The ‘Obstructionist’ Sees Super Success
The strongest sign yet that the Super Committee will achieve its goal of finding $1.2 trillion in budget cuts came on Fox Sunday when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, firebrand of the Right, said unequivocally that there would be a deal.
“Congress's so-called Super Committee now has just a little over a month -- November 23rd is the deadline -- to come up with $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction,” moderator Chris Wallace said. “Do you think they're going to be able to work out a deal and avoid these automatic triggers, which would include $600 billion in more Pentagon cuts?”
“Yes, I think the joint select committee will be successful in reaching the goal of getting at least $1.2 trillion in cuts,” said Cantor, whom Wallace said has been tagged by President Obama and the Democrats as the main Republican obstructionist. “…I think folks in this town on both sides of the aisle know that we can't fail. There has to be success and an outcome here.”
Later in the program, GOP analyst Liz Cheney said:
“I think the odds are that we'll have a deal. One of the places where you've got bipartisan agreement, for example, is that the triggered cuts in the defense budget would just be devastating. [Defense Secretary] Leon Panetta said it would be the equivalent of shooting ourselves in the head.”
Unemployment: Paying People to ‘Do Nothing’
“If congress does not act, employment benefits for the long-term unemployed, about six months or more, will expire on 2.1 million unemployed people in February. Would that be OK under a Gingrich administration or should those long-term unemployment benefits be extended again?” Candy Crowley asked Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on CNN’s State of the Union.
“Let me talk about right now since my administration doesn't start until January of 2013,” Gingrich said. “I would urge the congress to pass an extension with a training requirement and to tie the training requirement to businesses that need work. There are over 3 million unfilled jobs in the United States because we have a work force which is no longer trained for modern jobs. If somebody is going to get money for 99 weeks -- and they may need money for 99 weeks -- that's long enough to get an associate degree. We should not give people money for doing nothing. So from day one if you sign up for unemployment compensation, you should also be signing up to get trained. We should expect you to actually succeed at the training, and we should have some kind of metric to follow it.”
Runaway Cain Train?
While it’s refreshing to listen to a candidate who doesn’t equivocate and runs at full throttle, the unlikely locomotive that is the candidacy of Herman Cain feels only minutes away from jumping the track.
Cain’s 9-9-9 “economic” plan has been widely parsed and mostly dismissed, especially by conservatives. The former CEO said on Meet the Press that he was only kidding when he suggested erecting an electrified fence on the border with Mexico that could zap and kill illegal immigrants.
And in a discussion of foreign policy, moderator David Gregory asked: “Would you describe yourself as a neoconservative then?”
“I'm not sure what you mean by neoconservative? I am a conservative, yes,” Cain said.
“But you're familiar with the neoconservative movement?” Gregory continued.
“I'm not familiar with the neoconservative movement,” Cain replied. “I'm familiar with the conservative movement.”