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Super Committee Update

Time’s almost up for the bi-partisan deficit-reducing Congressional Super Committee. We’ll look at what’s coming from behind their closed doors.

From right to left, former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., former White House Budget Director Alice Rivlin, and former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, offer their advice to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction during a hearing on  Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011.  (AP)

From right to left, former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., former White House Budget Director Alice Rivlin, and former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, offer their advice to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011. (AP)

The loud ticking sound around Capitol Hill these days is the clock moving down on the so-called Congressional Super Committee charged with taking a big whack out of the US deficit. Last summer, American finances went to the very brink in a super-charged partisan standoff. Triple-A rating – gone.

In the years ahead, it could get much worse. This squad of six Republicans and six Democrats was sent off to find a way forward. Now, they’ve got about two weeks left to do it. It could all blow up.

This hour On Point: behind closed doors – taxes, spending, deficits and the clock ticking on the Super Committee.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Felicia Sonmez, congressional reporter for the Washington Post.

Howard Fineman, Editorial director of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group.

Allen Sinai, chief global economist, strategist, and president of Decision Economics.

Rep. Tom Cole, congressman from Oklahoma’s 4th District.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “There are only three weeks left for the Congressional supercommittee to come up with a plan to reduce the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion, and there is no sign that the panel is anywhere close to reaching an agreement. Only one side, in fact, seems to be trying — the Democrats — and it is being far too accommodating, given the fierce obstructionism of the other side, the Republicans.”

Wall Street Journal “House Speaker John Boehner gave new urgency to the drive for a deficit-cutting deal by saying he would press lawmakers to approve any agreement a congressional supercommittee makes, no matter what it contains. ”

The Economist “Despite becoming more extremist and obstructionist, the Republicans triumphed in the mid-term elections. Next time round, they may be in for a shock.”

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