As many pundits prepare to name the current Congress the “worst ever,” the Congressional budget supercommittee has spent its final hours discussing how to publicly admit its failure rather than how to reach a deficit-reduction compromise.
According to The Washington Post, members of the special deficit-reduction committee spent last weekend casting blame, pointing fingers and bracing for the reaction of its failure from financial markets.
Many supercommittee members spent Sunday making rounds on political talk shows to blame their colleagues on the other side of the aisle for the most recent failure and promising that the automatic spending cuts that will be implemented in 2013 will be monitored closely.
Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) accused Republicans of blocking progress by demanding that George W. Bush’s tax cuts remain in place and refusing to administer tax increases on wealthy Americans. Kerry said: “We didn’t come here to do another tax cut to the wealthiest people while we’re [asking] fixed-income seniors to ante up more, people on Medicaid who are poor to ante up more.”
Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona was among the Republicans who said Democrats risked throwing the economy back into a recession for just the opposite reason, using the supercommittee’s mandate to raise taxes on small businesses and other drivers of job creation.
“Our Democratic friends said we won’t cut one dollar more without raising taxes,” Kyl told CNN. “That tells you a lot about the ethos in Washington. We went into the exercise to try to reduce federal government spending. What we get from the other side is, no, we won’t make more cuts unless you raise taxes.”