writes "VOA reports that the latest effort to cut the U.S. government's debt apparently has ended in failure as leaders of the special 12-member debt reduction committee plan to announce that they failed in their mandate from lawmakers to trim the federal debt by $1.2 trillion over the next decade. Democrats and Republicans blame each other for the collapse of the effort. 'Our Democratic friends were never able to do the entitlement reforms,' said Republican Senator Jon Kyl. 'They weren't going to do anything without raising taxes.' Democratic Senator Patty Murray, one of the committee's co-chairs, says that the Republicans' position on taxes was the sticking point. 'The wealthiest Americans who earn over a million a year have to share too. And that line in the sand, we haven't seen Republicans willing to cross yet,' Now in the absence of an agreement, $1.2 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts to domestic and defense programs are set to take effect starting in January, 2013, and the lack of a deal will deprive President Barack Obama of a vehicle for extending a payroll tax cut and insurance benefits for unemployed Americans, which expire at the end of the year."
(Though the official deadline for the committee's hoped-for plan is tomorrow — the 23d — they were to have provided it for review 48 hours prior.)