Deficit reduction deal: Republicans more to blame for the deadlock [The reply]
Both parties deserve blame for the failure of the "super committee" to reach a deficit reduction deal, the editorial board wrote in Tuesday's pages. Reader Dennis Gleason disagreed. In a letter to the editor, he argues:
Suggesting that "both parties deserve blame for the failure of the 'super committee' to reach a deficit reduction deal" belies the facts and is insulting to your readers' intelligence. The committee had two tools available to cut the deficit: cut spending and add revenue. Only one party -- the Republicans -- completely ruled out using one of the tools. Democrats were willing to compromise, Republicans were not. It's pretty obvious who's to blame.
Here's editorial board member Michael McGough's reply, and clarification:
Each side in the "super committee" had non-negotiable demands. The Republicans insisted on large tax cuts in the form of continuing the Bush tax cuts. The Democrats wanted tax increases on higher earners. The Republicans compromised in only a token way on tax increases. The Democrats were equally unwilling to accept tax cuts beyond a certain level. By all accounts the Democrats resisted a restructuring of Medicare. So there was blame on both sides, though the Republicans were more responsible for the deadlock than the Democrats. The editorial didn't say that both sides were equally to blame, only that there was blame on both sides.
Photo: Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) departs a meeting with fellow members of the "super committee" on Capitol Hill in Washington this week. Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters