U.S. Debt Deal FAQ
Still foggy on the basics of this week’s debt and deficit deal? The Guardian has published a no-nonsense guide explaining the meaning and function of the congressional “super committee,” the “trigger,” the “balanced budget amendment” and more, including the deal’s potential future. –ARK
Wait, before you go…
What’s the ‘super committee’?
A 12-member congressional panel to meet in November and come up with a plan to reduce deficits by $1.2tn to $1.5tn over 10 years. It can consider tax or revenue increases. If it fails to produce a plan acceptable to Congress, the deal triggers steep, automatic cuts in spending of a similar size.
How does this trigger work?
The trigger is designed to encourage the committee to produce meaningful ways to cut the deficit. If it fails, across-the-board spending cuts in discretionary spending starting from fiscal year 2013 will be set in motion, with half coming from defence – a painful prospect for many Republicans. Medicaid and social security payments are protected, with limited cuts to Medicare programmes – painful for Democrats.
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