Here are the latest details, from ThinkProgress:
If these are the kinds of "concessions" being offered by the Republicans, the Democrats should simply declare that the Republicans aren't negotiating in good faith and walk away from the table.
I mean, seriously - the Republicans agree to close a few tax loopholes, in exchange for another round of long-term, budget-busting tax cuts for the rich? This just goes to show, once again, that Congressional Republicans don't actually care about deficits - after all, they created most of the debt problem in the first place, and now it's obvious that they only care about cutting taxes on the rich, no matter the cost to the US government or to the country.
After a summer of debt ceiling insanity, it should be obvious to the Democrats by now that it's almost useless to negotiate with Republicans. So, they should stop trying.
After all, it's hard to imagine a deal that's better for the Democrats than the automatic trigger - massive cuts in domestic spending, to be sure, but half of the cuts are in defense, and half the cuts are in payments to Medicare providers - both of which are areas that, moving forward, will probably have to be cut seriously anyway. Then, in a couple of years, they make sure the Bush tax cuts expire, and the top tax rate on the wealthiest Americans goes back up to 39%, solving a big chunk of the long-term budget problem:
|See how much of that deficit comes from the|
Bush tax cuts? Quite a lot - more than 50%!
Silly optimists like Thomas Friedman continue to call for a Grand Bargain that will reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years, but since the Republicans aren't willing to put any meaningful revenues on the table, the Democrats should probably take the defense cuts, swallow the (not so horrible) Medicare cuts, and be happy that they aren't getting screwed any worse than they already are.
If the Democrats agree to anything that doesn't include big tax increases on the wealthy (which the Republicans would never agree to), they're both dumb and sell-outs, and they should be voted out of office during the next Democratic primaries they face. But, I sincerely hope the Democrats on the committee know when to say, "enough with the bullsh*t - we're taking our ball and going home."