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BLITZER’S BLOG: Increasing gloom as super committee deadline looms
October 27th, 2011
02:00 PM ET

BLITZER’S BLOG: Increasing gloom as super committee deadline looms

By CNN’S Wolf Blitzer

(CNN) - It was sort of lost in the headlines, but Democratic members of the so-called super committee proposed some major changes in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid spending – something Democrats in general strongly oppose.

As part of their effort to revive the failed Barack Obama-John Boehner budget negotiations of earlier this year, the super committee Democrats put forward a $3 trillion package in deficit reduction over the next 10 years.

That package included about $1.2 trillion in tax increases – a nonstarter as far as the Republicans are concerned. They oppose any tax hikes and have made it clear during the past 24 hours that they reject this latest Democratic offer.

Also included in this week’s Democratic plan were some other ideas that President Obama put forward in April just before his talks with Boehner collapsed.

At the time, Obama proposed saving at least $200 billion in Medicare over 10 years and another $100 billion in Medicaid. The president also proposed changing the way the government considers annual entitlement cost-of-living increases, which would have amounted to smaller Social Security checks. And finally, Obama was open to the possibility of increasing Medicare eligibility from age 65 to 67.

Democratic members of the super committee say they did not support increasing the Medicare eligibility age in their latest offer to the Republicans.

What they do say, though, is that any cuts in Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid spending would have to be balanced by at least some tax increases on the rich. That would be necessary to mollify the Democratic base, which opposes tinkering with entitlement spending for seniors, the poor and the middle class.

The six Democratic and six Republican members of the committee have until November 23 to come up with a plan to cut at least $1.2 trillion over ten years. Congress would then have until December 23 to approve the plan. If that doesn’t happen, across the board budget cuts would be triggered, including domestic and Pentagon spending.

I haven’t given up hope yet on a deal among the 12 members of the panel, but I am becoming increasingly gloomy.

RELATED STORY: GOP rejects Dems' super committee offer; talks 'deadlocked' over taxes

Post by:
Filed under: Deficit • super committee • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. ronvan

    The FIRST 12, of our many "elected children" who need to be voted OUT of office! Whether you like them or not, the only way WE the people are going to make an impact is to VOTE ALL of these spoiled brats out of office! How worse off could we be?

    November 21, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  2. Rick Knowles

    *****Attn: Wolfe Blitzer
    I understand you will be the moderator for the upcoming Republican Debate. Can you please have a Big Screen Video to replay Live on T.V the past comments these politicians have made so the American people can see the past & present comments live on the air instead of you having to read them. A picture is a thousand words and I believe the video presented live while the politicians are on stage debating at that very moment will give the American People an honest insight as to who and what they are all about. CNN has to start doing this in every live debate to show the American People what they say and how they lie or deny with a straight face...

    November 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • Rick

      I could not agree more! Well said, Rick. CNN, are you listening to this?!

      November 16, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  3. Griff

    "But the direction of fire is lon Obama! Not Perry! Not cain! Not Romny. Not even Hillary Clinton! They have nothing to .lose and evgerything to win! What are you talking about 'Little John'?? Or are you the toilet for Obama's waste. Don't do it to yourself the Toto's will need you long after Obama."

    October 28, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
  4. Griff

    One thing for sure! Everybody knows where Obama is running for. The nearest Airport!"

    October 28, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
  5. Griff

    Herman Cain??? Straight after 'Obama's Seat is getting warmer! You wanna bet it is!!"

    October 28, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  6. Griff

    "I don't work for any (not any) communication service, but I always try to get my facts right! If I can do it, and have little to gain; then so can Cain."

    October 28, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
  7. Carol

    Since this mess started in 2000 that we are in, I've decided the blame goes to the republican religious right. So the first place to start is on the churches percentage. Since they think it is appropriate to send lobbyist to Washington to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. I've decide to feed the poor and take care of the veterans on the streets of our country. They can't get over the time spent in two wars (in the wrong country) that Pres. Bush funded with a Chinese credit card. Then decide my children and grandchildren could pay it off. All that debt they keep calling Obama's debt is actually the charges Bush ran up in his eight years in office. Retiring to the ranch each weekend while America was drowning in debt. I for one am tired of being bulled by the Republican religious right who probably haven't picked up a Bible in years. The poor are not lazy they are here on earth to see if the wealthy will be faithful to God's commandments. Do you feel God is blessing the American masses or do feel "Wall street" and corporate America is robbing you blind. Do you still feel you have the freedom of speech?

    October 28, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  8. George

    If rejecting out of control spending makes me an obstructionist, than I wear that badge proudly. If I had even a glimmer of confidence Congress would spend new revenues responsibly and wisely then I would be all for asking for higher taxes. I really believe, however, that Congress has not broken its addiction to mindless Pork and new tax money would be dillied, dallied, and dawdled away... leaving us deeper in the hole and with less oppurtunity for further new revenue.

    The only way out our financial CRISIS is to tighten the purse strings.

