The so-called Super Committee (Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction) created by this summer’s debt ceiling deal is holding its first secret meeting today. You can bet that any secret meeting of a government committee is not going to be good for those of us without a PAC, lobbyist or other backroom influence over the committee members.
And this is particularly true when it comes to secret meetings about taxes.
That Republicans will typically oppose tax increases and Democrats will typically support taxes increases is no secret, so why the secret meetings?
The secret is who is going to pay.
Establishment Republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona tipped his hand when he threatened to quit the Committee if it cut Pentagon spending and left-wing Democrat Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina, the number three Democrat in the House, has already said that entitlements “need not be cut.”
If Kyl and Clyburn take defense, welfare, health care, pensions and education off the table you’ve just protected 85% of the existing federal budget from cuts.
Meaning that to close the $1.2 trillion budget gap, let alone fund another $450 billion Obama stimulus program, somebody is going to have to pay higher taxes.
It probably won’t be the big lobbyists on K Street who are gearing-up fund raisers for Super Committee members.
None of the Republicans on the Committee have foresworn special interest fund-raising or demanded that the Committee conduct all of its deliberations in public -- Co-Chairman Jeb Hensarling even defended secret meetings.
Tea Partiers are typically opposed to secret meetings on principle because that’s where the special interests work to corrupt the process. Even liberal Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry swore-off special interest fund-raising while the Super Committee was deliberating -- the Republicans on the Super Committee should be ashamed of themselves.