Archive for Monday, November 21, 2011

Debt panel poised to admit failure

November 21, 2011


— A special deficit-reduction supercommittee appears likely to admit failure today, unable or unwilling to compromise on a mix of spending cuts and tax increases required to meet its assignment of saving taxpayers at least $1.2 trillion over the coming decade.

The panel is sputtering to a close after two months of talks in which the members were never able to get close to bridging a fundamental divide over how much to raise taxes to address a budget deficit that forced the government to borrow 36 cents of every dollar it spent last year.

Members of the bipartisan panel, formed during the summer crisis over raising the government’s borrowing limit, spent their time on Sunday in testy performances on television talk shows, blaming each other for the impasse.

In a series of television interviews, not a single panelist seemed optimistic about any last-minute breakthrough. And it was clear that the two sides had never gotten particularly close, at least in the official exchanges of offers that were leaked to the media.

Aides said any remaining talks had broken off.

“There is one sticking divide. And that’s the issue of what I call shared sacrifice,” said panel co-chair Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“The wealthiest Americans who earn over a million a year have to share too. And that line in the sand, we haven’t seen Republicans willing to cross yet,” she said.

Republicans said Democrats’ demands on taxes were simply too great and weren’t accompanied by large enough proposals to curb the explosive growth of so-called entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

“If you look at the Democrats’ position, it was ‘We have to raise taxes. We have to pass this jobs bill, which is another almost half-trillion dollars. And we’re not excited about entitlement reform,’” countered Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Under the committee’s rules, any plan would have to be unveiled today, but it appeared that Murray and co-chair Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas would instead issue a statement declaring the panel’s work at a close, aides said.

“Put a bow on it. It’s done,” said an aide to a supercommittee Republican.

Failure by the panel would trigger about $1 trillion over nine years in automatic across-the-board spending cuts to a wide range of domestic programs and the Pentagon budget, starting in 2013, according to the Congressional Budget Office. This action, called a “sequester,” would also generate $169 billion in saving from lower interest costs on the national debt.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the required cuts of up to $454 billion to the Pentagon would be “devastating” and leave a “hollow force,” and defense hawks of Capitol Hill promise to unwind them. But that effort will be complicated by the insistence of other lawmakers that the overall amount of the budget cuts be left in place.

“I can’t imagine that, knowing of the importance of national defense, that both Democrats and Republicans wouldn’t find a way to work through that process so we still get the $1.2 trillion in cuts, but it doesn’t all fall on defense,” said supercommittee Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona.

The panel’s failure also sets up a fight within a battle-weary, dysfunctional Congress over renewing a payroll tax cut and jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed, both of which are set to expire at the end of the year. Both proposals are part of President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan.


ibroke 2 years, 4 months ago

Good job GOP keep up the good work! we know the bush tax cuts have saved thousands of jobs


fancy80 2 years, 4 months ago

I am not one bit surprised by this news. When they read the list of the members of the Super Committee, I knew there was no way they would come to an agreement. What moron came up with this super committee idea anyway?


pace 2 years, 4 months ago

major failure, another gop economic debacle, the collapse, the debt ceiling war, now they killed the committee deal. dancing on our graves, all the way to the bank.


Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

The Fiscal Conservative Road to Economic Revival

This is the only budget that does everything this country needs:

* Creates good-paying jobs
* Fully maintains our social safety net
* Invests in education
* Ends our costly wars
* Closes the tax loopholes that have made offshoring jobs profitable
* Ends oil and gas subsidies that pollute our country at taxpayer expense
* Creates a national infrastructure investment bank to help us make intelligent investments for the future
* reduces debt by $10 trillion

This budget represents the future we believe in as Americans and needs to go back on the front burner.

This is one of those occasions we all hope we'll live to see: We really can make a difference right now if we speak up loudly with one voice. Bring IT back.

The People's Budget represents not just common sense; it represents the will of the American people.

The People's Budget was getting mainstream attention. These aren't just words on a page or numbers in a table—these dollars and cents mean lives helped or hurt, people succeeding or falling by the wayside, and families lifted up or dragged down.

This is about America.

