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Thank OWS for defeating the GOP super-committee

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Everyone seems to be thinking that the Super-Committee is headed for failure. From where I sit it looks like it succeeded magnificently, just not in the way that the GOP hoped.

The principal goal of the super-committee was to kick the GOP deficit histrionics down the road a few more months and avoid a government shutdown. Obama clearly hoped that a bipartisan deal would allow him to neutralize the 'deficit' issue as an electoral concern in 2012. The GOP hoped to get the chance to steal at least some of our pensions to pay for the tax cuts they have already given to the 1%. All it would take for the White House to get their bipartisan deal was a handful of blue dogs and a minimal level of pragmatism from the GOP.

Then OWS came along and suddenly the 'deficit' narrative of 'shared sacrifice' was collapsed as they pointed out the simple fact that what the GOP has been proposing all along is to take the sacrifices of the 99% and give them to the undeserving 1%.

The Democratic Party establishment is not particularly scared of a few thousand people camping out in a park but what petrifies them is the idea that OWS might copy the tactics of the Tea Party and put up their own candidates against blue dogs in the primaries.

So instead the committee will 'fail' and the starting point for the 2012 (and future) budget negotiations is one in which the Bush tax cuts expire completely and the bloated military budget is cut. The US is still one of the richest countries on earth with one of the stingiest welfare states in the developed world. The structural deficit is entirely due to the fact that the US spends more on its militarism than the rest of the planet combined and the rich don't want to pay for it.

There are cuts that hurt progressive priorities in the automatic cuts as well. But those worry me rather less. The automatic cuts represent the starting point for negotiations, not the final result. Restoring cuts in entitlements is join to be much easier than increasing the military budget after the end of two wars.

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