ITHACA, NEW YORK-â€œThe non-surprising failure of the Super Committee to reach an agreement has more to do with Congressional incentives than differences in beliefs about protecting constituents or ideology. Itâ€™s like trying to get the slow-moving tortoise to finish the race without a carrot to entice him, or a stick to scare him.
“The Budget Control Act of 2011 that set up the Super Committee attempted to use draconian style spending cuts to scare Congress members into cooperation, but then set the date for this punishment to kick in so far in the future that these punishments cannot instill fear. Congress members are professionals at reelection so the incentive created by the threat of losing incumbency is no longer credible. No carrot, no stick, no deficit reductions. ”