    October 27, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
  9. J.V.Hodgson

    The trigger has defense cuts. Why are these nowhere in either Plan?
    I am confused, its time to end the Trillion $ war(s) which would be the cost over the next 10 years ; please!?
    Put some (1/2) defense research expenditure Into alternative energy and infrastructure, that really does create jobs and a future, warring does not. And so called terrorists have less reason to attack us!!
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    October 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  10. dmf0786

    The CNN 's news story is is a great message from a divided House that : " A group of about 100 House members, almost evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans is circulating a letter they plan to release next week that urges the panel to aim for a large deficit reduction deal on the order of $4 trillion. In the back drop of a recent poll showing Congress 's approval at only 9 % . There would be a few obstructionists in the Congress , and there is huge pressure to beat the clock set for Thanksgiving day deadline , for an agreement in the Congress' select supper committee for deficit – debt reductions . Their proposals should help alleviate concerns of both the rating agencies expectations and /or the U. S. economy 's future requirements , i. e. , for a robust deficit reduction plan . The Congress due to worsening economy and prolonged economic uncertainty , should consider with : a) an additional reduction of $3. 5 to $4.0 trillion for a 10 to 12 year period , b) help create a huge jobs creation program , c) including consumers' confidence in tougher business climate and d) rigorous government regulations corrective measures . The spending cuts for the next few years alone would not help , unless higher taxes are also added to balance the budget , in later years of the deficit – debt reduction bill . These corrective actions would help the economic growth , and in an upgrade of the U. S. debt rating . This provides huge challenge for the Congress , the economy , and prosperity in the future of the 46 million poor , and 99 percent of those in middle class . This on going worsening of U. S. economy , and other problems in the aftermath of economic recession , should now be addressed by the Congress , sooner than later , after 2012 presidential elections . That should not be acceptable.

    October 27, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  11. lil Linz

    I know what would solve all our debt problems. Pay the president, vice president, congressmen, all of them making these decisions what an avgerage American makes. Then take all the money that they would otherwise make n pay off our national debt with it. Then when the average American starts making more then they will get a raise. If that rule was inforced then the government would have people that actually cared running it.

    October 27, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
    • Arthur

      Yup, pay them the same as unemployment insurance...........that will change their tune.

      October 29, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  12. Trumpy

    Obama is creating on behalf of the banks and corporations a climate of fear and terror. Americans in the coming years will have the opportunity to experience what it's like to live under a US proxy authoritarian regime like Pinochet’s Chile, or post-Arbenz Guatalama, or present day Honduras, or Somoza’s Nicaragua. You know the litany. And if you don’t by now, you’re probably too stupid or too cowed to learn and you deserve what’s coming.

    October 27, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • dan in albuquerque

      I think the topic is the supercommittee Republicans again blocking any sort of compromise. So, watch for a do-nothing committee to cause a bigger crisis than the GOP-created debt downgrade when they fail to do what most Anericans want: cut spending and raise revenue through taxes on the rich.

      October 28, 2011 at 2:14 am |
  13. Leo

    The scariest thing about this whole super committee nonsense is that instead of the whole government screwing things up, now we have 12 disciples that are making the decisions. Doesn't sound right to me. That's why we elected all the rest of the idiots on Capital Hill. Lets not move to a Nazi type government with a few in control.

    October 27, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • Eddie

      It is a simple matter of math. It would be easyer for 12 to come up with a answer then the congress. It is like trying to get the whole country to agree on one bill not happening.

      October 28, 2011 at 8:58 am |
  14. Ike7

    We all need to pay more in taxes and expect less from government. The nation is 14.9 trillion in debt and we paid 452 billion dollars in interest alone this past FY.
    Our nation needs leadership.

    October 27, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  15. Wyobob

    WOW, a nurse and afirefighter are making more than a million dollars a year. Where do they work?
    Sounds like the republican plan is corporate communism, or the feudal system of the middle ages.

    October 27, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  16. Malcolm

    It is not too much to ask the American people to pay for two wars that were never funded and–right or wrong–the bill needs to be paid. Not asking us to sacrifice–while military members and families carry the entire burden–is wrong, wrong, and wrong. Ask us.

    October 27, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  17. Ryan from Madtown

    I don't know how any of you can plan to vote for these republicans again. They are all so obviously working against the American people and refuse to compromise. YOU HAVE TO COMPROMISE. And I'm a conservative. I want to cut A LOT of spending but I'm also realistic enough to know that you can't squeeze blood out of a stone. The statistics show that all the money has been syphoned to the top over the last 30 years. I don't like Obama but Boehner, McConnell and Cantor are paid off traitors unwilling to do what needs to be done because they want Obama to look bad. Pathetic and treasonous.

    October 27, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • J.V.Hodgson

      You are 100 % correct .There has to be compromise, in effect that means to avoid a further debt downgrade and to make the in roads necessary into debt levels you have to combine incomeTax increases, and withdrawal of tax subsidies with spending cuts. All of which are necessary.
      One without the other for sure gets those opposing pushed out of office in 2012.
      The worst part of this debate is it takes the eye of the most important ball of getting the AJA passed. So how about this great funding compromise of AJA 50 % from benefits and 50 % from income tax increases or better still withdrawal of tax subsidies.
      We might then have lower unemployment next year and growing consumer led demand growth the latter being 60 % of GDP.
      Regards,
      Hodgson.

      October 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
  18. Alex

    Relax, it is all kabuki. There is no intention of an agreement. So automatic across the board spending cuts will be triggered. As they have no legal method of binding the next congress to these cuts, this is all the magician's assistant. But she is a lot better looking.

    October 27, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  19. Griff

    "The Arab Spring (as you keep medntioning) is just across the Med from Europe, and the USA only have Brazil and Mexico!! Who want to invade the USA

    October 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  20. Griff

    "What it means in Europe is :::: Investors went there, and left the USA!!!

    October 27, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  21. The Real Deal

    The finger pointing is absurd. $14 trillion of debt (and climbing) and $1.5 trillion annual deficits. What do both GOP and DEMS propose....tiny, insignificant cuts that actually increase our debt and barely put a dent in the deficits, OR simply taxing the "evil" rich. Guess what? You'd have to destroy the entire upper class (aka, achievers/producers) and completely slash entitlements, gov departments, etc. Bottom line....only a matter of time before the US collapses. We are in huge trouble.

