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The Atlantic: The Supercommittee Spectacle

Author: Drew Thompson
November 16, 2011

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As the supercommittee approaches its deadline, Derek Thompson provides a two-year history of how the U.S. government has failed to address long-term fiscal reform.

The congressional "supercommittee" created in August to cut the deficit is six days away from failing and triggering a deep and automatic $1.2 trillion cut to defense and domestic programs. The primary reason for this stalemate is that Republicans have refused tax increases and additional stimulus; although Democrats have also resisted deep cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.

The impending collapse of the deficit-reduction group isn't an isolated failure. It's the latest chapter in a two-year saga on Capitol Hill that has consistently, inevitably, produced nothing that resembles long-term fiscal reform.

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