As Stan Collender says, the odds seem overwhelming that the supercommittee will fail to reach agreement on anything useful. In my opinion, that would be an okay outcome. But under the circumstances, I think it would make sense for committee members to consider just accepting the fact that the parties are too far away to enact meaningful long-term deficit reduction and just see if they can’t get something done.
Revenue neutral tax reform, for example, is well known to be a difficult political lift. And yet this isn’t a subject where the difficulty is that the parties are too far apart. And since a revenue neutral reform would boost growth, it would in fact reduce the deficit. Probably if committee members try to do this, they’ll fail. Big reforms usually fail. But you could imagine a drive for tax reform succeeding, in a way that I just can’t see any way forward on big picture long-term budget questions.