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.


Sean Livingstone 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm not... Americans are split too on how to deal with the debt.... that's why it has been hold back for this long...

cato_the_elder 6 years, 6 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."

voevoda 6 years, 6 months ago

"He always voted at his party's call/ He never thought of thinking for himself at all." HMS Pinafore

cato_the_elder 6 years, 6 months ago

Although you haven't quoted it correctly, Sir Joseph Porter is a very apt comparison to Barack Obama, each having been utterly unqualified to hold the office he was given.

I'll now be whistling "I am the Monarch of the Sea" all day, for which I wish to express to you my appreciation. It's one of my favorites.

Mike Ford 6 years, 6 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.....

voevoda 6 years, 6 months ago

What a wonderful idea for the Republicans--they can nominate Hillary! After all, they don't have a single viable candidate yet.

pace 6 years, 6 months ago

I think you have it. Hilary, a centrist republican, not as hard a sell as Newt as not a liar and crook and certainly didn't lobby, just the best paid historian in the country.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 6 months ago

Romney/Rubio would annihilate Obama. Since the Dems probably won't wake up and nominate Hillary, Bam is a one-termer.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 6 months ago

If the Republicans nominate Donald Trump, I agree.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 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.

jaywalker 6 years, 6 months ago

Boggles the mind what some people believe is an obvious solution. Doesn't it give you pause that someone like President Obama, after sitting where it counts and knowing what's going on, believes cutting Medicare is preferable to Defense?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

It is an obvious solution, but the power of the big money that controls Washington means that even presidents can't make rational policy.

GardenMomma 6 years, 6 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.

Terry Sexton 6 years, 6 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.

somedude20 6 years, 6 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

tomatogrower 6 years, 6 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.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

"Vote them out, everyone of them."

There are good, honorable people in Congress-- I'd say about 20% of Democrats, and maybe 5% of Republicans fall under that category. Sadly, none of them represent Kansas, and all Kansas Reps (and senators) will probably be re-elected.

labmonkey 6 years, 6 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.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 6 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.

Armstrong 6 years, 6 months ago

Probably from reading too many lib posts and the lamestream media would be my guess

tomatogrower 6 years, 6 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.

tomatogrower 6 years, 6 months ago

There is a building on the KU campus being built with stimulus funds. Those guys wouldn't have jobs without it. There are pesky road workers (sorry, guys, I know you're just doing your job) building bridges, fixing road, etc. They are being paid with stimulus money. Some teachers were laid off, but not as many, and those teachers received stimulus money. I had the windows in my house replaced by making a low interest loan, funded through the stimulus money, and I wouldn't have done it otherwise, so a window company made a profit and my bank will make a small profit as I pay it back.

Kirk Larson 6 years, 6 months ago

1) The new Engineering building on 15th street.across from Green Hall. There's a big sign out front 2) The street work in front of Johnny's in North Lawrence. There was a sign at this one, too. 3) 4) Anecdotal, but I heard NPR stories of a number of companies that profited from the funds made available for home energy improvements. On top of that, households can spend the money that would have gone to energy costs on other things.

This stuff is old news. You should pay better attention.

pace 6 years, 6 months ago

As always don't answer a question, blame Obama. better than thinking. How many jobs have the tax cuts made? What they made were fat portfolios and massive deficits. and you know it.

tomatogrower 6 years, 6 months ago

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

pace 6 years, 6 months ago

Tax cuts, Bush tax cuts, GOP tax cuts = No jobs Tax cuts, Bush tax cuts, GOP tax cuts = fat portfolios Tax cuts, Bush tax cuts, GOP tax cuts = massive deficits Tax cuts, Bush tax cuts, GOP tax cuts = economic disaster Obama should never of compromised with such stupid economic theory.

Armstrong 6 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations looks like the recession is over. I would imagine there will be no further posts about the economy or unemployment now will there. I believe a good analogy to the few construction jobs previously posted would be like a band aid on a sucking chest wound.

tomatogrower 6 years, 6 months ago

You didn't answer the question. How many jobs were created by the Bush tax cuts?

voevoda 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm afraid, Liberty_One, that you have described yourself instead of tomatogrower.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

Careful there voevoda, or you risked getting shunned, and even becoming the target of a one-man campaign to get you banned from the forum.

voevoda 6 years, 6 months ago

Rich professors, FalseHopeNoChange? Not in this universe. And certainly not in this state.

gphawk89 6 years, 6 months ago

Don't warplanes generally fly through the air when they "ship out of Wichita"?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 6 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

pace 6 years, 6 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.

fancy80 6 years, 6 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?

Armstrong 6 years, 6 months ago

Probably as many as the D's jobs bill created

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