    October 27, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Ed103

      Concur. The two political parties are now far to the right and left. Compromise that would benefit the country is probably not possible. I have to admit though it is partially my fault. We (myself included) elect far too many politicians based soley on whom shoves the most TV commercials down our throats. Then we wonder why the elected officals don't answer to us; they answer to the entities that paid for their TV commercials. Those TV commercials are paid for by PAC's and other small, but vocal, groups. Basically small minorities of our country run it. I am going to make an effort in the upcoming elect years to put a bit more into my choices. [Frankly I don't think politicians should govern our country; our neighbors should.]

      October 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • RIghtknight

      You are 100% spot on. Amazing that in the U.S. we re-elect the same politicians over and over again, The same folks who got us into this mess... and now we ask them to figure a way out of it. Fish don't ski and bears don't fly yet we ask these "birds" to fix things they voted on years ago without ever considering the costs. They need to be fired not reassigned and certainly not re-elected.

      October 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
      • Mechello

        Don't forget Mitt Romney is one of them too.

        October 31, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  22. Paul

    I know saying this will mean being treated as a nutcase or worse, but I'm not sorry: I am praying that this supercommittee will fail, and fail completely. Voting America needs to wake up to the fact that our politcal system is broken beyond repair, and that our government is a perverse system of smoke and mirrors, half-truths, and broken promises. Our governmental and political systems need to change, and soon. Just know this: there are a lot of people in this country who would join the Occupy movement if they could afford to do so, and if all of those who cannot attend (like me) did attend, Occupy would be on the Capitol and White House lawns.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Paganguy

      We should start with the Pentagon and the war-mongers. Cut the military budget in half, send the generals to pasture and tear down the outer ring of the Pentagon to reduce the burocracy for ever.

      October 27, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  23. Jim Thomas

    People of the USA.,get your head out of your butts,our gov is totally shafting us.If they would quit spending money stupidily we would not have the problems we have.They take S.S. and Medicare then we take all of their benefits away from them that they donot deserve anyway.It is time to take our country back from crooked politicans and CEO's and anybody else that is like them Jim Thomas Phx. Az.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  24. Bill

    Americans have demanded that congress COMPROMISE and BALANCE again and again, yet GOP lawmakers continue to stick to a rigid ideology promoted by the extreme right and their corporate backers. It's now painfully obvious that the Tea Party is an astroturf organization and conservatives will destroy the economy in order to win back the White House. Once again... POLITICS BEFORE PEOPLE.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  25. Paul

    He won't get any credit from any Republican but Obama's insisting on automatic triggers (during set up of super committee) was pure genius. He knew that they probably would not agree so the automatic trigger will reduce the debt much more than even the Republicans plan. Now, if we could only have an automatic trigger for those at the top that are not paying their fair share.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • Joe

      Standard liberal misinformation right there Paul. How about the 47% of Americans who pay nothing into the system??? How about the companies like GE who cuddle up to Obama and make 14 Billion over all of which 5 billion was made in the US and pay nothing.... How about Warren Buffet who uses loop holes to lower his tax rate. Fair is when everyone pays, not just the so called rich.

      October 27, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Mark James

      All this talk about those at the top not paying their fair share and there is absolutely NO DISCUSSION taking place about all those at the bottom that are also not paying their fair share. What we need is a taxation system that taxes all individuals at the same rate, no deductions, and ALL income is taxed. Additionally, ALL businesses must pay the same tax rate and more if they take or have jobs and/or money out of the USA. In fact, American business should be rewarded for bringing American jobs back to the USA. Strongly incentivize American business to hiring American workers to reduce the unemployment rate in this country.

      October 27, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  26. Christopher

    I think the takeaway is that Democrats are offering cuts. And are meeting in the middle. Republicans just philosophically can't compromise. Their view is the government must shrink no matter what. Much like the middle east peace process, you can't negotiate a solution until you have a partner willing to negotiate. I think essentially this question of whether the difference should be split and the rich pay more in taxes or the government will be forced to shrink will go to the voters int eh next election.It will be close but I do not think the Republicans will fare well at all. Mostly because they lack any other solution than cut government and I don;t think most people want it cut as much as they do.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  27. Dave

    With the report out yesterday that the wealthy have gotten richer dramtically since 1979, I don't see how Repubs can keep saying that raising their taxes is a non-starter. With that attitude then the committee will absolutely fail.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Paganguy

      Can you spell lackey?

      October 27, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  28. David Huffine

    Just when we get some positive news out of Europe (whether it's a mirage remains to be seen...), and a resulting positive upsurge in the markets...we are now hearing and seeing stories that reflect continuing gridlock within the Super Committee. As with Congress as a hold, the Committee's apparent ideological posturing takes precedence over necessary compromise on behalf of the country. If this dysfunction continues, the markets will lose traction once again, unemployment will remain high and confidence in the economy will remain as elusive as ever...is there no end to this nonsense..?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  29. Mark

    The super committee isn't actually doing anything other than trying to figure out how to steal the last dollars left in the treasury and line up a few new allies after the election.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  30. John

    This "Super Committee" is unconstitutional and is a FARCE.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  31. 66Biker

