Expectations are low for the congressional deficit "super committee" tasked with coming up with a way to cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion by Thanksgiving--which President Obama and congressional leaders were unable to do this summer. But maybe the committee isn't "doomed to fail" after all. The main sticking point during this summer's debt ceiling dispute was whether the federal budget deficit should be decreased though spending cuts and tax hikes--which the Democrats wanted--or spending cuts alone, which Republicans wanted. But now some Republicans are softening their position. On Thursday, Rep. David Camp, who's one of the 12 lawmakers on the debt super committee, told Reuters' Donna Smith that he, too, was open to raising tax revenue. "Everything is on the table," Camp said. His comments follow four conservative Republicans who listed tax increases they might be open to Tuesday night.
Camp cited recent economic turmoil as making "the stakes even higher." He told Smith, "I don't want to rule anything in or out," Camp said. "I am willing to discuss all issues that might help us reduce our short and long-term debt and grow our economy... Economic growth and job creation in the private sector -- that's what we need to use as a benchmark about any policy, but particularly tax policy."
Another member of the super committee, Sen. Pat Toomey, who was elected with the backing of the Tea Party last fall, said some parts of the tax code are "indefensible" and noted he opposes subsidies for ethanol.