…to actually believe this nonsense about how the supercommittee was supposed to save us from fiscal apocalypse:
The concept of the supercommittee, as POLITICO’s Jake Sherman articulated in an email: “[I]f you put 12 serious members in a room, no distractions, easy way through the Senate [direct path for bill], they’d be able to get something.”
To quote a physicist friend of mine, that’s not even WRONG. Robert Heinlein, thou have lived in vain!
“A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. “
There was never any chance that the supercommittee was going to do anything. There were twelve of them. Twelve people cannot just disagree on what time it is; at that number the odds are good that you will have at least one member who has philosophical problems with the definition of time itself – and will be relentless in his or her determination to get that problem immortalized in the minutes at anything even remotely resembling an opportunity. If Congress had been serious about this, they would have limited this committee to one Republican, one Democrat, and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy*.
But they didn’t, because then they wouldn’t have been able to kick the can down the road. Congress likes to do that, you know; unfortunately, we’re running out of road. And that is why conservatives and libertarians both think that bigger government is not the answer to every single question. Because (to paraphrase somebody or other) the things that bigger government likes are not always the things that are good for it.
*This is one time where Kennedy’s penchant for determining Supreme Court cases based on what he’s had for breakfast that day would actually prove to be, you know, helpful. He’s the closest thing we have to an ambulatory random number generator.