that had been repeated several times by the Congress in the past.

Republicans like Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, John Boehner, and Arizona’s own Jeff Flake were all over the news– insisting on cuts to entitlement program (cuts to the 99%) rather than raising taxes on the wealthy or cutting corporate welfare (cuts to the 1%); part of the final deal was the creation of the Super Committee. They also railed against Obama’s stimulus package and stood against any attempt by the President to put American’s back to work. (And they wonder why the Occupy movement spread like wildfire across our cities and towns just weeks after the debt ceiling fiasco?)

The failure of the Super Committee to reach a deal by their Nov. 23, 2011 deadline  will trigger automatic spending cuts (a Republican idea) beginning in 2013 (conveniently scheduled for the next Congress to deal with). President Obama said he will veto any Congressional attempt to roll back the cuts; after all, Republicans made a big deal last summer about how they strong-armed the President into the debt ceiling deal, the necessity of the massive cuts, and the creation of the Super Committee. Now let them live with the consequence of their ideology.

The failure of the Super Committee will bring cuts to educationcuts to military spending, and cuts to unemployment insurance— just to name a few. If Congress doesn’t act in the next few weeks, 1.8 million Americans will lose their benefits in January 2012. (That will tank the economy for sure.)

From the Huffington Post

Beginning in 2013, the federal government faces two oncoming trains. When the supercommittee was unable to find agreement by Wednesday, it triggered spending cuts of $1.2 trillion starting in January 2013 and extending over 10 years. Half of the cuts would come from defense spending, the other from education, agriculture and environmental programs, and, to a lesser extent, Medicare.

At the same time, tax cuts adopted during the presidency of George W. Bush will expire at the end of 2012, meaning an increase for every taxpayer.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said the cuts would “tear a seam in the nation’s defense.”

Meanwhile, the tax increases would hit a still-fragile economy, endangering a recovery and raising prospects of another recession.

But while neither side wants those outcomes, Washington’s recent history of tackling fiscal problems shows Congress does not act unless faced with a dire deadline. It extended Bush-era tax cuts in 2010 just days before they expired, it avoided a government shutdown by hours and it put off a debt crisis this summer in the face of a government default.

Not surprisingly, the current Congressional approval rating is at a dismal 9%– dead even with American’s approval rating of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Congress is so unpopular that the Internal Revenue Service (40%), BP at the height of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill crisis (16%), and the idea of Communism taking over the US (11%) are more popular than the Do-Nothing Congress.

The US is in a financial crisis… thanks to Wall Street gamblers, thanks to Congress’ insistence on extending tax cuts we can’t afford, thanks to corporations sending good-paying jobs overseas, thanks to growing wealth disparity, thanks to runaway healthcare costs, thanks to the disappearance of the middle class, thanks to widespread poverty in the richest country in the world…

As the US population ages, our current financial crisis will pale in comparison to our impending public health crisis.

Congress needs to get to work. In poll after poll, the people have said they want a balanced approach– spending cuts + revenue increases– to balancing the budget. Super Committee members like Arizona Senator Jon Kyl should be ashamed of themselves– putting ideology and protection of the 1% ahead of the welfare of Americans.

Funny how silent Cantor, Ryan, Boehner, and Flake have been lately.

[tnivideo caption=”Congressman Jeff Flake Discusses Debt Limit on Fox News” credit=”Glenn Beck Show”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZhTPt3ANLg[/tnivideo]

11 comments on “Super Committee’s failure adds to Congress’ 9% approval rating (video)

  1. dollarshort
    November 25, 2011

    The article is wrong — it is what they do and how they do it that makes them unpopular. 


  2. NoChange
    November 25, 2011

    Obama walking away from Simpson-Bowles (a bipartisanly-supported plan) created the need for the super committee, which had zero chance of success, Obama walking away gave us the mess that we now have.

    Bowles was appointed in 2010 to co-chair Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with Alan Simpson.

    If Simpson-Bowles were nearly identical to the super committee Democratic plan, Obama would not have walked away, as Obama supports the Democratic plan.

    Obama walked away from Simpson-Bowles because it was all about politics, getting reelected, and Simpson-Bowles wasn’t politically advantageous for him.


    • pamela
      November 25, 2011

      You are trying to rewrite history. Most every politician ran away from the Cat Food Committee because they tried to balance the budget on the backs of the middle class– what’s left of it– with unpopular cuts like elimination of the mortgage interest tax deduction.

      Republicans insisted on the Super Committee because they thought Obama and the Dems would blink. I’m glad they didn’t. I think the PDA and MoveOn protests at their offices and the Occupy movement helped.

      Thousands of Americans are camping and protesting across the country. We are tired of business as usual. Congress is losing ground because they are continuing to represent the corporatists while ignoring the people.


    • cochisecitizen
      November 26, 2011

      NoChange, you are of course entitled to your own opinion, but you dont’ get your own set of facts. Obama didn’t walk away from anything. Simpson-Bowles recommendations needed to be passed by a super majority vote of 14/18, but it only received 11 votes. Some of the usual Republican characters votered against it, including Paul Ryan and Rep.  Hensarling who was on the Super Congress committee. 


  3. Tip O'Neill
    November 25, 2011

    No No No – leave them alone. The best thing that the Teabag Congress can do for us is no more damage. Nothing.

    I understand that it they do NOTHING till the rest of their term, it will decrease the national debt by more than 7 trillion 


  4. usmctrucker
    November 26, 2011

    The lack of leadership is what people hate.  What should scare progressives is that people have stopped looking to Obama to provide any.  All those polls that show “ANY Republican” beating Obama are still out there, and people hate Congress because they can only change their own Rep. and Senator, not everybody else’s.


  5. cochisecitizen
    November 26, 2011

     those polls that show “ANY Republican” beating Obama

    – Yeah, aka the Republican Jesus –  someone who has no record, never made a mistake, and is admired equally by Conservative, Moderate & Liberal. Unfortunately for Republicans Jesus isn’t running for office, and they’re left with Mitt Healthcare Mandate Romney, Rick Oops! Perry, Newt Adulterer Gingrich, Hermantor Yeah Baby Cain, Michelle Pray the Gay Away Bachman, and Ron Moonbeam Paul. 
    I voted for Reagan over Carter in 1980. I wouldn’t vote any of the above for country coroner. 


    • usmctrucker
      November 26, 2011

      I happen to agree with your assessment of a weak Republican field.  But that doesn’t change the fact that the progressives have no mandate and all of this BS about the only problem being congress ignores that.  Remember, the progressives and the Democrats had two years to address: immigration, the economy, the trade imbalance, Wall Street, unemployment (which is NOT the same as the economy anymore), and education, and did none of the above.  Instead we got: a failed attempt to apologize for Hiroshima, the gutting of our intelligence service, an ignoring of the border problems, a Justice Department that attempts to enable our being ruled by edicts instead of legislation, the undermining of the Constitution, a complete bastardizaiton of health care and lots of golf. 


  6. leftfield
    November 26, 2011

    This is funny.  If he hasn’t already, David Letterman should do a list, “Top Ten things that are more popular than Congress”.   I’m thinking  Athlete’s Foot and flat tires should be on the list somewhere.


  7. P
    November 27, 2011

    Ask yourselves with Congressional approval ratings at 9%(I think the last election cycle they were like 30%, they are typically never much higher in any election) how do 95% of them get reelected each cycle?


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This entry was posted on November 25, 2011 by in 2012 elections, Arizona, Congress, corporatists, fiscal responsibility, jobs, Jon Kyl, Tucson, Video and tagged , , .

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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