The congressional “Super Committee” was charged with the job of coming up with 1.2 trillion dollars of deficit cuts over 10 years. It started work in September and needed to reach a deal by tonight
so it could be scored by the Congressional Budget Office and then brought to a vote.
The 12 members, split between the parties, could not reach a compromise because of entrenched positions on taxes and spending cuts. We’re not assigning blame because there’s enough to go around for both Democrats and Republicans.
The failure represents a lack of respect for their constituents and demonstrates why congressional approval ratings are in the single digits in some polls. It also is a dereliction of duty which should give voters pause as they consider who to select in the 2012 election.
The disrespectful comments leveled by members of both parties may also be a factor that makes a difference, especially for undecided voters tired of the insulting dialogue that occurs all too often and sets a terrible example for everyone else, especially young people.
The Republicans have their focus on not raising taxes, partly because of a pledge to that effect they made with a conservative lobbyist despite polls which show a clear majority of Americans supporting tax hikes for the wealthy. The Democrats are determined to prevent cuts in Medicare and Social Security BENEFITS (favoring cuts in waste instead, for example) and want to raise taxes on the wealthy and reduce defense spending more than the GOP would like. Polls also indicate that cuts to Medicare and Social Security are favored by the public, including extending the retirement age and means testing for recipients, as well as cutting out waste.
It all may shake out next November. The election may come down to a referendum on taxes and/or the disparity in income between the wealthy and everyone else.
The voters will decide who deserves their respect and their confidence. Perhaps a behavior adjustment is in order for some lawmakers, if they want to regain the trust so many have lost.