Getting it done with good ol' fashioned failure.
Now one can get into a good debate as to whether or not austerity in these uncertain economic times globally is in fact the right direction for this country, but I believe it's difficult to debate the sheer political genius in how this nation's version of austerity is being implemented. I'll explain:
I think it's pretty clear that the super committee is going to fail to come to any sort of agreement, however, I believe – despite not hearing a single similar opinion in the press, or blogosphere – that impasse was part of the political plan to begin with.
Sure, the inability to come to agreement will look like failure in the eyes of the public. But I believe to those architects of the joint select committee as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, "failure" will, in actuality indicate to them that their plan has succeeded.
Am I mad in thinking this entire concept of a super committee may well be one of the most ingenious political devices to come around in years? I mean, it's happening right before our eyes: $1 trillion in cuts to the federal budget and not a single member of our government will be hated for it!
I suspect this first go may just be a test, one that we'll likely see repeated, and ultimately designed to level those fiscal albatrosses that truly threaten the long term economic stability of the United States: the sacred budgetary allocations whose mere mention of cutting would be tantamount to political suicide. They're now exposed, for the first time in a long time, to this "zero responsibility" scheme.
This "Super Committee", which involves a relatively small and obscure (to the majority of the public anyway) number; being six of each opposing party, can now indignantly storm out of whatever chamber they've been ensconced in, nodding their heads, furiously pointing their fingers and, as usual, off to collect ever-more money from their impassioned base whilst espousing ever-more extreme and inflammatory allegations against their opposition. It would seem just another day in Washington but for the fact that, by default, they just came to agreement on cutting a trillion dollars from our budget!
So Congress just keep doing-nothing, but now they do it in order to get things done!
No political power is lost, if anything it'll be gained, and $1 trillion gets gutted from our budget. It's the new Alice in Wonderland political environment we live in, but I'm encouraged by what I assume is evidence that pragmatism of this structure which predicted failure, in fact embraced failure as the centerpiece of its newly found political super-weapon.