Thursday, November 17, 2011

Supercommittee deal unlikely

Deadlines for getting a deal on $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction from the supercommittee are rapidly approaching.  Most are saying members of the supercommittee must reach a handshake deal by Friday or Saturday so that legislation can be written by Monday to submit to the Congressional Budget Office for scoring, all to meet the Thanksgiving eve deadline to have a deal done.

Democrats appear willing to drop some of their demand for increased revenues (from $1 trillion to $800 billion) but Republicans are saying that their offer of $300 billion is a far as they are willing to go.

Expectation now is that the supercommitee may be able to agree upon just a few billion dollars in deficit reduction without increasing taxes or touching entitlements.  The exact amount the supercommittee could agree upon is unknown but expected to be around $600 billion.  That would leave $600 billion in defense and discretionary spending cuts through the sequester.

Another possibility is that the supercommitee will fail to reach any agreement.  In that case, there is talk about repealing the automatic cuts in Defense spending or maybe even repealing the automatic cuts altogether.  Since the spending cuts don’t kick in until January of 2013, Congress would have a year to repeal the cuts.

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