National debt supercommittee disagreeing on taxes, entitlement

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The supercommittee is struggling.

Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) is one of the members of the committee tasked to find cuts. (Photo: Associated Press)

After weeks of secret meetings, the 12-member deficit-cutting panel established under last summer's budget and debt deal appears no closer to a breakthrough than when talks began.

The panel members aren't doing much talking, but other lawmakers, aides and lobbyists closely following the group are increasingly skeptical, even pessimistic, that it will be able to meet its assigned goal of at least $1.2 trillion in deficit savings over the next 10 years.

It's all because of a familiar impasse.

Democrats won't go for an agreement that doesn't include lots of new tax revenue; Republicans are just as ardently anti-tax. The impasse almost certainly means that Democrats won't agree to cost curbs on popular entitlement programs like Medicare.

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