According to Conference Co-Chairman Jeb Hensarling, at the Wall Street Journal, "Why the Super Committee Failed:
Even if Republicans agreed to every tax increase desired by the president, our national debt would continue to grow uncontrollably. Controlling spending is therefore a crucial challenge. The other is economic growth and job creation, which would produce the necessary revenue to fund our priorities.
In the midst of persistent 9% unemployment, the committee could have enacted fundamental tax reform to simplify the tax code, help create jobs, and bring in over time the higher revenues that come with economic growth. Republicans put such a plan on the table—and even agreed to $250 billion in new revenue by eliminating or limiting most of the deductions, credits, loopholes and tax expenditures mainly enjoyed by higher-income Americans. We offered this to avoid the even larger tax increases already written into current law that will intensify the pain Americans are feeling during these difficult economic times.
Republicans were willing to agree to additional tax revenue, but only in the context of fundamental pro-growth tax reform that would broaden the base, lower rates, and maintain current levels of progressivity. This is the approach to tax reform used by recent bipartisan deficit reduction efforts such as the Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission and the Rivlin-Domenici plan.The GOP has passed 15 pieces of job creation legislation this year, but the Dems in the Senate have refused to even vote on them.
The Democrats said no. They were unwilling to agree to anything less than $1 trillion in tax hikes—and unwilling to offer any structural reforms to put our health-care entitlements on a permanently sustainable basis.
Unfortunately, the committee's challenge was made more difficult by President Obama. Since the committee was formed, he has demanded more stimulus spending and issued a veto threat against any proposed committee solution to the spending problem that was not coupled with a massive tax increase.