Momentum is growing for the joint bipartisan congressional super committee to enact a $3 or $4 trillion plan that tackles entitlement spending and includes tax reform.
The 12-person Super Committee held its first public hearing on Tuesday and a closed door policy discussion Thursday morning. The committee is tasked with identifying at least $1.2 trillion in savings over 10 years before Thanksgiving.However, some business groups and economists have called for the committee to use this opportunity to dig deeper.
Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf testified Tuesday that if policymakers want to tackle the deficit without slowing the economy even further, they should seek a “short-term economic boost and medium- and long-term fiscal sustainability.” He said that attaining a sustainable budget long-term will require the federal government to deviate from the policies of the past 40 years in at least one of the following ways: “Raise federal revenues significantly above their average share of GDP; make major changes to the sorts of benefits provided for Americans when they become older; or substantially reduce the role of the rest of the federal government relative to the size of the economy.”
Yesterday, a bipartisan group of 36 Senators—18 Republicans, 17 Democrats, and 1 Independent, led by “Gang of Six” leaders Senators Warner (D-VA) and Chambliss (R-SC) ?held a press event and issued a letter calling for the Super Committee to enact a large comprehensive deficit reduction plan.
The Super Committee with hold its next hearing entitled, “Overview: Revenue Options and Reforming the Tax Code,” on Thursday, September 22, 2011.
President Obama has called for the committee “to go big” and is expected to announce his plan early next week.
The website for the super committee is http://deficitreduction.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/home.