Taming the National Debt
The Super Committee Fails

The "Great" Debt Limit Debate of 2011
One result of the debt ceiling agreement and the Budget Control Act of 2011 was formation of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, known as the Super Committee, charged with identifying $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years (See Title IV) The 12-member committee held its organizational meeting on Sept. 8 and was to report legislation on Nov. 23.  On Nov. 21, after about ten weeks of work, the chairs announced the committee would not be able to reach an agreement.  The failure of the Super Committee is supposed to trigger automatic cuts, but there is much talk about changing that. 

The saga continues...

Below is the statement from the Super Committee and reactions from the presidential candidates, President Barack Obama and various interest groups...

Nov 21 2011
Statement from Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

(Washington D.C.) – Today, the Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Representative Jeb Hensarling and Senator Patty Murray, released the following statement.

"After months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee’s deadline.

"Despite our inability to bridge the committee's significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation's fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve.  We remain hopeful that Congress can build on this committee’s work and can find a way to tackle this issue in a way that works for the American people and our economy.

"We are deeply disappointed that we have been unable to come to a bipartisan deficit reduction agreement, but as we approach the uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving, we want to express our appreciation to every member of this committee, each of whom came into the process committed to achieving a solution that has eluded many groups before us. Most importantly, we want to thank the American people for sharing thoughts and ideas and for providing support and good will as we worked to accomplish this difficult task.

"We would also like to thank our committee staff, in particular Staff Director Mark Prater and Deputy Staff Director Sarah Kuehl, as well as each committee member's staff for the tremendous work they contributed to this effort.  We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Douglas Elmendorf and Mr. Thomas Barthold and their teams at the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation, respectively, for the technical support they provided to the committee and its members."

PRESS RELEASE from Ron Paul 2012 PCC  11:35 AM

For Immediate Release: November 21, 2011
Contact: Gary Howard

In Case You Missed It: Ron Paul Makes Statement on Super Committee
“This shows how unserious politicians are about our very serious debt problems”

LAKE JACKSON, Texas – 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul released a statement today regarding the congressional Super Committee’s failure to meet its goal with the deadline fast approaching. See below for statement.
“This week marks the deadline for the so-called congressional Super Committee to meet its goal of cutting a laughably small amount of federal spending over the next decade.  In fact the Committee merely needs to cut about $120 billion annually from the federal budget over the next 10 years to meet its modest goals, but even this paltry amount has produced hand-wringing and hysteria on Capitol Hill.  This is only cutting proposed increases.  It has nothing to do with actually cutting anything.  This shows how unserious politicians are about our very serious debt problems. 
“To be fair, however, in one sense members of the Super Committee face an impossible task.  They must, in effect, cut government spending without first addressing the role of government in our society.  They must continue to insist the federal government can provide Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits in the future as promised, while maintaining our wildly interventionist foreign policy.  Yet everyone knows this is a lie.
“Keep in mind that the 2011 federal deficit alone was about $1.3 trillion, which means the Super Committee needs to cut that much PER YEAR rather than over a 10 year period.  If Congress ever hopes to address its debt problem, it must first stop accumulating any new debt immediately, in 2012.
“Federal revenue likely will be about $2.3 trillion in fiscal 2012.  The 2004 federal budget was about $2.3 trillion.  So Congress simply needs to adopt the 2004 budget next year and the federal government will balance outlays and revenue.  That’s all it would take to produce a balanced budget right now.  Was the federal government really too small just 7 years ago, in 2004?  Of course not.  Only Washington hysteria would have us believe otherwise.
“Yet our Republican and Democrat friends on the Super Committee want to take 10 years, or even 30 years, to produce a balanced budget.
“Government spending isn't just wasteful; it is often actively harmful to stated goals.  The Super Committee could simply apply 2004 spending levels across the board and a tremendous victory for fiscal sanity would be accomplished.
“What seems more likely, however, is a rearrangement of the tax code in an attempt to bring in more revenue.  Deductions and credits will be taken away, and the Bush tax cuts will be allowed to expire.  As a result, less money will remain in the private sector to create jobs and produce economic growth.  The Super Committee has an opportunity to take a small baby step in the right direction.  Instead, they no doubt will take this opportunity to raise taxes and make everything worse.  But increasing taxes will only diminish freedom and deepen the recession.  Instead of looking for ways to hike taxes under the guise of “raising revenue,” the Super Committee should put forth a plan of real spending cuts to put America back on the path to liberty and prosperity.”

