Former Treasury secretary Hank Paulson discusses the supercommittee with me on the homepage. Here’s an excerpt:
Paulson distills the ethos of Washington, D.C. — and the need for a trigger — in a single sentence: “It’s [got] to be so bad to not have a compromise that one will get done.” Not that he considers every politician irresponsible. He knows several members of the committee — “I couldn’t have a higher regard for [Sen.] Rob Portman [R., Ohio], for instance” — and believes “they won’t want to fail.”
And that’s encouraging, because they must succeed. Cutting $1.2 trillion over ten years “is not a heavy lift,” Paulson maintains. Rather, it’s a gesture — an indication to markets “that our government can function.” Optimistic that the committee will reach a deal, Paulson speculates, “It can help create some momentum toward doing the sorts of things that we need to get done . . . though they will probably be done after the election.”
Read more here.