They Aren’t Even Trying

This isn't exactly shocking, in fact it was all too predictable, but it turns out the Republicans on the Super Committee aren't even trying to work with Democrats or even meet the goals set forth when the Super Committee was formed.

Having concluded that the parties could not agree on a far-reaching plan to raise taxes and restrain social spending, Republican members of the supercommittee worked with House Speaker John A. Boehner to develop with a smaller “Plan B” that would stop far short of the panel’s goal of $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade.

Instead, Republicans proposed to achieve $640 billion in savings, primarily through cuts to domestic agency budgets, a pay freeze and bigger pension contributions for federal workers, cuts in farm subsidies and an array of other spending cuts and revenue raisers.

The offer, delivered Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, included no cuts to the Pentagon and just one small tax increase, focused on owners of corporate jets, failing two key tests for Democratic negotiators.

The "one small tax increase" included alongside the $640 billion in spending cuts only accounts for $3 billion.

The Republicans also proposed the sale of federally owned land and frequencies to increase revenue, but the sale of those frequencies has already been planned by the Obama Administration and the FCC, and the sale of federally owned land would require reversing a law already passed congress to purchase $3 billion of land each year for the next 30 years.

If the Republicans are willing to dial back the requirements of the Super Committee and propose less cuts than the $1.2 trillion originally targeted, then surely they would be willing to eliminate the triggers entirely. Either eliminating the triggers or passing the buck to the next congress was, as I predicted, the goal of the Democrats all along. And the Democrats, for their part, are openly mocking this latest proposal from the GOP with the deadline for an agreement only four days away.

President Obama claims that he will not accept a bill that fails to meet the goals agreed to during the debt-ceiling showdown, but I'm not entirely convinced he isn't bluffing. After all, as long as this Super Committee charade continues, the American people continue to witness the intransigence of the GOP.

Allowing the triggers to become law and re-writing them during the next session of congress before they take effect in 2013 may be the best scenario for both sides, which also makes it the most likely scenario.