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Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Supercommittee Failure

The Iowa State Daily reports:
The failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or "supercommitteee", didn't come as a surprise to many Americans, ISU professors said.
"It seemed doomed from the start," said James Strohman, professor of political science.
The "supercommittee" was created Aug. 2 by the Budget Control Act of 2011 to prevent sovereign default, in which the government fails or refuses to pay back its debt, that would have resulted from the 2011 debt-ceiling crisis.
The committee was made of up six Democrats and six Republicans, both having three coming from the Senate and three coming from the House. The group had until Monday to formalize a plan to reduce the country's deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.
"It was a good attempt," said David Peterson, political science professor. "Private deliberation by a select group of people might be the only way to get anything done."
Republicans are particularly worried about threats made by Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. Strohman said Norquist created a pledge that called for Congress to never to raise taxes. Norquist has threatened Republicans in Congress by saying if they agree to raise taxes, they will have to run against primary competitors.

"He's exerting influence over Congress," Strohman said. "They are afraid to raise taxes."
Because Republicans refuse to raise taxes and Democrats refuse to continue tax cuts, the discussion has ended in a gridlock, Strohman said.

"There's a conflict between fundamental beliefs," he said. "It's playing off as chaos.