by Patrick Appel
Howard Gleckman chats with a room full of budget experts. The bad news:
To these veterans of the fiscal wars, the odds are awfully long that Congress’ new budget super committee will reach a broad deficit reduction agreement by Thanksgiving—perhaps one-in-three at best. But there is worse news for those who worry about long-term deficits: Although the debt agreement requires an additional $1.5 trillion in automatic spending reductions over 10 years should the Gang of 12 fail, not one of these experts believes those cuts will ever happen. Congress will find a way to avoid, evade, delay, or otherwise confound these spending limits. In other words, the stick that is supposed to force lawmakers to act is mostly sawdust.