PRESS RELEASE from Friends of Herman Cain  1:32 PM
November 21, 2011:
For Immediate Release

Herman Cain Reacts to Obama’s Super Committee Super Failure

“President Obama and his ultraliberal, anti-job creating comrades in the Democrat Party are apoplectic because Republicans are standing strong with the American people, refusing to hike their taxes during Obama’s Great Recession. Obama, again, is failing Americans, providing no leadership, and exacerbating our national debt to more than $15 trillion - over $48,000 for every American man, woman and child.

“We must immediately cut spending - for real, not the Obama way - and dismantle the barriers to growth. We must simplify the tax code, which my ‘9-9-9 Plan' does. According to former Reagan Treasury official Gary Robbins, of Fiscal Associates, 9-9-9 will expand our GDP by $2 trillion, create 6 million new jobs, increase business investment by one-third, and increase wages by 10 percent.

New leadership in Washington after Nov. 6, 2012 will unleash the American spirit of prosperity once again and toss Obama’s failed economic leadership into the history books.”

PRESS RELEASE from RickPerry.org  2:33 PM

 For Immediate Distribution:
 News Release
 Nov. 21, 2011

Statement by Gov. Rick Perry on the Supercommittee


AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement on the failure of the supercommittee:

"Ultimately, responsibility for this failure lays at President Obama's feet. The whole reason a supercommittee was created was because the President wasn't willing to lead, wasn't willing to even put on paper his plans for cutting spending. It's amazing to what lengths he will go to avoid making tough decisions.  And who pays the price for Washington's failure? The American people and our military personnel, who will now be subjected to a half trillion dollars in national defense cuts?

"The President and Congress should work through the Thanksgiving holidays, work through weekends and recesses to cut federal spending, undo the damage being done to our military personnel and fix the budget mess.  Our military gets the job done in life-threatening conditions every day, it's time the President and Congress get serious about cutting federal spending and balancing the federal budget.  

"The supercommittee's failure is the perfect illustration of how Washington is broken and needs to be seriously overhauled. As President, I will demand a complete overhaul of Washington, D.C. starting with a Balanced Budget Amendment, a part-time citizen Congress, and major tax and spending cuts to jump-start our economy and create good American jobs.  We can fix the system with my flat tax and serious reforms cutting taxes to a flat 20 percent, ending earmarks and corporate tax loopholes, and balancing the federal budget by 2020."

TEXT OF EMAIL from Newt 2012  2:51 PM
November 21, 2011
Subject: Super Failure

Dear Friend and Supporter,

I am honored to be a part of the Newt 2012 team, and I am so grateful that you have made the decision to stand with Speaker Gingrich as he seeks the office of President of the United States! Speaker Gingrich has the big ideas and bold policies that are the only antidote to the venomous policies of President Obama. As a student of history, Speaker Gingrich understands that this is our only opportunity to unwind the damage this administration has caused. Imagine four more years of radical judicial nominees like Kagan and Sotomayor and the kind of failed leadership exemplified by the “super committee.”

Today the “super committee” is expected to announce that they have failed to reach an agreement, and now dangerous cuts to our military are looming. According to Secretary of Defense Panetta, the $600 billion cut would gut our military leaving the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest number of ships since 1915, and the smallest Air Force ever. The whole idea of this committee is idiotic, and one candidate had the experience to start sounding the alarm immediately after it was announced. As you might have guessed, that candidate is Speaker Newt Gingrich!

