Debt supercommittee doomed by Bush tax cut debate

WASHINGTON (AP) - A long-running war between Democrats and Republicans over Bush-era tax cuts doomed the chances of the deficit-reduction supercommittee reaching a deal. Efforts to overhaul the tax code may await the same fate as both parties gear up to make taxes a central issue in 2012 elections.

Republicans insisted during the supercommittee negotiations that curbing tax breaks to raise revenues be coupled with guarantees that tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush be made permanent. Democrats balked, fueling a debate that is unlikely to be settled before voting next November.

Republicans want to make all the Bush tax cuts permanent. Most Democrats want to extend them only for individuals making less than $200,000 a year and married couples making less than $250,000.