What if the Super Committee Fails?

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When six members of each party came out from behind closed doors last week, it appeared their Super Committee was deadlocked over spending cuts and taxes. Both sides want to reduce the deficit, but the deadline is just over two weeks away. If the Super Committee fails to make $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction by Thanksgiving Day, automatic spending cuts will be triggered across the board. Safety-net programs for the very poor will be exempt, though nothing else will be, which has triggered a raging controversy over the Defense Department, which is already planning reductions as Iraq and Afghanistan wind down.  Pentagon supporters claim that further cuts would be "devastating." Will that ever be allowed to happen? Was the Super Committee designed to fail, so as to set up a fundamental debate for next year's Presidential campaign?




Warren Olney