Submitted by ub on Sun, 11/13/2011 - 14:16

The co-chairman of that congressional super-committee in charge of slashing our national deficit is saying he's not optomistic and adds that deliberations are "roller coaster ride". The republican lawmaker gave no indication that a deal could be struck before the panel's Thanksgiving deadline.

Texas Representative Jeb Hensarling warns that his panel will fail unless Democrats agree to significant "structural" changes to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.

The supercommittee has until 11/ 23/11 to agree on ways to reduce the $1.2 trillion deficit over the next ten years. Any amount less than that would be made up in automatic across-the-board cuts divided evenly between defense and domestic programs.

The group has been stuck for weeks over taxes. Democrats want to raise revenue by making tax code changes that directly add money to government. Republicans have agreed to increase government revenue, but are demanding cuts programs, which they say are bleeding Americans dry. Meanwhile. both sides are involved in finger pointing for failing to move forward.