Democrats on the secretive congressional super committee have reportedly proposed slashing $3 trillion from projected deficits over the next decade. But Republicans on the powerful panel are rejecting that plan because it includes $1.3 trillion in new tax revenue. If the six Democrats and six Republicans can't agree on at least $1.2 trillion in deficit savings by Nov. 23, they'll trigger automatic cuts to the Defense Department that economists warn will cost 1 million jobs. Is there any chance both parties will set aside their differences to "save the economy"?
Yes. But it will require rare compromise: The Left and Right can find trillions in savings, says Douglas E. Schoen at Politico. But first, both sides will have to abandon the "partisanship that plagues Congress" and make concessions. If the GOP gave Democrats new taxes on the rich, and Democrats gave Republicans some spending and entitlement cuts, that would "make a major dent in... the long-term deficit." To really lift up the economy, the super committee has to "seize this opportunity for compromise and pass a bolder and more expansive plan" than either side could reach on its own.
"Super committee should cut more"
Forget compromise. The GOP should focus on 2012: Republicans can't just hold their noses and vote for some gimmicky package because Democrats are holding Defense hostage, Heritage Action COO Tim Chapman tells National Review. Though that's the path of least resistance, it's a losing strategy. "The only way that you win an election that produces a mandate is to paint in bold colors, to create a referendum election. And you can't do that if one side thinks we can win by just kneeling with the ball."
"The House GOP and the super committee"
Democrats would save the economy if Republicans would let them: The bold Democratic proposal proves which side is trying to lead, says Steve Benen at Washington Monthly. Democrats are genuinely trying to cut deficits, which you can't do without new revenue. And they're trying to preserve stimulus spending to boost the economy. But the super committee was "doomed at the outset" because the GOP is out to "shrink government," not cut the deficit. "Republicans aren't willing to trade anything for anything."
"GOP inflexibility stalls super committee"
Thanks for nothing, Washington: "Not to be a bummer," says Joe Caruso at Caruso Leadership, but I predict the super committee members will once again let politics "trump leadership." So we'll get another "undersized solution" that doesn't address our underlying problem. The economy will pay for this failure in the form of another downgrade to the U.S. credit rating — not because we can't pay our bills, but because our leaders won't do what we're paying them to do.