This is a perfect example of why Speaker Gingrich is the man we need in the White House. We have prepared an important video that shows exactly why we need a candidate that has enough experience to understand how Washington works and enough sense to know that it is terribly broken.

This week we are preparing for Iowa, whose caucuses are now just 43 days away. Please take a moment and watch and share this NEW VIDEO, and if you can help us reach our goal of raising $1.5 million dollars this week, there is a contribution page immediately underneath the video. With your support we will keep the Newt surge going all the way to the White House!


Thank You,

Joe DeSantis
Communications Director
Newt 2012

PRESS RELEASE from Jon Huntsman for President  4:55 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tim Miller November 21, 2011

Governor Jon Huntsman Releases Statement on Super Committee Failure

Manchester, NH - Governor Jon Huntsman today released the following statement on the failure of the so-called "Super Committee" and their inability to reach a decision on combating our nation's growing deficit. 

“Today I empathize with Americans who are overly frustrated with our government’s inability to accomplish anything," said Governor Huntsman. "We face a historic debt, and people cannot trust their elected leaders to agree on even a modest level of spending reductions. The fact that the president's utter abandonment of leadership on our debt crisis necessitated a super committee signals his failure and Washington's dysfunction. It's time to get serious. We need bold solutions and principled leadership to renew and rebuild America."

PRESS RELEASE from Bachmann for President  6:26 PM
For Immediate Release
November 21, 2011
Contact: Alice Stewart

Bachmann Responds to Failure of "Super Committee"
to Reach an Agreement on Debt Reduction

New York, N.Y. –Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann issued the following statement in response to the Super Committee's failure to reach an agreement on debt reduction:

"Mr. President, your Super Committee has failed the American people.  You were elected president to lead, not to ignore the problems of our country and our economy.  While millions of Americans are out of work and government spending and debt are spiraling out of control, the president and the Super Committee could not reach an agreement on how to put our country back on a path to prosperity.  The Committee itself is a metaphor for the overall lack of political courage that has led us to this place of crisis.   Meanwhile, our nation is swiftly approaching the precipice of economic collapse and the president's leadership was nowhere to be found.

"The Super Committee could not meet their statutory charge of reducing Congress's planned increase in spending by a relatively paltry $1.2 trillion over 10 years and now have placed this country's national security at risk through the consequences of triggering severe cuts to military funding, which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently warned will be 'devastating for the Department,' and 'these changes would break the faith with those who maintain our military and seriously damage readiness.'

"The people we serve want the president and Congress to announce a bold bipartisan deal to cut spending and do so without raising new taxes on American families or businesses.  Cutting spending will necessitate hard choices, but throughout American history we have united behind a common purpose when the best interests of our children and nation were at stake.  It's time to lead."


PRESS RELEASE from Rick Santorum for President  7:20 PM

November 21, 2011
For Immediate Release 
Contact: Matt Beynon


Verona, PA - Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum made the following statement in reaction to the Congressional Supercommittee's failure to reach a consensus on budget cuts.


Senator Santorum said: "This President has played class warfare to divide America.  It's an intentional political device to divide America for political purposes, and it is resulting in an increasingly divided Congress that can't work under this President.  The consequences of the Supercommittee's failure will be devastating to the military, putting far too much of a burden on our men and women in the Armed Services thanks to inhumane under-resourcing and over-rotation."

To learn more about former Senator Rick Santorum, please visit www.RickSantorum.com.



from the White House
November 21, 2011

Statement by the President on the Supercommittee

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

5:44 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon.  As you all know, last summer I signed a law that will cut nearly $1 trillion of spending over the next 10 years.  Part of that law also required Congress to reduce the deficit by an additional $1.2 trillion by the end of this year.

In September, I sent them a detailed plan that would have gone above and beyond that goal.  It's a plan that would reduce the deficit by an additional $3 trillion, by cutting spending, slowing the growth of Medicare and Medicaid, and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. 

