Okay. I’m officially confused. When the budget supercommittee was formed, we were told that its chances for success were high, because its failure would punish Congress (and America?) with automatic budget cuts and tax increases that were said to be unthinkable and draconian.
Now, some commentators are noting that the automatic measures will mean deficit cuts far beyond anything that has been seriously proposed so far, and they will accomplish this with one dollar of spending cuts for every three dollars in tax increases. Here’s a take from Fareed Zakaria at CNN, and from Ezra Klein at the Washington Post.
Some doves are also noting, with approval, the defense cuts that are supposed to be automatic in the wake of the supercommittee’s face plant. And even Republicans in Congress appear reluctant to mount an effort to spare Defense from the cuts they earlier agreed to make if the supercommittee failed in its Mission Impossible. The New York Times reports.
All of this leads some commentators to suggest that the automatic cuts will be a good thing, but there is still widespread concern that cutting spending and raising taxes will cut economic growth.