Remembering the Super Committee, one year later
One year ago today, a Super Committee composed of Democrats and Republicans admitted hyper-partisan paralysis would prevent it from coming to long-term solutions for the American people. Today is not an anniversary for celebration. Now it’s a year later and we are right back where we started.
In the summer of 2011 as the United States neared its debt limit, gridlock kept Congress from agreeing to raise the debt ceiling. In the 11th hour, Congress reached a deal barely saving the nation from default. Their struggle to do what should have been a simple task created economic uncertainty and caused Standard & Poor’s to downgrade our long-term debt from AAA to AA+, something unheard of in U.S. history.
This downgrade represented a loss of faith in America’s ability to pay off its debts. To try and prevent something like this from ever happening again, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011.
This act established a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Super Committee. The Super Committee, made up of Democrats and Republicans, was charged with the important task of finding a plan to reduce the deficit by at least $1.5 trillion over 10 years — and if they didn’t, the country would face “sequestration,” cuts supposed to be so brutal that the Super Committee would be forced to work together in order to avoid them.
But somehow, they still couldn’t work together. One year ago today, they admitted they would not be able to work across the aisle — and now we’re facing the automatic cuts from sequestration.
Now more than ever, our leaders need to reach across the aisle to find solutions on the debt and deficit — they can’t let the past repeat itself yet again. With just over a month until we simultaneously hit a “fiscal cliff” of expiring tax provisions and the automatic cuts from the sequestration take place, we can’t let the past repeat itself.
It’s time to stop fighting, and start fixing!