After months of deliberations, the congressional super committee appears ready to accept failure. With a self-imposed deadline to slash more than a trillion dollars from the deficit now just hours away, lawmakers on both sides admit any hope for agreement is slipping away. Since the beginning, the deadlock has come down to huge sticking points. Democrats blame Republicans for being inflexible on new taxes, and Republicans blast Democrats for not accepting major changes to Medicare and Social Security.
If the super committee can’t come to a consensus, automatic spending cuts will kick in…$1.2 trillion over 10 years to military and domestic programs. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warns the cuts, slated to start in 2013, could cripple the military. Committee members don’t expect a breakthrough, but the Obama administration is still urging them to accomplish what they set out to do. In a statement, the White House said, “avoiding accountability and kicking the can down the road is how Washington got into this deficit problem in the first place, so Congress needs to do its job here and make the kind of tough choices to live within its means that American families make every day.”