Yes and no.
Yes, it appears the congressional Super Committee created as the compromise kick-the-can-down-the-road solution to the past summer's debt ceiling crisis is on the verge of failing to accomplish, well, anything. That's a bit harsh, actually. It has failed to accomplish the stated goal of finding $1.2 trillion of spending cuts that would be implemented over the next decade.
However, if you look at the fact that this was simply an exercise in posturing that would in no way bind any future budgets or other congressional spending, then you can conclude that this was doomed from the start, or that it accomplished exactly what was expected: nothing. Hence, success or failure is moot.
But what did we learn?
We already knew that in the current political climate, Republicans and Democrats cannot get along, so no surprises there. With the Dem's intent on raising taxes, and the Republicans dead-set against doing so, there is no middle-ground, especially when the only stakes involved are political positioning. All this has done is reinforce where the battle-lines are drawn.
Each side will point fingers at the other, so it's useless to discuss whether one side or the other is "at fault." Since nothing actually happens until 2013 under the deal, both sides have another year in which to work something out. Also, there is an election next year, so it will likely turn out that many of the people who get to vote on such things will be replaced before the clock actually strikes midnight on the NEXT debt-ceiling crisis. And, in the meantime, the Supreme Court will rule on Obamacare, so the whole budget and economy will be in flux.
what we really learned is that we have populated Washington with folks who are far more motivated to protect their elected positions than they are in making serious decisions and helping the nation. The notion of the Super Committee was broken from the start, given that it could do nothing better than make suggestions AND that the "failure" option meant nothing.
As I have stated before, these are examples of why we should enact term limits. At the very least, Congress should not be allowed to receive paychecks if they have not passed a budget!