As the "Super Committee" wraps up a second week of work towards meeting its November 23 deadline for voting on a deficit reduction plan, edicts on what they should and should not consider and what they can and cannot propose continue to fly from both sides of the political spectrum. House Majority Leader Boehner has declared no tax increase, President Obama’s new deficit plan to fund his jobs legislation makes it clear the entitlements are off limits, veto threats have been made, and many Members of Congress are individually pushing the 12 members of the Committee to support their favorite programs and spare them from cuts. The all or nothing approach taken by both sides has done nothing but make the work of the "Super Committee" that much harder and has eroded the likelihood of success. While all agree the deficit, the economy and jobs creation are issues that must be addressed, and addressed fast, there is once again a big road block ahead just like we saw in July with the Deficit Reduction Act.
Despite recent polls by the New York Times, Public Policy Polling, Rasmussen and many others showing that a majority of Americans support a balanced approach from Washington in these very tough economic times, leaders of both parties don’t seem to hear that message. They know they have a problem, they just can’t put aside instinct and work together to solve the problem.
If the Administration and Members of Congress – not just the 12 members of the "Super Committee" – put aside instinct and long held political positions and take a tough look at the problem, they may just find a solution that would lead the Committee to timely success. A number of bipartisan groups, including the Deficit Commission and the Gang of Six, have already taken extensive looks at the political tools available to address our nation’s ills and have presented what for the most part are balanced solutions that a majority of Americans say they want. While these solutions would certainly take some work, it could be very useful to the timely success of the " Super Committee", and for all those involved, to take a serious look at both the problem and the solutions already on hand. It might just lead to a proposal that works.