With their November 23 deadline looming, Democrats and Republicans on the deficit “supercommittee” exchanged initial plans yesterday—and they weren’t even close. While both sides are willing to cut entitlements, Republicans remain unwilling to compromise on taxes, Politico reports. The Republican proposal—which is about a third smaller than the Democrats’ plan—does include $640 billion in new revenues, but it comes from things like hikes in Medicare co-pays and assumptions that future tax reforms (read: cuts) will spur economic growth.
“Their offer is a joke,” said one Democratic aide. “Democrats came to the table with an offer that had serious skin in the game for both parties. … Republicans are just doing more of the same posturing." Indeed, the Democrats' proposal cuts so deeply that many House Democrats, particularly Nancy Pelosi allies, are outraged. “I would never vote for” it, says Henry Waxman, calling the super committee “an offensive process." Others are fretting that super committee failure could precipitate another credit downgrade. “I’m extremely concerned,” one Democrat said. “Anyone who isn’t ought to go back on their medication."