For Immediate Release
November 21, 2011
Contact: Steve Ellis
Super Failure: Time for Congress to Do Its Job
The following is a written statement by Ms. Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense on the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to achieve any agreement to reduce the deficit.
Congress gambled and lost. They rolled the dice and gave twelve bi-partisan, bi-cameral members the chance to find common ground on at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction and they came up with snake eyes. The truth is the Super Committee was unnecessary. There are 300 million Americans represented by just 535 lawmakers in Washington, DC. Congress is a super committee. There is nothing that the chosen dozen could do that Congress can’t. The time for excuses is over. Instead of degenerating into the predictable finger-pointing and accusations between the two parties, Congress needs to pick up the pieces and put together credible reform and cuts. We have proposed more than $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction. Some of it spending cuts, some revenue raisers. All of that was before essential tax and entitlement reform that could reap even greater deficit reduction. There are proposals from the Biden group, the Simpson-Bowles committee, and others. After a deliberative process marked by secrecy, the Super Committee should release the “last, best” offers from both the Republicans and Democrats, so taxpayers can evaluate these proposals for themselves. The road map is clear, but the path will be rocky, Congress just needs to act.
The issue isn’t going away. There are real consequences and costs of Super Committee and Congress’ failure. Beyond the damage to the reputation of committee members and House and Senate leadership, the sequestration trigger - $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts starting in 2013 - looms on the horizon. It would be far better for Congress to steel their collective spine and take on the issue directly. More than 100 lawmakers from both parties have called for an all of the above strategy to tackle the deficit. Taxpayers for Common Sense will continue to pressure Congress to look past the next election and do what they were elected to do - put the nation’s budgetary house in order. Americans aren’t giving Congress historically record low approval ratings because of what they have done, they’re doing it because of what they haven’t.