What the Peoples Budget does very specifically:,70


FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 5 months ago

Boeing needs to shut down its Wichita plant. It's the only way to shut down Republicans war machine. Big Daddy needs to raise taxes on the rich Professors to pay for shovel ready jobs to fix roads that Boeing ruined shipping war planes out of Wichita.


tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

Hmm. No more comments from the conservatives? Thought so.


tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

Conservatives - The Bush tax cuts have been in effect for a long time. Can you give me a statistic on how many jobs were created? You cannot include jobs overseas or military. Here's your chance to defend the tax cuts. Everyone says these cuts were made for the "job creators". Where are the jobs? This is an honest question. Where are they? Call your Republican leaders and ask them, if you have to. I want to see evidence. My only faith goes to my religion; otherwise, I want evidence. Facts, not opinions.


its_just_math 2 years, 5 months ago

Too many years listening to Rev. Wright and chumming around with people like Ayers has given Obama an arrogant attitude and a hate-filled heart.


Kirk Larson 2 years, 5 months ago

It IS the republicans' fault. They are calling for the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to be made permanent. These were the first step in their ruining the economy and proves that they are unwilling to make any reasonable concessions.


TomJoad23 2 years, 5 months ago

When its push comes to shove, crybaby republicans are always the first to push, the word compromise means nothing, absolutely nothing to them.


its_just_math 2 years, 5 months ago

Awww heck left-wing zealots, you and I know the honesty and intregrity challenged leftist Obamamania media will spin this as Repub's fault and Obama and Dems the victims of obstructionists again. Obama is really a screw-up. How could you not know this when he puts Jeffery Immelt, a guy who sent GE stock diving to the bottom, on his economic recovery panel. Well, at least you can be reassured you have "corpseman", 57 states and Hawaii is part of Asia .


One Big Arse Mistake America

God Bless.


labmonkey 2 years, 5 months ago

Why is everyone bitching about Congressional dysfunction? No deal gets us drastic cuts, which is what we need. And Congresses that got along (or had majorities of the same party of the President) garnered us the Patriot Act, the Health Care Bill, and damn near Cap and Trade. Congress that fights, or isn't of the party of the President is a good thing.


tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

Vote them out, everyone of them. If we can find people who are problem solvers and not puppets of whoever gave them money to run, then vote for them. And, rockchalk, this is a failure of congress. They are full of nothing but puppets who don't dare compromise and solve problems, because their masters would cut off the big bucks. I read that approval rating for congress is at 9%. Those 9% either aren't paying attention, or they are the puppet masters.


rockchalk1977 2 years, 5 months ago

"Stocks plunged at the open Monday, with worries over a congressional debt-reduction impasse adding to escalation in the European debt crisis."

This was a bad idea from the start. Another Obama failure!


somedude20 2 years, 5 months ago

If my workplace had an atmosphere like Congresses where people just could not work together, they would be removed (either to a different area or fired) so why in the heck is Congress so special. Maybe they need a little military discipline instilled in them. make some of those 80 year olds drop down and do 20 push-ups. A nice 5 mile run in the cold DC morning


rockchalker52 2 years, 5 months ago

Term Limits. No becoming a Lobbyist once you're out, either.
If it all goes to hell & they make the movie about it, I'd cast Paul Giamatti to play Grover Norquist.
Right now, I'd cast all the other bums out on the street.


GardenMomma 2 years, 5 months ago

This is ridiculous! Both parties need to put politics aside and work together for the benefit of ALL American people!

I'm sick and tired of all the nonsense that has been flying around. People were counting on you to work it out. People who VOTED for you were counting on you to put political agendas aside and come together in this.

America is floundering and all this petty squabbling is disgusting! Get to work and figure it out or get out of office.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

" cuts of up to $454 billion to the Pentagon"

This should be the cut in annual military spending. There would still be plenty of money left for true defense spending, but not enough for military adventurism and neocolonialism, and we'd could bring 95% of overseas troops home.


Liberty_One 2 years, 5 months ago

"The wealthiest Americans who earn over a million a year have to share too"

This is liberal-speak. You see, in her mind, cutting government spending is taking something away from somebody. Therefore she sees it as only fair that the wealthiest "have to share too" by having something taken away from them too.

It boggles my mind how stupid people like this get elected.


Mike Ford 2 years, 5 months ago

gotta love the gop marching these mental midgets into the presidential race and refusing to budge on mythical principals....keep're going to wear this one.....


cato_the_elder 2 years, 5 months ago

From Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe:"

"When Wellington thrashed Bonaparte, As every child can tell, The House of Peers, throughout the war, Did nothing in particular, And did it very well."


rbwaa 2 years, 5 months ago

is anybody surprised by this?


Commenting has been disabled for this item.