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Deficit committee gets 175,000 ideas on slicing, dicing

October 14, 2011|By Lisa Mascaro | Washington Bureau
(J. Scott Applewhite/AP )

Wow! More than 175,000 submissions have been received by the congressional "super committee" on deficit reduction.

Apparently,  Americans -- or quite a few of them, anyway -- have some ideas on how to trim $1.5 trillion from the nation’s deficit.

Friday is the deadline for formal submissions from House and Senate committees that want to weigh in. House Democrats offered their packet of ideas Thursday, while  committees in the Republican House have largely declined to submit formal recommendations.  So far, 28 recommendations have been offered.

The super committee’s website will remain open for business to receive other suggestions from the public. Folks can go to deficitreduction.gov to send their ideas.

The 12-member bipartisan committee was formed as part of the summer debt-ceiling deal and has until Nov. 23 to recommend $1.5 trillion in deficit reductions, either through spending cuts, new taxes or some combination. In the current hyper-partisan political environment, many in Washington doubt a majority on the panel can find agreement.

If the committee does succeed, Congress has a month to approve the recommendations. If Congress does not vote for passage, mandatory spending cuts would be made in 2013 -- a scenario both Republicans and Democrats hope to avoid.

The committee has been criticized for meeting mostly in secret, but it expects to post the formal recommendations on its website on Monday.

And it will keep collecting more.

lmascaro@tribune.com

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