The debt deal “trigger” requires that one-half of the budget cuts come from the military if the “super committee” cannot reach agreement or if the Congress fails to pass the super committees proposal.
The concept was that fear of military cuts would force Republicans to strike a deal with the Democrats as part of the super committee.
Thus, Harry Reid thinks he is sitting in the cat bird seat, ready to threaten to pull the “trigger” with significant cuts to the military, if Republicans on the super committee do not vote to raise revenues (i.e., taxes), or if such recommended revenues do not pass the House or Senate. Reid was quick to tell us, your taxes or your military:
“We’ve had too much talk the last few days of Republicans as early as this morning, Republican leaders in the Senate saying there will be no revenue. That’s not going to happen. Otherwise, the trigger is going to kick in. The only way we can arrive at a fair arrangement for the American people with this joint committee is to have equal sharing. It’s going to be painful. Each party if they do the right thing, it’s going to be painful for them because to be fair, we have to move forward. There has to be equal spending cuts, there has to be some revenue that matches that,” Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said on the floor of the Senate right before voting started on the debt deal.
I don’t think Harry or the Democrats have thought it through.
If Democrats think they can hold the military, what’s the word they’ve been using lately, starts with an “h”? Not going to work.
If the choice is the military or raising taxes, Reid is telling us Democrats will choose raising taxes. Republicans will choose the military. I like that scenario heading into 2012.
Democrats may have thought they were gaining a bargaining chip by including military cuts as one half of the trigger, but Democrats have boxed themselves in. It is a trigger they will not pull for the sake of raising taxes, or if they do, they will pay the price in 2012.
Taking the military “h” may have seemed like a good idea to the Democrats who negotiated the debt deal, but that will work out as well as taking the Bush tax cuts “h” in budget talks worked.