Reaction to the Supercommittee’s failure to reach agreement on spending cuts and revenue generation are hitting the mainstream media and the political blogs.
From the New York Times:
Speaking an hour after the talks failed, President Obama promised to veto any legislation that seeks to avoid the automatic cuts that negotiators agreed would go into effect if a deal is not reached by 2013. “There will be no easy off-ramps on this one,” Mr. Obama said, placing responsibility for the failed negotiations squarely on Republicans who he said have refused to compromise.
The president sounded sanguine as he talked about the failed talks, seeking to paint it as a case of Congressional representatives — mainly Republicans — who just refused to budge on tax increases for the wealthy.
“One way or another, we will be trimming the deficit by a total of at least $2.2 trillion,” Mr. Obama said, referring to the automatic cuts which that go into effect. He said the only question was whether the deficit would be trimmed with a “scalpel, not a hatchet.”
Earlier in the day the White House said that only Congress could have produced a solution, while Republican presidential candidates moved to frame the committee’s failure to meet its deadline as a lack of leadership by Mr. Obama.
Already some Republicans were saying Monday that they would try to spare the huge and automatic cuts to military spending that will be triggered eventually if Congress cannot agree on a deficit reduction plan.
If that Republican idea gained little traction among Democrats, neither were Republicans open to any revival of big increases in revenues as a solution.
Optimism was never high that the panel would succeed, and stock markets were down throughout the day.
Below, you’ll find reaction from Rep. Loretta Sanchez and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi.
The Sanchez Statement:
“I am deeply disappointed that the Super Committee failed to reach a deal on reducing our deficit,” said Sanchez. “The American people looked to Congress to provide a credible plan to deal with our national debt, and this committee was tasked with that responsibility. But the same old political obstacles derailed talks and have resulted in partisan stalemate.
“Americans are tired of a dysfunctional government and the Super Committee’s failure to compromise only reinforces the belief that Congress is broken. The automatic cuts scheduled to take effect will be particularly harmful to our seniors, military and children. It may be unpopular politically to reach a deal, but it is the right thing to do for our country. We must begin to make smart and strategic decisions immediately– before these automatic cuts devastate our nation’s most vulnerable.”
The Pelosi statement:
“Americans demanded and Democrats repeatedly supported a big, bold, and balanced plan to reduce our deficit and grow our economy.
“The plan could not be balanced because Republicans insisted on extending the Bush tax cuts for people making more than a million dollars a year and repealing the Medicare guarantee – while refusing to accept a jobs proposal. By rejecting a balanced approach, Republicans chose to keep their pledge to Grover Norquist to protect the wealthiest one percent at all costs.
“House Democrats are grateful to our appointees – Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn, Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Xavier Becerra and Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen – for their leadership and willingness to make the tough choices to achieve a big, bold, and balanced plan.”
Over and over again, Americans called for a balanced plan from the Supercommittee:
CNN/ORC Poll – 67 percent of Americans – including 69 percent of independents – believe increased taxes on high-income Americans and businesses should be included in a deficit reduction proposal from the Supercommittee. [11/21]
McClatchy/Marist Poll – 67 percent of voters – including 53 percent of Republican voters – want to see tax increases on the wealthiest Americans included in the debt reduction package. [11/18]
Democrats answered that call—consistently stating that we supported a big, bold and balanced plan to reduce the deficit and grow the economy, which included tough choices…while Republicans continued to insist on extending Bush tax cuts for people making more than a million dollars a year, ending the Medicare guarantee and refusing to offer a jobs agenda.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi:
“As I have said over and over again, we want a plan that is big, bold and balanced.” [Press Conference, 11/3]
Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer:
“We want the Joint Select Committee to send us a deal that is big,” Hoyer said at Wednesday press conference. “We have the greatest chance we’ve seen in a generation to strike a bold agreement that will… spur economic recovery.” [Talk Radio News Service, 11/16]
Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn:
“We can tackle anything we want to,” Clyburn said. “We believe that everything must be on the table to come up with a big, bold and balanced program.” [Times and Democrat, 11/13]
Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson:
“Our Members still remain hopeful, even as the clock winds down, that they will be able to get something that is big, bold and balanced for the American people. And what they mean by big and bold and balanced is putting America back to work.” [Press Availability, 11/18]
Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Xavier Becerra:
“We can get it done in ways that are not just $1.2 trillion worth of savings. We could make it big,” Becerra said. “Big and bold.” [Bloomberg, 11/14]
Congressman Chris Van Hollen
“…It’s very important that we continue this conversation so that we really can achieve a balanced approach to the deficit and a plan that does something for jobs.” [NPR, 11/17]
And as for the GOP…
While Speaker Boehner called the Republican Supercommittee plan a “fair offer,” the New York Times says:
…Republicans have offered an approach that would raise revenues by $300 billion and cut spending by $1.2 trillion…But the proposal is highly deceptive — the main goal seems to ensure even deeper tax cuts for the wealthy — and demonstrates why the committee seems headed toward a deadlock. [New York Times, 11/15]
Republican Leader Eric Cantor:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Monday sided with conservative activist Grover Norquist in a dispute over his anti-tax pledge, saying lawmakers should keep their word to their constituents if they promised to oppose tax increases. [The Hill, 11/14]
Joint Committee Republican Co-Chair Jeb Hensarling:
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), a co-chair of the congressional supercommittee tasked with crafting a $1.5 trillion deficit reduction package, suggested that he would reject “any penny” of further tax increases in the deal currently being negotiated. [ThinkProgress, 11/16]
Grover Norquist, that “random person”:
Grover Norquist, a leading anti-tax activist, says Republican leaders in both chambers have assured him that they will not agree to tax increases to reduce the deficit. “…I’ve talked to the House leadership and the Senate leadership. They’re not going to be passing any tax increases,” Norquist told The Hill on Monday. [The Hill, 11/15]
In an interview, Norquist said that Republicans have no intention of raising taxes, and that their decision to show “a little ankle” on taxes in their latest offer was merely a ploy to prove that Democrats would not endorse structural changes to Medicare and Medicaid. Norquist acknowledged that the GOP tax plan is “problematic,” however, and said he would have pushed Republicans to rescind the offer if Democrats had accepted it. [The Washington Post, 11/16]
Paul Krugman of the New York Times had an interesting take on what would happen in today’s editions:
“What would you expect to see if debt worries were roiling the markets? The short answer is that you would expect to see interest rates and stock prices moving in opposite directions: debt worries should be sending US borrowing costs up and US equities down. What you actually see is the opposite correlation. Here’s the past year:
This immediately suggests that what’s driving both asset prices is fluctuating optimism or pessimism about the economy, with fears of economic weakness driving both rates and stock prices down.”