    I can't help but wonder if the members of Congress have seen the latest AARP commercial on TV that says there are 50 million Senior Citizens who paid taxes all of their lives and are now on Social Security and Medicare. They suggest that before Congress votes to cut their Social Security and Medicare benefits that they remember that all those Seniors will be voting in the next election. But they neglected to mention of course, that there's a lot of other people who are related to all those Seniors who will be voting in the next election as well. And that quite possibly could add up to a lost more than 50 million votes they stand to lose if they don't start doing what they were elected to do. In any case, it's something for them to think about. We voted them in, we can just as easily vote them OUT.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  32. a

    "If that doesn’t happen, across the board budget cuts would be triggered, including domestic and Pentagon spending." Let the draconian cuts be unleashed! We can not afford not to pay down our national debt. Pass constitutional amendments abolishing all tax breaks, allowing a President line item veto, and making corporate campaign contributions illegal.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  33. Don Fowler

    No tax increases. Our government is already overspending on every front. Cut the entitlement, cut military spending, give the power back to the states.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • programmergirl

      I disagree. The rich have had it their way for far too long. The inequity between the rich and middle class incomes is unacceptable and unsustainable. By paying higher taxes, the rich can help to pay down the debt while paying their fair share.

      I do agree that military spending could be cut. We still have 70,000 troops stationed in Japan and South Korea alone. They could be brought home and save us significant money. (OR insist that Japan and South Korea pay for these services).

      In regards to "entitlements", exactly to which entitlements are you referring? Welfare for illegals, yes, cut it. But if you are talking about Social Security and Medicare, then it is flat our wrong. These are NOT "entitlements", which mean you get something for nothing. I have paid Social Security and Medicare taxes ALL MY LIFE. These are not "freebies"! There are a whole lot of other items that could be cut (foreign aid to countries that hate us, for example) instead of these programs. And my other comment is this: If you insist on eliminating SS and Medicare, that's fine .... so long as you pay me back EVERY SINGLE PENNY I've ever paid into the system. Otherwise, that is MY dough and keep your mitts off of it!!!

      October 27, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  34. Dave

    Just another day at the office for the GOP – doing all they can to make sure the economy does not recover so the President can be blamed come election time.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  35. Raxtich

    I see Democrats making proposal after proposal, and Republicans simply sitting back and saying NO! Where are the Republican proposals?

    October 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  36. coder

    like 99% of the committees ever formed by politicians in office – this one will produce very little

    October 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  37. Tony

    Democrats with bad ideas SHOULD be met with obstruction. When will Americans wake up to the notion that objecting to crap is a GOOD THING? Actually, I think this is currently occurring...... Obama had to "invite" every democratic congressman to the Oval Office, many of whom he had to strong arm to agree with his unconstitutional whim masquerading as national healthcare; this without ONE vote from the opposition. Why? Even those in his party knew it was going to come back to haunt them (please see November 2010 elections). When was the last time you can recall a law as permeating to every sector of American society passing without at least one vote of support from the opposing side? The answer is NEVER. The democrats are learning the hard way now and will soon learn more in November 2012. Save America: OBJECT TO CRAP from Democrats.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Mike

      Evidently you have a short memory or you are not a student of history. The last time this same thing happened was the Clinton tax increase of 1993. Every single Republican voted no. They said like now that it was going to negatively impact the ecomony. That tax hike did impact everyone. All that tax hike did was to setup a strong economy that handed George W (w for worst president ever) Bush a budget surplus when he was selected President by the Surpreme Court. Republicans were WRONG then and they are WRONG now.

      October 27, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • brat

      cut all the so called crap from the so called repubs too their crap is gonna back fire on them big time!!! i hope!! ha ha ha

      October 27, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  38. cal usa

    The TP mantra of no-compromise has taken over the Republican party. It would appear that the country cannot be governed except through a dictatorship of the right or the left. Fortunately, we can settle this using the democratic (small d) system next year. At last count, I believe the folks who favor raising taxes on the upper brackest outnumber the others by more than 2 to 1. If enough of them show up at the polls this time (as opposed to 2010) it will be easy.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  39. rob

    Hey Wolf, can you produce a piece of paper with Obam's "proposals" that you site? There was never a PROPOSAL, it was Obama saying what he had on the table during the talks with Boehner. Obama never intended to go forward with these cuts because as Boehner said when the deal was reached, the President added an extra $800 billion in tax increases at the last moment that he knew would scuttle the deal. Look it up for your selves. The 1.2 trillion in taxes being proposed by the Dems is immediate and permenant while the 1.8 trillion in "Cuts" is illusory and will probably never happen. It is the usual trap set by the dems.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  40. ellis

    I say have no election until they stop playing games
    It seems all they want to do is make the other team look bad. So I say lock them in a room until they come up with something that work and until they do strip them of there salary all of them

    October 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  41. maggie

    I'm a nurse and my husband is a firefighter. That makes us "rich" by the democrat definition. If the dems keep insisting on tax increases when they know that the Republicans and the (rich) people won't accept them, who's doing the obstructing? It's time the "Gimme Group" stops occupying Wall Street and starts producing something!

    October 27, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • MikefromWV

      First of all, if a nurse and a firefighter are making more than 250k, then I commend you and envy you your jobs. Second, the makeup of those in OWS movement, are across the board - doctors, lawyers, nurses, firefighters, police officers, the young and the old - everyone is represented. And not just in New York, but all across America and around the globe. There are those who presently contribute, those who contributed in years past, and those who hope to be able to contribute in the future. But it is obvious that you are one of those people who would refuse to see the truths in what they are trying to convey through their protests, not matter what facts would be placed in front of you. I feel sorry for you.

