WILL: Since we have -- what we need is not a big committee, we need a big election to sort out some of these. What was supposed to propel the committee to success was a fear of the sequester. But look at the sequester. $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, during which the Congressional Budget Office projects we will have $44 trillion of budget. So it's $1.2 trillion from 44.
Second, even if the sequester takes hold in 2013, 2013 spending will be a third larger than it was in 2007, just six years ago.
KRUGMAN: Actually I agree with George on a lot of that. Not that the sequestration is trivial, because actually--
AMANPOUR: That's the automatic cut.
KRUGMAN: Yes, the automatic cuts. If you actually look relative to the things that are in the firing line, it's a lot bigger than that. So it's pretty serious, but it's not going to happen. One way or another, it's not going to happen. And we don't know which--
AMANPOUR: The automatic cuts won't happen?
KRUGMAN: In January 2013, we'll be in a different political universe. Either President Gingrich will be doing something, or reelected President Obama and reinstalled Speaker Pelosi will be doing something. Anything can happen here. And the supercommittee was just a terrible idea, from the beginning.
DOWD: Christiane, I think there's a bigger thing here, which the American public is watching this all go on. We're at a Sunday going into Thanksgiving holiday -- happy Thanksgiving to you all as we move into that holiday. The American public is out there. Families are gathering. They're driving across the country, they're taking their bicycles, they're flying across the country to gather at a table. The supercommittee has not met as a whole since November 1st. They can't even walk across the hall while the American public is trying to celebrate Thanksgiving around the country to solve this problem.
And so we have the country watches this, failure of our institutions. They watched Penn State, which is another institution that they have seen a complete failure --
DOWD: And now we have the supercommittee, six members on each side can't seem to even meet in the course of this to solve this problem.
AMANPOUR: In the meantime, you've got a very, very upset secretary of defense, because part of those automatic cuts will be defense.
I just want to put up what the secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, has said. He basically said, "I really urge the leaders in Congress, I urge this committee -- suck it up. Do what's right for the country. We elect them to govern. That involves risks. That involves tough choices, but that's what democracy is all about."
He sounds so frustrated, Peggy. And even he's being tough on some of his own party's sacred cows, entitlements.
NOONAN: He certainly has. Look, the supercommittee is over. It has broken down. Nothing is going to happen here.
AMANPOUR: But what will happen to address all this?
NOONAN: Look, it broke down over classic Democrats, Republicans, spending, taxes. We know what the issues were. Some people tried to make compromise. It didn't work. It didn't work. Mostly in my view, contra Rahm Emanuel, because the president never got involved in this. He never pushed it forward. He could have had a big psychological effect. There were moments where they came close and the president stiffed his own Defense Secretary who said sequestering essentially will hollow out what we are trying to do here.