I have one word for the lefties: Tough.
Ace points out some inconvenient information that may have scared everyone on the committee:
The horrifying chart-fu that doomed the Super Committee. This is the unpleasant math that the Democrats don’t want to face: in order to sustain the welfare state at anything like the current levels indefinitely, tax rates would have to skyrocket for everyone, not just the rich...and the programs would bankrupt us anyway, just a bit later. (Just consider this thumb-sucker from Eugene Robinson of the WaPo that excoriates Republicans for their "stubbornness" -- Robinson refuses to even countenance cuts to the entitlement state, because apparently that's just crazy-talk, and hence Democrats are the very souls of reason for refusing to discuss it.)Keep in mind the committee had no power to enact anything. All they could do is make recommendation which would then have to pass both houses of Congress. That wasn't likely to happen regardless of what they came up with.
Frankly, I think taxpayers got a much better deal with the enactment of the automatic $1.2 trillion in cuts the law requires, even though it may hit both Defense and Medicare hard. We may find there was so much waste in both programs that cutting a huge chunk forced the government to make the tough decisions they've passed on so far.
Drew M, also at Ace of Spades, adds this:
Meh, it was never an opportunity. Obama and Senate Democrats are working off a mandate from the 2008 elections, the House GOP from the 2010 midterms. The American people sent a mixed message (one of the most liberal presidents ever and a tea party inspired House), that you'd get this result was foreseeable and predictable.
Only the American people can sort this out and they will next year.
Now the race is on to pin the blame for the failure of this process and attempts to disarm the automatic cut triggers. Those triggers by the way don't kick in until 2013, so there's plenty of time to deal with that.
The big lesson to take away from this . . . don't ever trust these kinds of committee. Don't let them pawn things off on others and out of sight where we can beat on them.