      October 27, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • GMB

      Them Dems are trying to raise taxes on those making $1M a year or more. Are you saying that a firefighter and nurse make more than $1M a year?

      If the GOP wants massive cuts, they will have to give on some tax increases. The GOP compromise seems to be give me everyting we want and in return we'll give you nothing. Some might call this no compromise.

      October 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • wgf

      Really ? You as a nurse, and your husband as a fire fiighter, have a combined income of more than a million dollars a year ? Because that is the current definition of rich with regard to tax increases. If not, then you're just sucumbing to Fox News propaganda and Republican lies.

      October 27, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  42. Matt

    I know we probably aren't getting the whole story, but it appears to me that the Dems are at least trying to take some steps toward the GOP offering to make cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security but the GOP refuses to budge whatsoever on tax increases. Seems ridiculous when polls show that most Americans support some sort of increasing taxes. This is not going anywhere unless there's compromise, and from what this seems to say, the GOP refuses to take any part and would rather scream and whine in the corner.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  43. Kimo

    Obviously the GOP would rather see the middle class go out of existence than to see the rapid increase in wealth of the top 1% level off. Look at any chart of personal wealth and the separation between the rich and everyone else has been escalating since the late 1970s and is as great as it has been since the days of the robber barons. I'm happy to see anyone do well but not at the expense of everyone else and that is just what is happening.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  44. maggie

    If the Dems keep insisting on tax increases on the "rich" and Republicans keep insisting on no tax increases, trhen

    October 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  45. RickN

    If the republicans will never be willing to raise taxes of any type on any one, then the dems shouldn't even bother to meet with them anymore. The repubs are saying our way or no way. There's no comprimising with them. They see that as weakness. The dems should walk away and we should all make preparations for very hard economic times to follow (except on the rich of course).

    October 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • GMB

      Your statement is not accurate. The GOP, via flat tax are all too happy to increase taxes on lower and middle class famlies while giving the wealty and even bigger tax break.

      October 27, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
  46. Joe M.

    If the article actually mentioned WHEN those cuts to entitlements would take place, you would see why no deal has been reached. Pretending that proposals to cut entitlements in 2020 will actually come to pass while at the same time demanding immediate tax increases is a ridiculous proposal that, if reported on truthfully and completely, would be obvious to everyone.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  47. Kathleen

    If the Republicans continue to say 'no' to raising taxes on the rich, there will never be an agreement. It is obvious that the Republicans will sacrifice the middle class, regardless of how much they are suffering. They want power and control of America and will stop at nothing to acquire it.......nothing!

    October 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
  48. Steve

    Apparently the Republicans are either so totally controlled by the wealthy or they are so confident that the non-wealthy Republicans and Independents won't notice or care that without some tax increase on the wealthy, ALL the deficit-cutting measures will hit the lower and middle class. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, student loans...none of these cause even an eyelash to flutter among the wealthy. Obviously they don't care whether we have those programs at all. But for the non-wealthy to be saying in essence, "yea, we'll take less money in Social Security, and yea we'll pay more for medical care when we are older and retired, and yea we'll forgo college educations for our children if we have to just to be sure the wealthy aren't touched by any of this. So you see, I'm confused about who is actually advocating class warfare and who is asking that the pain be borne by all income groups.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  49. Ejisme1

    Gail – I dont' think it is just the GOP that is th problem, though their "No new taxes" rant is unreasonable and obstructive. Just as obstructive is some of the Democrats opposition to any reforms to entitlement programs. Hopefully these statements are their "for public" consumption statements and behind closed doors the committee will see the light and compromise. That's a big hope, but in the short term that's all we've got. In the long term maybe it really is time to vote out the old dogs from both parties!!!

    October 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  50. D

    I realize the system is broken but they will have a really hard time explaining to the millions of Americans who put trillions of dollars into social security over the years that they won't be getting what they were promised year in, year out on the SS statements. My guess is that one is a non starter for either party.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  51. wes

    Dear Repbublican Congress,

    Compromise does not mean getting only what you want!!. Start compromising on the tax increases a majority of Americans favor and quit cowtowing to your extremest tea party factions. You were elected to get things done. All you are doing is obstructing in order to make Obama a one termer. This makes you bad for america and a disgrace.

    Dear Americans public,
    If this republican congress continues to obstruct and refuse to compromise let them know at the ballot box next election
    what we think that is doing to our ecomony. Only through a combination of tax increases on the obsenely wealthy and cuts in entitlements will solve our economic crisis. We can not operate only on one side of the equation.. How stupid to you take us for.......................I dare to ask...

    October 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  52. Bob

    Well they are to CUT... what part of raising taxes = Cut ?? I totally agree with the Republicans... CUT CUT CUT... then and ONLY then after the CUTS really happpen maybe raise taxes..

    October 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  53. Craig

    Our system of government requires compromise to function and yet Republicans insist on fidelity to Grover Norquist. Expert consensus affirms that the problem cannot be solved by cuts alone. We need big cuts, reforms and increased revenue. The American public overwhelmingly supports a "balanced approach". Republican purism, obstructionism and intransigence will only serve to exacerbate the current problems and harm us all. But we are watching, and there will be a reckoning in November when we throw these do nothing obstructionist out. Good riddance.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  54. John/kc

    Obviously it is the republicans that won't give an inch on these talks. If the republicans won't give on the tax increases for the rich, then the talks are doomed, because the democrats better not give away the farm without getting an equal amount of tax increases from republicans. After the next election, the republicans won't be in control of any House of Congress anyway. People are fed up with their obstructionist tactics.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  55. howard

    Republicans continue to protect the interest of the very rich at the expense of the overwhelming majority of Americans. They know that the richest Americans have more than weathered these difficult times...they have actually gotten richer, while regular Americans have suffered. The greatest danger our economy faces is the increasing concentration of wealth and yet Republican policies seem committed to that end. I was a Republican but not any more and doubtful ever again. They are the party of the fat cats and those who are mislead by them.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  56. paul rankin

    Sadly, the Dem's broke silence and made a unilateral proposal that "leaked" to the press. Way to go, Dems. And, as usual, CNN reporters failed to dig and note that the tax proposal is supplemental to a scheduled $1.2 trillion tax increase due to take effect next year. (Oh, yeah, right; forgot about that.) Maybe THAT'S why the Republicans want nothing to do with this politically motivated "offer."

    October 27, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  57. Tom

    It would help if Dems would learn how to cut spending instead of always finding ways to increase it. Cutting $1.8 trillion (3 – 1.2) over 10 years is chicken feed (the nicest thing to call it.) It's idiotic to talk about "cuts" on one hand, and yet try to slip in a tax increase of nearly 50% of the cuts on the other. Only in DC. But face it, this is not really a Dem/Repub problem. This is an "incumbent" problem.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  58. bartonfunk

    STOP this about "congress" can't compromise or the congress is dysfunctional. It is 100% the GOP and other corporate politicians that will not give our country back to the people. The Dems here already agreed to things that the GOP wants – medicare/medicaid cuts. The GOP simply wants to help corporations steal more of Americas wealth and tax the middle class more.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  59. Syl

    The Dems have to stand their ground here and take care of Americans.. If they do not, all hell will break loose.. Baby boomers will rebel as will x and y gens BIG TIME>> Let them deliver the taxes due this country fomr the super rich instead of taking it out of the hide of the American middle class and indigent.. CRUEL,. I cannot help but think of my poor mother who without medicaid would have died in a terrible state.. God save us from this lousy and sinful Congress.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  60. Dr. Curt Schmidt

    No agreement will be acceptable without an increase in taxes on the top 1%

    No agreement on the debt/deficit will be acceptable without an increase in taxes on the top 1%
    - to put it bluntly, I would rather that the United States cease to exist, than to have reductions
    in the debt or deficit that do not include tax increases on the wealthiest Americans.

    Is that clear enough?

    October 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  61. No

    I don't want tax hikes, so good on the GOP :)

    Dems don't get it, so they keep getting blocked. Cry me a river...

    October 27, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  62. Keith

    I have zero confidence that this 'super' committee or congress has the intellect, integrity or will to present a fair and balanced deficit reduction plan. Once the 'super' committee punts, congress will begin to find a way to defuse the ticking bomb of mandatory cuts that were supposed to motivate the 'super' committee to find a solution. Sen. McCain has already hinted at such scheme. Come late December, with no deficit reduction plan in sight, congress anxious to go home and party the holidays away, I will bet lunch that the whole concept of automatic budget cuts will be repealed. And, it will happen in the middle of the night, with as little publicity as can be arranged.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
  63. Henry Miller

    "That package included about $1.2 trillion in tax increases – a nonstarter as far as the Republicans are concerned."

    It's also a non-starter for the 64% of the American electorate who say that "the government has too much power and money" (Rasmussen, yesterday). It's a non-starter for the 78% of the American electorate who agree that the federal government does not "spend taxpayer’s money wisely and fairly."

    Governments might be greedy and get away with it if peoples' lives are noticibly improved by what government does. Governments might be incompetent and get away with it if peoples' lives aren't hurt by taxes or by what they screw up. But no government can get away with being both greedy and incompetent, hurting people with outrageous taxation while simltaneously hurting them outrageous legislation.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  64. macdaddie

    Seems clear to me the Dem's (and President Obama) are willing to make compromises but the Reps won't budge. What party again is the do-nothing portion of Congress???

    October 27, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  65. Jimi

    What part of SAVINGS NOT TAXES don't the Democratds on that committee understand?

    October 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  66. Bill

    They should have set it up as, Democrats pick six Republicans and the Republicans pick six Democrats, so you end up with 12 moderates, not ideologues.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  67. Adam

    Gloom is definitely in order. The Republicans will not accept any deal that includes any increase in revenue; the Democrats will not accept any deal that cuts benefits without some increase in revenue.

    With positions that entrenched, there's really very little hope for a compromise here.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  68. sidneyhop

    The super committee's ONLY agenda:

    Wait until the VERY LAST MINUTE to maximize panic, fear, uncertainty, and then pass a plan thats LITERALLY been penned by the corporations to benefit ONLY the corporations and ANNIHILATE the middle class. Business as usual!

    October 27, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  69. b0bc4t

    It would be nice to know what was in the proposal, beside stating there was tax increases, so the Republican's panned it. They did this with the Health Care Bill ..... pass this so we can see what's in it .... It's not Cracker Jacks with a surprise inside, it is serious legislation with far reaching effects. Republicans SHOULD accept that there will be revenues needed along with spending cuts, but the whole idea of this committee was to get to someplace that had bi-partisan support. We need Congress to play nice with one another, instead of playing with themselves ..... tick tick tick

    October 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  70. Mike.

