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Congressional Insiders Poll

Congressional Insiders Poll

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Super deliberators: Jeb Hansarling and Patty Murray(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

How likely is it that the super committee will succeed in proposing a plan for $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by its Nov. 23 deadline?

Democrats (31 Votes) 

Very likely: 10%
Somewhat likely: 15%
Somewhat unlikely: 40%
Very unlikely: 35%

 

Very likely

“The question is will they decide to “go big!” and follow a game plan similar to that recommended by the Bowles-Simpson deficit commission. [That panel] recommended a $4 trillion comprehensive deficit-reduction plan over the next 10 years where everything was on the table and the “grand bargain” called for Democrats to support entitlement reform and for Republicans to support tax reform that lowered rates, broadened the base, and raised $1 in new revenue for every $3 of deficit reduction on the spending side.”

Somewhat unlikely

 

“They’ll get partway there, but not $1.2 trillion.”

“I cannot see how the outside tea party influence is going to go along with any cuts that are proposed.”

“If the tea party is still calling the shots, I put it at unlikely.”

“Unless the Republicans relent on taxes, there is no deal.”

 

“Never mind that Congress never should have given away its primary functions. It created an almost unworkable mechanism.”

Very unlikely

“Republicans will never agree to the revenue necessary to reach an agreement.”

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“Republican intransigence on taxes makes the kind of comprehensive deal that balanced the budget in the 1990s impossible.”

“Even if they do propose a plan, it will not pass. The best anyone could hope for is that they can propose some portion of the $1.5 trillion.”

“No new revenue, no compromise, no hope.”

“The process is designed to fail.”

 

How likely is it that the super committee will succeed in proposing a plan for $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by its Nov. 23 deadline?

Republicans (24 Votes)

Very likely: 21%
Somewhat likely: 58%
Somewhat unlikely: 13%
Very unlikely: 8%

Very likely

“If the cuts are going to take place anyway, shouldn’t we look competent and do them ourselves? [Harry] Reid and [John] Boehner will cut a deal for the good of both the House and the Senate.”

Somewhat likely

“Everyone wants to count the super committee out, but that would be very premature.”

“The pain from the automatic cuts and the need by the president for borrowing authority through the next election will be the drivers.”

“I have complete faith in the House Republican members, but they are shoveling sand against a mighty tide.”

Somewhat unlikely

“Their progress thus far doesn’t exactly elicit confidence.”

 

Which of these proposals for tax reform would you consider supporting?

Democrats (31 votes)

Capping or ending the tax deduction for mortgage interest: 35%
Capping or ending the tax deduction for charitable contributions: 35%
Capping or ending the tax exemption for employer-provided health insurance: 26%
Establishing a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million per year (the so-called “Buffett rule”): 87%

“Revenue and tax expenditures must be on the table or the Democrats will balk, and the whole game is then at risk.”

“[The ‘Buffett rule’] is the one that is doable. We need to ask these folks to pay a little more. The American people have repeatedly said they want millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.”

“Our tax system is way out of whack, and it needs to reflect the fact that the richest people in the country have gotten richer—a lot richer—over the past couple of decades.”

“I would consider capping the tax deduction for mortgage interest and charitable contributions at 28 percent … [and] I support a new tax rate for marginal income above $1 million or return to the marginal rate that existed prior to the Bush tax cuts for over $1 million.”

“I would consider capping or tightening several of them and means-testing several of these and others. Rather than establishing a new minimum tax rate for individuals making more than $1 million, I’d prefer to follow the recommendation of the deficit commission to lower rates, keep them progressive, and reduce $15 trillion of tax expenditures over the next decade by as much as half.”

“I would not support any of them as stand-alone proposals but would consider them all (and many more) as part of a broader approach. By the way, the U.S. adopted a ‘Buffett rule’ for years—it is called the Alternative Minimum Tax … and it is no longer doing its job as intended.”

This article appears in the October 8, 2011 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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