You could offer a lot of reasons for the apparent failure of the supercommittee to reach agreement on cutting the deficit before its deadline of midnight tonight.
However, the bottom line was the Bush tax cuts.
The Republicans insisted on making them permanent. The Democrats refused. And the Democrats had the better part of the argument. After all, everybody supposedly agreed that the supercommittee’s overwhelming priority — its entire reason for existence in the first place — was to cut the deficit and debt.
And if that’s the goal, you cannot responsibly insist on maintaining the Bush tax cuts in their entirety, given that such a step INCREASES the national debt by $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years. You can cut Medicare, cut Medicaid, cut student loans and cut Social Security, but if you do all those things AND make the tax cuts permanent, you have succeeded in making life tougher for a lot of people but you accomplished nothing toward reducing the deficit. In fact, you’ve made things worse than if you just sit back and do nothing.
UPDATE at 8:34:
Just so there’s no doubt, from The Hill:
“Mitt Romney said Sunday at a campaign stop in New Hampshire that he would not support any deal struck by the supercommittee that included new taxes, even if it meant trading limited tax increases now for the assurance that the Bush tax cuts would become permanent.
“I believe the right answer is cutting taxes, so I will not endorse any plan that raises revenues, raises taxes,” Romney said, according to Fox News….
“There will be a lot of give and take of proposals made and yet I will not support any proposal based upon increasing taxes or revenues. I will support proposals reducing spending,” Romney said.”
– Jay Bookman