C-SPAN has set the bar pretty low, but it looks like the deficit Super Committee might actually be doing something interesting. Like, West Wing interesting. At least, that's what it looks like from this teaser. Visitors to Fox Business yesterday were greeted with the promise that, as their November 23rd deadline approaches, the deficit committee is quickly turning into the high-impact Thanksgiving blockbuster you've been waiting for.
"There will be high drama. There will be dueling press conferences. There will be last minute, all-nighter negotiations. There will be accusations of negotiations undertaken in bad faith. Angry, pious negotiators will theatrically storm out of closed-door meetings."
That sounds amazing. So what could they be debating that would make those angry, pious negotiators storm so theatrically? Euthanasia? Robot soldiers? Is somebody getting impeached? Actually it's military defense spending, so robot soldiers wasn't too far off. The Super Committee has to reduce military defense spending from eleventy-trillion-billion dollars to significantly less than that, and the deadline is almost here.
What should happen if the Super Committee does something crazy? Well, if Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has anything to say about it, that'll be the end of safety and decency for every American. Drastic spending cuts, he said, would turn our military into a whole host of worrisome metaphors:
"It's a ship without sailors. It's a brigade without bullets. It's an air wing without enough trained pilots. It's a paper tiger. An Army of barracks, buildings and bombs without enough trained soldiers able to accomplish the mission. It's a force that suffers low morale, poor readiness, and is unable to keep up with potential adversaries. In effect, it invites aggression," he said.
Now, it looks to me like someone needs a lesson in thriftiness. When the money gets tight, stop buying those $45 cases of Mr. Pibb. Don't cut spending on the bullets. Those are, like, the last to go.