You knew this was coming:
The reason the [budget supercommittee] was to succeed where other bipartisan negotiations have failed was the “trigger.” The inability of the two sides to reach a deal would trigger $1 trillion in automatic cuts over the next 10 years. Half of that would come from domestic spending, although Social Security, Medicaid and a few other programs for low-income Americans would be protected. The other half would come from the Pentagon.
But increasingly, no one fears the trigger. If it is activated, Republicans have spoken openly about undoing the defense cuts — and the White House and congressional Democrats would happily sign on. But the White House won’t allow the defense cuts to be lifted if the other side of the trigger — domestic cuts — isn’t also defused. So it’s simple to imagine the coalition that will disarm the trigger.
The GOP and the Secretary of Defense are making the absurd claim that the Pentagon is on the brink of collapse because it’s funding has only doubled in the last decade, even excluding war spending. They are also promulgating the idea that a small slowing of growth in the next decade — several hundred billion out of more than ten trillion in planned defense spending — would cripple our defense.
I feared this would happen when the debt deal was made. Republicans won’t raise taxes or cut spending; Democrats won’t cut spending or raise taxes on anyone other than “the rich”. And so we can look forward to even more spectacular explosions of debt.
Food and ammo, guys.