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Deficit Super Committee: With Deadline Looming, Bipartisan Games Continue
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Deficit Super Committee: With Deadline Looming, Bipartisan Games Continue

The Congressional Super Committee, the bipartisan group charged with finding a way to balance the federal budget is approaching its November deadline but is no closer to a working deal that both sides can agree on. Officially, the goal was to slash over a trillion dollars from the already inflated budget or to make up some of the shortfall with new sources of revenue. Both sides have long agreed that there were several things that would be strictly off limits, including certain programs that could not be touched and several suggested sources of revenue that would not be added to the working plans. Now, those stubborn and short sighted stances are threatening to send the committee's work to the failure pile, triggering automatic budget cuts that are sending experts and spin doctors racing to the nearest media outlet to sound the alarms.

The Democrats have rejected what was deemed a "fall back offer" which have shaved nearly $650 billion from the national debt over the next ten years. That plan did manage to steer clear of spending cuts that would have come from programs like Medicare and Social Security but was still not viable. According to the Democrats that voted the offer down, the plan was only focusing on spending cuts with no sources of new revenue as they had required as part of a more serious offer. Democrats called that plan "woefully inadequate".

The Republicans argue that there was new revenue in their plan, with nearly $230 billion in generated cash from land sales. The plan would also over spending cuts and a substantial savings from interest.

The twelve members of the committee have until November 23, the official deadline for a signed plan to be adopted but a plan will need to be in on Monday to give Congress time to review and then vote on the measure. If there is no plan in place, automatic cuts will be enacted, including substantial defense spending cuts. Those cuts are being called "irresponsible" if they are allowed to be enacted.

Experts warn that the fall out from a failure to agree is going to be hardest, not on the American people but on Congress which currently has its lowest approval rating of all time. Financially, the impact of the automatic cuts won't even be noticed because despite the title, they are not "automatic"- those cuts will not even go into effect until 2013. During the next year, the cuts could be changed or adjusted.


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