By John W. Lillpop
While We the people have been distracted by the grisly fall of Libya’s tyrannical Ghadaffi; the less dramatic, but just as predictable, rise and fall of Rick Perry; the European financial crisis which is like a never-ending soap opera and a mess that no one this side of the Atlantic truly understands, and the violent up and down swings in President Obama’s approval ratings depending on whether or not he has snuffed a five star enemy recently, the Congressional Super Committee continues to putter along.
This gaggle of 12 partisans, selected for duty by their respective party leaders because of uncompromising, brutal commitment to ideology and party, above all else, regardless of impact on the overall well-being of the American people, is just about out of time in their charge to find a solution to America’s economic quagmire, something that their colleagues and President Obama could not accomplish in more than eight months.
With just weeks to go before the Thanksgiving deadline, just what sort of progress is being made and is there cause for optimism?
A snapshot of the current status, as reported in part at Reference 1, does not inspire much hope:
Democrats on the congressional super committee this week presented Republicans with a plan to cut the deficit that included billions of dollars in stimulus spending, aides told The Hill.
In a private meeting of the deficit panel Tuesday, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, presented a proposal backed by a majority of Democrats on the panel that includes more than a trillion dollars in tax increases. The revenue would partially cover stimulus spending for the economy, aides said.
More than 50 percent of the deficit reduction in the plan would come from tax increases, one source said.
The plan from Democrats approaches the $3 trillion in deficit reduction that was included in the “grand bargain” that lawmakers debated over the summer.
Republicans on the supercommittee, led by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), shot down the proposal from Democrats, aides said. Republicans have pressured supercommittee members to reject any deficit-reduction deal that raises taxes — including stimulus spending for the economy would almost certainly be a non-starter for most in the party.
Democrats have said from the beginning that the supercommittee should produce a “jobs plan” that includes “investments” to help the economy.
The supercommittee is charged with devising a plan that will cut at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years from annual deficits, but deep divisions exist on the panel over whether to raise taxes and cut entitlements to meet that goal.”
So, months after rolling up their sleeves, Democrats are demanding that deficit reduction plans include a hefty chunk of tax increases, while Republicans refuse to even consider higher taxes of any sort.
Excuse me, but it that not exactly where the warring sides were stuck months ago? What the hell has changed, and if nothing, why not?
Clearly, Republicans and Democrats are not about to deliver any Thanksgiving miracle—instead, the American people can expect to get the “bird,” Turkey that is, on the last Thursday in November!