    The only budget "compromise" the GOP will ever accept in one that benefits the wealthy and penalizes the middle class and poor.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  71. Henry

    It will backfire on the GOP if they just say 'no' to everything this time. They at least need to make a proposal of their own.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  72. volksmaniac

    First of all , this article is not about Congress . It's about the 12 congressmen that were put in place to take the place of all congressmen , thereby , negating my states' representatives . My State now has zero input on the steps being planned to fix our economic problems , and I have zero representation in Congress .
    Secondly , in case you don't realize it , it was Harry Reid (D) who would not allow the vote on the jobs bill that the President proposed . So , calling the Republicans obstructionists is disingenuous .
    Finally , politicians from both parties have said that raising taxes at this time is a bad idea , including Bill Clinton .

    October 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  73. AndyG

    Democrats are willing to compromise on something unpalatable to them – spending cuts. The GOP is not willing to compromise on something unpalatable to them – tax increases. It is your job, Wolf, as a journalist to make clear that one side is compromising and the other side is not. Don't talk about "deadlock" unless you make it clear that one side is responsible.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  74. mm

    Did the republicans of the committee come up with any plan?

    October 27, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  75. Frank

    This committee is supposed to represent the American people. They drafted a bunch of clowns with special interests $$ in their back pocket. A group of common citizens could do a better job. Let's pull a group of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents together and really come up with a plan!

    October 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  76. dave

    America needs to wake up and DO something . A start would be to fire everyone in congress and elect new members. I think this would send a message to Washington to get along together and solve the issues or we're going to get someone who will.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  77. us1776

    The problem is all the TEA-idiots. They signed pledges to stupid Norquist, Mr. Anti-Revenue.

    The GOP goes and spends $11.5 Trillion on their stupid wars-for-profit over the past 30 years and puts the entire bill for these wars on the US credit card which means it is part of the national debt.

    And at the same time as conducting these wars, the GOP goes and gives their rich cronies huge tax cuts which decimates revenues to the government thereby creating huge deficits.

    Did these idiot GOPers never even take Economics 101?

    Our government requires revenues to operate. Hard fact.
    The governments only source of revenues is taxes. Hard fact.
    The only way to pay off all this massive war spending is through tax revenues. Hard fact.

    Therefore we need to get tax revenues off the bottom so that we can begin to repay all this war debt.
    Americas tax rates are the lowest they've ever been.

    And unless the GOP has some type of magic war-debt paying wand then raising tax rates is the only way that this war-debt is ever going to get paid off.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  78. GOP = Greed Over People

    Sorry, but our type of government is broke, there was never a chance in Hell that this "super committee" would come up with anything.

    They should have skipped all this theater drama and gone directly to the mandatory cuts.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  79. Otis

    The situation can't be fixed. Even if you do find $1 trillion in spending cuts, the budget still isn't balanced because we're on the hook for $600 billion. How can you go beyond $1.6 trillion anyhow? We take in $2.1 trillion and spend $3.7 trillion. The difference, in my math, is $1.6 trillion that needs to be cut. If Republicans won't raise taxes, then you either have to borrow more money from foreign investors (won't happen that easily) or else the Fed has to start printing more money (QE3, anyone?) and if that happens, welcome back to the beginning of inflation like it was in the 1970s within 18 months.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  80. Thomas

    What do the republicans plan do give up in this negotiation? I have not hear a lot about this.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  81. Chuck in Jasper, Ga

    Republicans will never compromise to make things fair and equitable. How anybody can think otherwise is ridiculous Wolf. There was no doubt in my mind at all when this Super-Committee crap first came out that the end result would be across the board cuts. I am fine with that because it is the ONLY way the Defense budget will ever be cut while Republicans are running the carousel.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  82. Cajun_Dude

    The GOP is pathetic at this point. Literally every one of them has signed a prenup with Norquist and are as afraid of the Tea Party as the Germans were of the Brownshirts before WWI. They have tried to relabel everything to mislead the electorate and they have been somewhat successful in that part.
    Millionaires are "Job Providers"
    Corporations are just "Mom and Pop Operations"
    Got Cancer? Should have thought of that and saved up a few hundred thousand.
    Fix the National Debt by cutting taxes (!)
    When Tunisia, Libya and Egypt demostrated, it was "The Arab Spring".
    When Americans do it in Occupy Wall Street, its just a mob by Eric Cantor's opinion.
    When all GOP candidates were asked if the Democrats cut spending by $10 for every $1 of tax increase, it was just Socialism.
    The Republicans basic philosophy is that we can spur the economy by giving large tax breaks to the wealthiest millionaires and billionaires with the thought that there would naturally result in more crumbs under the table for the wretched poor.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  83. John

    If the Republicans (and apparently the Democrats too) want to destroy social security, have at it!! Just make sure to send me a refund for 100% of the funds I have contributed over the last 25 years of my working life!!!!! I am SO sick of the middle-class having to pay the price on every issue.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  84. Katty

    This committee could have been a good idea but was doomed from the minute the committee members were announced which tells me Obama never was serious about change and spending reduction.
    Can anyone imagine John Kerry being smart in financial affairs let alone be willing to work with Republicans. Nancy Pelosi and Obama are going to get exactly what they deserve – nothing.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  85. Rich

    If you look at the plan it is a 3 trillion dollar decrease in spending but only if they get 1.2 trillion in tax revenue from the wealthy. Why not just reduce the deficit and leave it at that?

    The democrats want more money to spend. If that was not the case then why not just reduce the deficit by the 3 trillion dollars? If you ask for more money that means you want more money to spend. They do not say they will take that 1.2 trillion dollars and pay the deficit with it because that is not their intent. They want that money for other purposes.

    The bottom line is we are broke. If you have to borrow money to keep the government open then you are broke. There is no more money. Each nickel you take from the wealthy is a nickel not spent on job creation. The government has no right to take money from people because they are successful. That is a punishment. The wealthy can afford to leave and take their money and businesses with them. The poor can not. The middle class can not afford to loose anymore businesses. That means more unemployment.

