Or... is it? Did anybody seriously think that the 'Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction' was more than just a convoluted method to simply delay dealing with our mounting debt problems? As we find ourselves approaching yet another deadline (November 23rd, batten down the hatches!), the super committee is devolving with alarming rapidity, and we're no closer to a comprehensive deficit-reduction agreement than we were before. Er, scratch that, forget a comprehensive agreement - we're no closer to any agreement than we were before.
On Tuesday evening, Republicans claimed that Democrats had "walked away from the table," which Democrat aides denied earlier today:
A GOP aide to a committee member told reporters that Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., “handily rejected” an offer from Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., in a meeting Tuesday night in Kerry’s hideaway office. Also present were Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the aides said. Toomey’s offer would eliminate various tax deductions in exchange for extension of the 28 percent marginal tax rates lowered during the George W. Bush administration. Democrats said the offer would increase the deficit by trillions of dollars.
“They have now walked away,” said the GOP aide. “We are still at the table and we hope they come back.”
Several Democrats, however, said the claim is false.
“If their last, best offer is a plan that provides a massive tax rate cut for the very wealthiest Americans, then they’re not serious about getting a deal,” said an aide to a committee Democrat. “Democrats remain at the table waiting for them to come up with something realistic.”
I must say, I find it rather worrisome that our federal budget issues are playing out like the most melodramatic soap opera of all time.