The immediate costs of the super committee failure

John Dimsdale Nov 22, 2011

Steve Chiotakis: The Congressional super committee’s inaction in Washington will have consequences to everyday Americans — far beyond just the national debt.

Marketplace’s John Dimsdale reports.

John Dimsdale: Congressional leaders had been counting on the super committee to deal with a lot of spending and tax issues — like continuing the 2 percent payroll tax cut, which expires at the end of the year. Extended unemployment benefits also run out. Plus, a big cut in Medicare reimbursements for doctors kicks in January first. Not to mention that most of the federal budget expires in the middle of December.

Dealing with all this is going to be very expensive and tough to get thru a gridlocked Congress, says budget expert Stanley Collender at Qorvis Communications.

Stanley Collender: You know, one more time we’re going to be faced with the possibility of another government shut down. This is starting to sound like an old-fashioned Perils of Pauline serial, with yet another cliffhanger ending.

The payroll tax reduction puts about a $1,000 a year in the pockets of middle-income earners. Most of that money is spent, creating demand for businesses. An impasse, possibly even a government shutdown, right before Christmas could trim overall economic growth by as much as 1 percent according to some economists.

In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

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