Aug 1, 2011
The “historic, bipartisan compromise” reached to raise the debt limit does not end the struggle to reign in the federal deficit — in fact, it pushes the most difficult decisions off into the future.
More surprising, the debt deal actually cuts almost nothing now–it just promises future cuts that may or may not materialize.
There are very few specific cuts in the deal — and the $1 trillion in immediate cuts are almost entirely constituted of caps on future spending. And those caps are not required to be honored by future congresses.
The “real” spending cuts to current programs will come out of a bipartisan committee of Representatives and Senators, which is charged with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in savings from the federal deficit.
But White House and Republican leaders appear split on exactly what the so-called “Super Committee” can do.
In a presentation to his caucus, Speaker of the House John Boehner said it would “be effectively…impossible for [the] Joint Committee to increase taxes,” even though it could consider reforming the tax code.