    The way to lower the deficit the fastest is to stop spending. Plain and simple. People left England and came to America to escape the high price of taxation. They will leave America for the same reason and then America will have nothing to tax. History has a way of repeating itself. Especially when left in the hands of fools.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  86. rob

    If no matter what comes from this "super committee" is not going to be agreeable to the their parties, then no matter what they do history and the people will view them as failures to reach compromise. Why not shut the flaps of both parties and just mesh the two, increases in taxes with cuts in entitlements, and let the blame of failure fall the other members of congress for not supporting it. At least this way both sides of this "super committee" get what they want in some form and the members can say "we did it".

    October 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  87. chill

    I'm having trouble remembering a single thing the Republicans in this Congress have budged on or compromised for. It's pretty clear now that their plan is to cross their arms and refuse to look at additional revenues, forcing the Committee to fail. Then they will renege on their $1.2B cut to defence spending and try to blame the Dems for weakening our military. Pretty obvious really. They are counting on gaining the Senate and Presidency next year and then reversing the military-industrial cuts while whacking the middle class and poor again in their ongoing class warfare.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  88. Debra Chamberlin

    No matter what – one side or the other will not like what the other has proposed. That's a given. The purpose is to get the cuts in to add up to 1.2 Trillion. If there was going to be a likeable solution to this we would not need the committee in the first place.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  89. not in the top 1%

    They oppose any tax hikes and have made it clear during the past 24 hours that they reject this latest Democratic offer.

    This was the GOP position months ago. There will be no agreement because the GOP will say NO to anything except a plan that includes only cuts. This isn't news.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  90. barb

    Interesting blog; yesterday you seemed to chastise the Democrats for putting forth a package that includes tax/revenue increases because Republicans would refuse to consider it. So even though poll after poll shows voters support raising taxes, we're supposed to disregard that in order to placate the Republicans?

    October 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  91. ray

    What are they doing? This committee was to work together to present a savings package for the good of the country. Instead all we have is a mini Congrees of half Dems and half Repubs pushing their own agenda. Maybe the system really is broke !

    October 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Dave

      Sadly, this is exactly what Kieth Olberman said would happen when the bill creating the super committee was signed into law. Expect an even split between the two parties and automatic budget cuts to be put into place. Why? The parties are too cowardly to do those cuts themselves so they had to make it appear like there was alternate deliberation, and THAT failed, so the parties escape blame. A level of cynicism that has never been seen before in America.

      October 27, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Divided we fall

      Actually it looks like the Dems are offering to give ground on entitlement programs. (Hardly pushing their own agenda.)

      Sadly the Repubs are just too entrenched to work with them.

      Even worse, budget cuts aren't the issue we need to be focused on right now. Budget cuts = people getting fired. We need to be focusing on jobs right now.

      October 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Mike

      Did it not say that the Dems are offering cuts in Medicare? To be fair by increasing the tax on the wealthiest. At least the Dems are trying, the Repubs are not.

      October 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • InVT

      Basically, it is working exactly as the Republicans hoped. They will stonewall everything until it fails, the mandated cuts for the military will get pushed off as 'detrimental to America', and the entire problem will be balanced on the backs of the middle and lower class, with no tax increase on the upper 1%.
      Remember, it is massive tax cuts if you are rich, and massive service/pay cuts if you are not. "Shared Sacrifice" by Republican reckoning.

      October 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Curt

      Ray - If you read the article, and especially if you paid close attention over the past few months, you'd realize that many Democrats, including Obama, have been willing to compromise by making concessions on Social Security and Medicare, much to the chagrin of their political base. Having negotiated in good faith, Democrats expected the same from Republicans, that Republicans would also make some concessions. While the Democrats have adopted a more pragmatic approach to these ongoing discussions, many Republicans have held fast to an ideological anchor. Proceeding from the premise that they are indisputably right, Republicans have taken the position that unilateral Democratic concessions are the only path to agreement on deficit reduction.

      October 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  92. Gail

    So. Isn't it time to stop saying Congress is gridloked and admit it is the GOP obstruction that is the problem?

    October 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • sidneyhop

      The reason they cant agree is the republicans are COMPLETELY bought by the corporations, and the democrats are ALMOST completely bought.

      October 27, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • chris

      Couldn't you say the same about the Democrats as obstructionists? If they weren't insisting on further taxing the rich, we wouldn't have a problem?

      October 27, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
      • AndyG

        Take a step back:

        The Democrats want to raise taxes on the rich as you correctly say. However, they are also proposing $3 trillion in spending cuts. At the risk of stating the obvious, they are asking for something (tax increases) and are willing to give something in return (spending cuts). This is a compromise position.

        The Republicans want spending cuts, but are refusing to give anything up in exchange. This is not a compromise position.

        So who is being obstructionist again?

        October 27, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Jim in Washington

      You said it correctly. A Republican's job is to protect the 1%. Many believe that most Americans believe that a degree of tax increase is OK.. Pointless to talk with Republicans ever. Take it to the people in the general election.

      October 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Ellen

      Gail, you hit the nail on the head. I'm a bit tired of 100 or so Tea Party and ultra-Conservative obstructionists. It is a sad state of affairs. Corporate profits are off the charts and the GOP thinks they pay 70% of all taxes already....well I say if they can claim $41B in profit for a quarter they can pay 100% of the taxes. You're on the money, no gridlock, just GOP egos.

      October 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm |

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