Revenue & Spending
OMB Watch Lauds End of Undemocratic "Super Committee"
-For Immediate Release-
November 21, 2011
Contact: Brian Gumm, (202) 683-4812, email@example.com
OMB Watch Lauds End of Undemocratic “Super Committee”
WASHINGTON, Nov. 21—The so-called Super Committee announced today that it did not come to an agreement on deficit reduction. This should not be viewed as a failure. OMB Watch decried this undemocratic, unrepresentative, nontransparent process from its inception.
“The country has dodged a bullet,” said Katherine McFate, president of OMB Watch. “After months of meeting behind closed doors, with Democratic members making offers that would have eroded entitlement protections for the elderly and with Republicans offering few concessions on taxes on the wealthy, the Super Committee has called it quits. This is a good thing. Now it’s time for Congress to address the real causes of the growing federal debt: the 2001 tax cuts, war spending, and the unemployment crisis.”
The Super Committee, officially known as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, was tasked with solving the nation’s “debt crisis” as part of a deal brokered when Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats refused to raise the country’s debt ceiling in August. The prospect of a debt default by the world’s richest country created an atmosphere of crisis, forcing the Senate and President Obama to agree to a process designed to short-circuit established, democratic lawmaking. The 12 legislators chosen for the committee represent just 16 percent of the American population and have, on balance, 13 times more wealth than the ordinary American household. With just one woman and two minorities among the 12 members, they were not demographically representative of the population of the country or of American voters. Since the inception of the Super Committee, OMB Watch has called for transparency and posts updates on the Super Committee’s actions on SuperCommitteeWatch.org.
With the emergence of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations over the past two months, the political discourse in Washington, DC, has shifted from a singular focus on deficit reduction to a broader – and we believe more critical and appropriate – debate about what the federal government can do to reduce the unemployment rate and encourage job growth. The unemployment rate is at nine percent, six million workers have been unemployed for six months or longer, one in four young people are jobless, and 46 million Americans are now in poverty.
“An immediate, strict austerity budget is not what the country needs right now. This is not the time to gut our safety net programs,” McFate asserted. “Let us hope that the deficit-reduction scrooges do not attempt to play hostage politics with unemployment insurance and payroll taxes during the holiday season. The mandatory cuts required by sequestration would not take effect until 2013, so we have time to have an honest, open debate about our national priorities that allows every American to understand the choices we face as a nation.”
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OMB Watch is a nonprofit research and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting government accountability, citizen participation in public policy decisions, and the use of fiscal and regulatory policy to serve the public interest. Find OMB Watch on Facebook and Twitter.