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Deal or No Deal

All eyes are on the supercommittee.

Nov 14, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 09 • By FRED BARNES
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There’s a wrinkle. No deal would trigger a sequester, forcing automatic spending cuts, half from defense, half from domestic programs. Would Congress really let these cuts go into effect? Certainly pro-defense Republicans would try to undo the military cuts. And liberal Democrats would seek to limit domestic cuts.

The worst option is almost any configuration of Deal B. It would cause an angry division among Republicans. And it would put them on Obama’s side as we head into a presidential election year. Its tax increases would presumably include rate hikes, and it would be economically counter-productive, a double whammy.

There’s bound to be a negative reaction to no deal, whether or not mandatory cuts occur. The credit rating of U.S. debt might be further downgraded. Obama, Democrats, and the media would blame Republicans. That’s business as usual, and it leaves the debt mess unresolved.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

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