|Bullet Passing Through Soda Can (Andrew Davidhazy, Rochester Institute of Technology)|
The "Super Committee" (a dozen Congress members to be tasked with cutting a trillion-odd more from the budget as its Scroogean Christmas present to the nation later this year) is more than just another kicked can of rancid cat food. Since the last Cat Food Commission failed to agree on how to cure the deficit, the second commission will operate with some built-in triggers. This kicked can may well explode into more crazy pieces than a fictionalized memoir by a junkie.
"Passage of a supersonic .22 caliber bullet through a soda can causes the fluid to expand outwards through the hole created by entry and exit and the bullet also drags a certain amount of fluid along with it. This photograph is a microsecond slice of time during this explosive event" according to the recent RIT lab experiment so vividly documented above.
Failure of the New Austerians to slash and burn an already deciminated social safety net even more by Thanksgiving will result in the equally vivid event of automatic cuts to Medicare providers. But Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi sure did save the Medicare program itself, didn't they? You will not be required to tear up your Medicare card at all! You, personally, will not be affected. If your doctor won't treat you for free, just blame your doctor. And be sure to eat your peas for the roughage and Vitamin C. If you cut yourself, don't go wimping out to the emergency room. Slap on a bandaid and then tear it off yourself, you wusses!
Economics writer Catherine Rampell has a cogent take on the "Committee" on today's New York Times. She quotes a Brookings Institute fellow who compares the proposed body to a previous Congressional panel deciding which military bases to close:
“Expedited procedures count for a lot, and triggers count for a lot, if they can get them to work,” Professor (Sarah) Binder said. “All these delegated panels involve kicking the can down the road, but this one tries to make that can explode if gets kicked.”The phony Debt Ceiling Armageddon and the austerity it enabled will give birth to a multitude of very real Armageddons in the near and distant future. Politicians have fixated on the deficit as the disease, rather than the symptom. They have mixed up cause and effect. Wall Street greed and government deregulation caused households to lose trillions in wealth, causing unemployment and foreclosures, causing lost revenue, causing the government deficit. Yet, as Paul Krugman explains, Washington is just like the medieval physician who bled patients to cure them, making them ever sicker. And come to think of it, the Plutocracy is even worse than a healer from the Dark Ages: it not only bleeds the patients dry, it drinks their blood. I hope they all choke on it.