Consequences of a Debt Committee Stuck in Neutral
What their inaction could mean for America
The 10-member committee of congressional Republicans and Democrats has worked in relative secrecy since they began meeting in September. They have had very few public meetings. When meetings were held, signs of progress were not encouraging.
Lawmakers seem to be aware of the growing discontent with
"To succeed, all options for mandatory and discretionary spending and revenues must be on the table," the lawmakers wrote.
"I remain encouraged that the members of the Joint Select Committee know how serious the situation is," he said. "I believe they are all committed to achieving the goal, and until the stroke of midnight on
Many people don't share his enthusiasm for the committee's prospects. All around
Automatic cuts triggered.
If the committee fails to act,
With signs that an impasse is possible, the harsh reality of these cuts is setting in. Defense spending would be cut by
Secretary of Defense
"Cuts of this magnitude would be catastrophic to the military,"
Other cuts include decreases in
Without action, failure.
The debt super committee was created this summer just as
So far, this hasn't happened.
It's unclear if the lawmakers have made any progress. Details on their work -- where reductions could be made, agencies or programs that would be affected, a blueprint for long-term deficit reduction -- have been non-existent.
At the same time, frustration with the inaction of the committee and
This dissent has spilled into the streets. Activists continue to occupy cities throughout
A whiff of compromise is in the air, but whether this spirit of compromise will compel the debt committee is a different matter. It is tasked with compromise at a time when American politicians are polarized and concession is viewed as defeat. And no one is ready to admit a political loss, even if this loss ultimately hurts the American people.
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