I have a new columm up at e21 on the prospects for success of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction:
The problem is not that the two sides can’t put on the table broad budget parameters that look good on paper (although Republicans will never agree to the kind of tax hike the Democrats are now calling for). The problem is that everything breaks down when the negotiations go from broad and general to the specific….
By all accounts, the super committee has made no progress in conquering these large obstacles to a “grand bargain” on the budget.
That being the case, some in Congress are pushing for a smaller, more incremental deal from the committee, to demonstrate to the markets and the ratings agencies that the American political system isn’t entirely broken. Fine, if it can be done. But under no circumstances should a deal which merely tinkers around the edges and does not fundamentally reform the tax code and entitlement programs be billed as anything but a temporary Band-Aid.
In truth, what is really holding back the super committee is that it does not have a mandate from voters to do what needs to be done. That’s going to take another election, in 2012….
You can read the full column here.