The ‘Supercommittee,’ the deficit and what happens next

Listen

Hour 1

Supercommittee members Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl of Ariz., left, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., right, greet each other on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

With a deadline of this Wednesday, the 12 members of Congress’s “Supercommittee” — six members of the House and six members of the Senate evenly split between Republicans and Democrats — announced their failure in figuring out how to cut $1.2 trillion from federal deficits over the next 10 years yesterday. By law, that set in motion a series of across-the- board cuts in federal discretionary spending to take effect in January 2013. These “triggers”‘ are split between entitlement programs and defense spending. At the core of the stalemate is the partisan debate over balancing cuts in spending with raising revenue by increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans by allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire. So what happens next? We’ll talk about what the Supercommittee’s failure means for the federal budget, average Americans, our politicians and the economy with JIM TANKERSLEY of the National Journal, ISABEL SAWHILL of the Brookings Institution and Moody’s economist MARK ZANDI.

Listen to the mp3

Listen:
[audio: 112211_100630.mp3]

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.