In addition to my plan, there were a number of other bipartisan plans for them to consider from both Democrats and Republicans, all of which promoted a balanced approach.  This kind of balanced approach to reducing our deficit -- an approach where everybody gives a little bit, and everyone does their fair share -- is supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans -- Democrats, independents, and Republicans.  It’s supported by experts and economists from all across the political spectrum.  And to their credit, many Democrats in Congress were willing to put politics aside and commit to reasonable adjustments that would have reduced the cost of Medicare, as long as they were part of a balanced approach. 

But despite the broad agreement that exists for such an approach, there's still too many Republicans in Congress who have refused to listen to the voices of reason and compromise that are coming from outside of Washington.  They continue to insist on protecting $100 billion worth of tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans at any cost, even if it means reducing the deficit with deep cuts to things like education and medical research.  Even if it means deep cuts in Medicare. 

So at this point, at least, they simply will not budge from that negotiating position.  And so far, that refusal continues to be the main stumbling block that has prevented Congress from reaching an agreement to further reduce our deficit.

Now, we are not in the same situation that we were -- that we were in in August.  There is no imminent threat to us defaulting on the debt that we owe.  There are already $1 trillion worth of spending cuts that are locked in.  And part of the law that I signed this summer stated that if Congress could not reach an agreement on the deficit, there would be another $1.2 trillion of automatic cuts in 2013 -– divided equally between domestic spending and defense spending. 

One way or another, we will be trimming the deficit by a total of at least $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years.  That's going to happen, one way or another.  We've got $1 trillion locked in, and either Congress comes up with $1.2 trillion, which so far they've failed to do, or the sequester kicks in and these automatic spending cuts will occur that bring in an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction.

Now, the question right now is whether we can reduce the deficit in a way that helps the economy grow, that operates with a scalpel, not with a hatchet, and if not, whether Congress is willing to stick to the painful deal that we made in August for the automatic cuts.  Already, some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. 

My message to them is simple:  No.  I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending.  There will be no easy off ramps on this one. 

We need to keep the pressure up to compromise -- not turn off the pressure.  The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets back to work and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.  That’s exactly what they need to do.  That’s the job they promised to do.  And they've still got a year to figure it out. 

Although Congress has not come to an agreement yet, nothing prevents them from coming up with an agreement in the days ahead. They can still come together around a balanced plan.  I believe Democrats are prepared to do so.  My expectation is, is that there will be some Republicans who are still interested in preventing the automatic cuts from taking place.  And, as I have from the beginning, I stand ready and willing to work with anybody that’s ready to engage in that effort to create a balanced plan for deficit reduction.

Now, in the meantime, we've got a lot of work left to do this year.  Before Congress leaves next month, we have to work together to cut taxes for workers and small business owners all across America.  If we don’t act, taxes will go up for every single American, starting next year.  And I’m not about to let that happen.  Middle-class Americans can’t afford to lose $1,000 next year because Congress won’t act.  And I can only hope that members of Congress who've been fighting so hard to protect tax breaks for the wealthy will fight just as hard to protect tax breaks for small business owners and middle-class families. 

We still need to put construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads and our bridges.  We still need to put our teachers back in the classroom educating our kids. 

So when everybody gets back from Thanksgiving, it’s time to get some work done for the American people.  All around the country, Americans are working hard to live within their means and meet their responsibilities.  And I know they expect Washington to do the same.


5:50 P.M. EST

PRESS RELEASE from the Republican National Committee
For Immediate Release
November 21, 2011

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus Statement on Democrats’ Failure to Reach a Supercommittee Deal

WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus released the following statement on Democrats’ unwillingness to work with Republicans to reach a Supercommittee deal:
“The Supercommittee’s failure is a direct result of President Obama’s negligence and Democrats’ intransigence. Over the last four months, Republicans on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction worked around the clock to offer multiple proposals that would have broad bipartisan appeal. While Republicans were at the table negotiating in good faith, President Obama continued to prioritize campaigning over governing. 
“Instead of offering leadership to reduce the debt he created, he made the cold calculation that doing so was not in his best political interest. Even Senate Democrats have tough words for the President. As West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said Sunday, ‘He's the leader of this great country. We want him to step forward.’
“In addition to spending cuts and entitlement reform, Republicans on the committee also proposed achieving significant revenue increases through pro-growth tax reforms—closing loopholes and lowering rates. But that wasn’t enough for Democrats. When Republicans tried to meet them halfway, Democrats ran further to the left. They demanded higher taxes and even more stimulus spending, even though President Obama and other Democrats have acknowledged that taxes should not be raised in a recession.
“While Republicans would have preferred that the process worked as intended, our Congressional leaders will ensure the deficit is reduced by the $1.2 trillion as prescribed. We remain completely dedicated to finding a solution to America’s massive debt problem. 
“Less than three years ago, President Obama promised to slow the growth of our debt. Instead, he has accelerated it. He and his fellow Democrats have refused to offer serious plans to achieve the dual goals of debt-reduction and economic growth. 2012 will offer voters an opportunity to elect a Republican president who will take that charge seriously.”


PRESS RELEASE from No Labels

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 21, 2011
Contact: Sarah Feldman

Super Committee Failure Demonstrates Institution’s Inability To Function

On December 13, No Labels Unveiling Congressional "Fix It Now" Agenda To Make Congress Work!

The impending failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to reach an agreement is a “clear demonstration of a broken system,” No Labels Co-Founder and former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) said Monday.

To fix the broken institution, No Labels will unveil its congressional rules agenda at a press conference on Capitol Hill on December 13. The rules agenda details the measures Congress can institute immediately after the 2012 election, each of which can be enacted in less than 24 hours.

“It has never been clearer that the current congressional system is broken,” No Labels Co-Founder Bill Galston said. “The No Labels congressional rules agenda will lay out twelve steps Congress can take to break the gridlock and make the system work again.”    

“We need to change the rules to change the game,” Bayh said. “This is the third high-profile debt effort to fail in the last year. Time is running out to get our nation’s fiscal house in order and we need a serious plan to reboot Congress now.”

For more information on the December 13 press conference or to arrange an interview with a No Labels co-founder, please contact Sarah Feldman at press@nolabels.org or (202) 588-1990. To learn more about No Labels, please visit www.NoLabels.org.

MEDIA ADVISORY from The Heartland Institute
November 12, 2011

Heartland Institute Reacts to Super Committee Failure

The so-called “super committee,” a bipartisan panel of members of the House and Senate, announced Monday it would not reach agreement on a plan to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over 10 years. The deadline for an agreement, part of the federal debt ceiling deal brokered in August, is Wednesday.

The following statements from budget and tax analysts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution.

“I expected the super committee to fail. It was probably unconstitutional anyway. No super committee or gimmick of any kind can control the federal budget. We need lawmakers who are committed to controlling it. That’s all. Unfortunately, almost no one in Congress has that commitment.”

Steve Stanek
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor
Budget & Tax News

“Once again Congress has shown its members can’t agree on just about anything. If significant spending cuts, pro-growth tax reform, and entitlement reform cannot be made in the next few years then the reality of us following in Greece’s foot steps is not that outlandish.
“Cutting such an insignificant amount of money should have been a slam-dunk for the ‘super committee.” Unfortunately, politics was put ahead of taxpayers.”
John Nothdurft
Director of Government Relations
The Heartland Institute

“The federal government spends 40 percent more than it collects in revenues every year. The national debt now stands at $15 trillion. And this super committee couldn’t find a way to cut what amounts to little more than a rounding error -- $120 billion a year for a decade.
“We’re to the point that annual deficits of just $300 billion or so are considered the good-old days of fiscal responsibility. Congress can’t take even meager steps to go into even deeper debt -- but at a slightly slower pace. The United States government will eventually have to get its spending under control. The only question is whether it will be done responsibly, or after a grand fiscal collapse.”
Jim Lakely
Director of Communications
The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.

