Obama's jobs plan complicates task of debt panel

September 13, 2011 - 3:05 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan House-Senate panel is finding its task of cutting the budget deficit complicated by the cost and politics of President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs plan.

The so-called supercommittee is likely to get some sobering testimony about the deficit's toxic effect on the economy from the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, when it meets Tuesday.

Elmendorf's message is this: U.S. deficits are unsustainably high, and wrestling them under control will require the American public to give up some government services or pay more in taxes for them — or a combination of both.

Obama's jobs plan calls for the opposite: a temporary boost in spending on roads, schools and blighted neighborhoods combined with cuts to Social Security payroll taxes.