There had supposedly been negotiations between the Democrats and the Republicans on the "supercommittee". The Republicans had made what appeared to be a good offer. The Democrats "had sounded amenable to the possible deal, but their position suddenly hardened after going back to their caucus." Translation: They got their orders, from whoever, and followed them.
A little more detail:
Sen. Pat Toomey had worked out a framework that he considered pro-growth and a reasonable first step toward fiscal restraint, while making a major concession to Democrats on revenue in the interests of getting a deal. Max Baucus especially had sounded open to it and a sub-group of the supercommittee had been discussing it seriously but no more.Apparently, the Democrats on the committee were ordered to "dump" the agreement.
Why do I say that? The Democrats claimed they wanted a "balanced" approach, one that included revenue increases as well as spending cuts. Their intransigence was there would be no deal at all without revenue increases. To get a deal, the Republicans gave the Democrats what they said they wanted. Revenue increases half a trillion dollars over the ten year period. But, from the Democrats' perspective, there was one thing wrong: The Republican plan had revenue increases, but not tax rate increases, and what the Democrats really want is tax rate increases.
In short, the Republicans gave the Democrats what the Democrats said they wanted, but the Democrats lied.
I also saw on TV an analyst saying (approcimately)
The Democrats have always regarded the "supercommittee" as a scam a means of conning the Republicans into accepting major tax increases.We can only hope the Democrats don't get what they want.
UPDATE: Here's further confirmation. Once again, as in past years, their proposed "deal" is $1 in spending cuts for $1 in tax increases. Trouble is, the tax increases always take effect and the spending cuts always prove to be mirages.