PRESS RELEASE from Americans United for Change

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            CONTACT:    Lauren Weiner
November 21, 2011                                                      Jeremy Funk                                             

Time Runs Out on Super Committee
 Americans United for Change Applauds Democrats for Standing Firm Against Republican Demands for Draconian Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid That Don’t Create Jobs
Republicans Continue to Ignore Clear Public Will and Insist No Millionaire Should Pay Their Fair Share
Washington DC – Americans United for Change executive director Tom McMahon issued the following statement as the “Super Committee” announces failure to reach an agreement:
“We applaud the Democrats in Congress involved in this process who stood their ground and stood up to Republican demands for draconian cuts in Medicare and Medicaid. To the end, Republicans insisted that our most vulnerable citizens – seniors and disadvantaged children – sacrifice their care while refusing to ask millionaires and billionaires to sacrifice a penny more in taxes. They’ve chosen to ignore poll after poll after poll, showing the clear majority of Americans, including most Republicans, believe the only fair way to bring down future deficits is requiring that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share.   Americans understand the only real path to long-term, widely shared economic prosperity is shared sacrifice – and the 99% have sacrificed enough already.”
“Americans agree that Congress’ #1 priority should be creating jobs.  How does ending Medicare and starving Medicaid, as Republicans remain obsessed with, create jobs?  It doesn’t.  How does giving millionaires and big corporations another round of tax breaks create jobs?  It wouldn’t; just like these tax breaks didn’t create jobs during the Bush-era.  It is our hope that Congress can now refocus its full attention on the real crisis facing our country – the need create jobs and rebuild the disappearing middle class.  They can start by passing the President’s American Jobs Act in full and putting 1.9 million Americans back to work.”

PRESS RELEASE from MoveOn.org

For Immediate Release: November 21, 2011

Contact: Doug Gordon


Statement of Justin Ruben, Executive Director of MoveOn.org, on the Super Committee:


"The Super Committee failed because Republicans refused to budge on making millionaires pay their fair share in taxes," said Justin Ruben, Executive Director of MoveOn.org. "Instead of taking a cue from the thousands of people protesting in the streets against an economy rigged for the richest 1%, Republicans have once again sworn their allegiance to the millionaires on Wall Street. Make no mistake -- Republicans have made protecting tax breaks for the 1% their top priority. And even though Republicans like to talk a good game about deficit reduction, when it came down to it, they proved that protecting the richest 1% is more important to them than anything else."

PRESS RELEASE from Strengthen Social Security Campaign/Social Security Works

Monday, November 21, 2011

Contact:  Don Owens

Statement on Supercommittee Deadlock

Washington, DC - The co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “supercommittee,” announced today that no deal will be reached.  The following are statements from Nancy Altman, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, and Eric Kingson, co-director of Social Security Works:

“Today’s announcement that the so-called supercommittee could not reach agreement is a victory for democracy and for the American people – the 99 percent over the one percent,” said Nancy Altman, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign. “Time after time, the American people have stood up for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and they have again.   The supercommittee contemplated cuts to these vital programs, but a massive pushback by everyday Americans was apparently heard.  An end-run around the will of the people has been prevented.”

“Rather than concoct a misguided back-door deal to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, Washington should listen to the American people who overwhelmingly object to cutting those vital but modest benefits,” said Eric Kingson, co-director of Social Security Works. “As Thanksgiving approaches, let’s give thanks that the supercommittee’s undemocratic procedure did not succeed, and pray that our politicians heed the everyday Americans they are elected to serve.”

The Strengthen Social Security Campaign is comprised of more than 320 national and state organizations representing more than 50 million Americans from many of the nation’s leading aging, labor, disability, women’s, children, consumer, civil rights and equality organizations.

PRESS RELEASE from Common Cause

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:            Contact: Blair FitzGibbon
November 21, 2011                     

The Super Committee’s Sad Super Failure
            The inability of the Congressional “Super Committee” to take even small steps toward putting the nation’s fiscal House in order represents a catastrophic breakdown of leadership on CapitolHill and in the White House, Common Cause said today.

