WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

The Hill: Compromise From The Super Committee?

Play associated audio

As the Congressional super committee approaches its November 23 deadline to find more than $1 trillion in deficit reductions -- taxes have been a sticking point. Republicans have resisted efforts to raise taxes and Democrats have said a deal must include new tax revenue. Alex Bolton, senior staff writer for The Hill newspaper says there are signs on Capitol Hill that there may be some new flexibility.

The possibility of Republicans agreeing to raise tax revenue

In the last few days, Republicans have floated the possibility of raising up to $500 billion through tax reform. It would entail lowering the income tax rates, limiting the number of tax deductions that people can claim, and eliminating tax breaks for corporations. 

The selling point is that Republicans would be more willing to go for it, because the average person would pay a lower tax rate. It would reduce the deficit, because the lowering of the tax rate would not completely offset the restriction on deductions and the tax breaks for corporations.

The problem, from the Democrats perspective, is that it's not enough. During the summer negotiations to raise the debt limit, Democrats say House Speaker John Boehner was willing to agree to $800 billion in new tax revenues, and this falls short. "Democrats aren't happy," says Bolton. "But at least they're saying it's moving in the right direction."

The likelihood of a grand bargain

"That seems less and less likely with each passing day," says Bolton.

The talk over the last couple day is that the negotiators are focusing on a $1.2 trillion deal. The problem is that many members of the Senate and House think that $1.2 trillion is far too little. When you're running a $14 trillion debt and a $1.3 trillion deficit just for this year, it's a drop in the bucket.

 Another threat of another shut down

"It's possible, but given that there was a scare over a government shutdown in April, and then there was a scare over a national default in August, and then a threat of another government shutdown in September, there is very little appetite for brinksmanship."

People are focused more on the deficit reduction talks in the super committee and another blowup over appropriations would be seen as unproductive. The expectation is that it will not happen.

NPR

Remembering Robert Swanson, Advertising's 'King Of Jingles'

Robert Swanson revolutionized American advertising and wrote some of the most memorable ad jingles of the 1950s and '60s for products ranging from Campbell's Soup to Pall Mall cigarettes. He died at 95 July 17 at his home in Phoenix, Ariz.
NPR

More Than Just Saying 'Cheese,' Hundreds Sit Test To Become Official Experts

The American Cheese Society will begin proctoring its next Certified Cheese Professional Exam in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday, during the group's annual conference.
NPR

Hillary Clinton Set To Become Formal Democratic Nominee For President

Bill Clinton speaks Tuesday night after his wife Hillary Clinton formally becomes the Democratic nominee for president. One open question is how smoothly the nominating process will go.
NPR

Solar-Powered Plane Completes Historic Circumnavigation

The Solar Impulse 2 landed in Abu Dhabi, where its journey began 17 flights ago in March 2015. Alternating with another pilot, Bertrand Piccard flew around the world with no fuel.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.