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Washington's Winners and Losers, If the Super Committee Fails

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Common sense dictates that the super committee will put together a deal that will cut government spending, increase taxes on only the wealthiest Americans and corporations, and avoid the automatic budget cuts that will be required by law if the super committee fails. But this is Washington, and that probably isn't going to happen, which means there will be "winners" and "losers" inside the nation's capital.

First, let's examine who the "losers" will be.

First, are Congressional Republicans, since the American people are starting to see through their tactics of just blocking everything, because anything that passes is ostensibly good for the president. It has been a shrewd political strategy since President Barack Obama took office. It has driven Democrats crazy and it helped Republicans win back the House of Representatives. But Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell can only go to that well so many times. Americans now think that Republicans control Congress, and any failure by Congress will now land on the heads of Republicans.

The second big loser will be the Defense Department. The Pentagon is on the hook for some massive cuts if the super committee fails. One can only hope that if this happens, the cuts will come from ridiculous programs like MEADS -- a missile defense program that no one wants (except one contractor) and will cost the taxpayers even more money, to the tune of $800 million. Already 10 years behind schedule, it's a "missile to nowhere," and the system's first test scheduled this week is not designed to actually hit anything, but merely to demonstrate that it can be shot into the air.

But rather than cutting funding for politically protected programs like MEADS, I am afraid that it will leave our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq without the tools they need to complete their missions. Hence, the other losers if the super committee fails could be our troops and that would be a darn shame.

OK, so who will be the winners if the super committee fails?

To me, the biggest winner will be the president, simply because what is bad for Congressional Republicans is good for the White House. We all know that the president plans to run against a "do nothing" Congress, and what is more "do nothing" than Congress failing to reach a deal that Congress itself designed? I think the Republican leadership in Congress knows that if the super committee fails, it will be bad politics. I just don't think the Tea Partiers in the House will support any kind of compromise and therefore, the super committee is doomed to fail.

Politically speaking, it may be good news for the president if the super committee fails. However, I know the president understands that the real losers will be the American people because if the super committee cannot come to an agreement, it could very well send shockwaves through Wall Street and Main Street. With millions of folks already unemployed or underemployed, the last thing our nation needs is another manmade economic catastrophe.

Like the president, I hope the super committee succeeds and our country can continue on the road to recovery. But I have my doubts, only because over the last year, Congress has failed to do anything right. Dear readers, I have long preached political moderation and the need for compromise. Those ideals keep the country moving forward and either side from becoming too powerful. Let's hope moderation and compromise wins the day in Congress. If not, any political victory for the president will be bittersweet.