            “Our so-called leaders finally have a bipartisan achievement – they have failed together,” said Bob Edgar, president of the non-partisan government watchdog group. “It’s disgraceful.”

            With millions of Americans still out of work and struggling to hold onto their homes, Edgar said Congress should be moving to stimulate the economy in the short term while taking steps to bring down federal spending over the long haul. “And we need to revamp our tax system so that those at the top of the economic pyramid pay their fair share of our national expenses,” he said.

 “Sadly, while a majority of the Super Committee negotiators in both parties were willing to accept substantial spending cuts, there was no appetite among Republican members for a tax plan that would make the wealthiest Americans share in the sacrifices needed for our long term financial security,” Edgar said.

            “President Obama deserves credit for insisting at the outset on a balanced package of tax increases and spendingcuts, but as the Super Committee’s deadline to act has approached he seems – inexplicably -- to have taken a seat on the sidelines.

“It’s undisputed that an overwhelming majority of Americans are ready to support tax hikes on the wealthy, AND long-term cuts in federal spending, particularly military spending,” Edgar said. “With national elections less than a year away, you’d think the tide of public opinion would prod everyone involved into action. Their failure to seize this moment is a damning indictment.”

PRESS RELEASE from Public Campaign Action Fund

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:            Contact: Blair FitzGibbon
November 21, 2011                        

Super Committee's Failure a Win for Wall Street, Big Oil, Other Corporate Interests

Washington, D.C.—Campaign finance watchdog Public Campaign Action Fund responded to the expected announcement that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction has failed to reach an agreement.

Statement from David Donnelly, national campaigns director:

“The supercommittee’s failure underscores what we already know: Wall Street, Big Oil, and other corporate special interests control Washington, particularly when decisions move to the backroom. Over the past several months, politicians weren’t shy about using their position on the supercommittee to cash in with big donors to protect their own jobs. Their failure delivers a big helping of the status quo, which works for the 1% but doesn’t for the 99% of us who are struggling to find jobs, to pay for education, and to afford staying in our homes."

While Public Campaign and two-dozen groups urged supercommittee members to give up fundraising while serving on the committee, many continued to attend fundraisers and solicit cash from interests with a stake in the outcome of the committee. One lobbyist said he was going to prepare for the committee by “writing 12 really large checks.”


For Immediate Release
November 21, 2011
Janet Bass

“There is not equal blame to go around. While Democrats tried to find common ground for the common good, Republicans insisted on protecting the 1 percent from any additional taxes.”

Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On Supercommittee’s Apparent Failure to Reach Deficit Deal      

WASHINGTON—Of course we’re disappointed about the apparent failure to reach a deficit deal, but let’s be clear about what really happened here. There is not equal blame to go around. While Democrats tried to find common ground for the common good, Republicans insisted on protecting the 1 percent from any additional taxes. American Federation of Teachers members know what it means to negotiate in good faith, and it is clear that Republicans refused to compromise. The cuts the Republicans were demanding, without additional revenue, would have exacerbated the current economic crisis and taken a terrible human toll on already struggling Americans, especially women and children.

The absence of a deficit deal will lead to drastic across-the-board cuts to vital programs that help our students. The Congressional Budget Office projects that education will suffer a 7.8 percent cut, forcing massive reductions to education programs for our most disadvantaged students and those with disabilities. This would compound deep education cuts that have already resulted in larger class sizes, fewer resources for early childhood education, and the elimination of libraries and important enrichment courses like art, music, foreign languages and physical education. The layoff of nearly 300,000 educators is a testament to these cuts in services.   

Congress should single-mindedly focus on creating good jobs and economic growth. In trying to thwart President Obama’s leadership, the Republicans rejected sensible ideas for stimulating the economy, such as the American Jobs Act, which was fully paid for and would have created hundreds of thousands of jobs. They are playing a very dangerous political game with serious economic consequences. America’s 99 percent need our political leaders to lead—not play politics with people’s lives and the fiscal health of our nation.