Earlier this week, the bipartisan 12-member panel, the so called “super committee,” failed to reach an agreement on the goal of $1.2 trillion in debt reduction. The final vote originally was set for Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but because the panel did not have a blueprint of a proposed package, the super committee announced on Monday, November 21, 2011, that it was unable to reach a deal.
Automatic budget cuts are scheduled to kick in 2013, and the cuts would slash $1.2 trillion in defense and nondefense spending. However, programs such as Social Security and programs for low-income people such as Medicaid are exempt from the automatic budget cuts. Medicare cuts would be limited in the cuts made as well. Even though the cuts are to kick in 2013, Congress could easily reverse them.
Budget experts have continued to stress the importance of tackling the debt issue in order to get the country back on a sustainable fiscal track. Some of those experts said, “Congress needed to ‘go big’ on a deal that tackles the big drivers of future debt — entitlements and health care.” They contend this big deal would have to be some kind of bargain reaching $3 to $4 trillion over ten years. The super committee’s failed attempt was a shot at $1.2 trillion and was nowhere near the level of debt reduction demanded by experts.
Charles Riley, Super committee: What’s next, https://money.cnn.com/2011/11/21/news/economy/super_committee_failure/index.htm?iid=HP_Highlight (accessed 11/23/2011)