Wednesday, November 02, 2011

100 Members of Congress Urge Super Committee To Look At All Options To Close Deficit

100 members of Congress, including 40 Republicans, have written a letter to the deficit super committee entrusted with coming up with a plan to close the huge federal deficit with a plan that must receive up or down approval from Congress or else mandatory across-the-board cuts.

The 100 are in agreement that all options must be considered, including tax hikes.
With a deadline three weeks away, the evenly divided, 12-member committee has shown few signs of progress. Democrats have demanded higher taxes as their price for accepting significant savings from benefit programs such as Medicare, but have been rebuffed by Republicans who oppose tax increases.

The letter, to be released later Wednesday, also urges the committee to aim well beyond its official goal of finding at least $1.2 trillion in savings over a decade.

"We know from other bipartisan frameworks that a target of some $4 trillion in deficit reduction is necessary to stabilize our debt as a share of the economy and assure America's fiscal well-being," the letter says.

Bipartisan budget experts who have produced plans for reducing the debt have urged the committee to produce at least $4 trillion in savings. They say doing less would not significantly alter the long-term financial nightmare the government faces, in which federal red ink continues growing at a faster rate than the U.S. economy.

A partial list of the letters' signers shows many moderates from both parties. There's a range, too, from conservative Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., who has had tea party support, to liberal Peter Welch, D-Vt.

Others who signed on include Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democratic leader and Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., one of this year's 87 House freshmen. Reps. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., and Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, organized the letter.

"We know that many in Washington and around the country do not believe we in the Congress and those within your committee can successfully meet this challenge. We believe that we can and we must," the letter says.

The approximately 60 Democrats on the letter shows that nearly one-third of House Democrats say they are willing to cull savings from benefit programs as part of a debt-cutting deal. Republicans have insisted that these huge and fast-growing programs, also called entitlements, must be targeted heavily.
That's in stark contrast to the no-tax-hike pledges from Presidential candidates and the Grover Norquist band of GOPers who see tax cuts and starving government programs as the way forward.

Watch the Tea Party crowd have those Republicans called out for stating the obvious - that it will take more than spending cuts to bring the budget in line and to create a fiscally responsible budget going forward.

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