The two parties are miles apart on how to cut the deficit and national debt: Republicans want to slash spending even more. Democrats want to raise revenue.
And then there are the other Democrats — the ones who reject the entire premise of the current high-stakes fiscal fight. There’s no short-term deficit problem, they say, and there isn’t even an urgent debt crisis that requires immediate attention. This group could make it even harder for President Barack Obama to strike a grand bargain because they increasingly see no immediate need for either new spending cuts or significantly more revenue, both of which they say could further slow the economy.
These Democrats and their intellectual allies once occupied the political fringes, pushed aside by more moderate members who supported both immediate spending cuts and long-term entitlement reforms along with higher taxes.
Note the aspersions cast here. There's a reason for that.
This intellectual shift away from the need for more immediate deficit reduction is likely to make this summer’s debt ceiling fight even tougher. Democrats are now increasingly likely to revolt against GOP demands, which could include a dollar of spending cuts for each dollar increase in the nation’s borrowing limit.
And it makes execution of a “grand bargain” on debt reduction — a pillar of Obama’s agenda and the subject of renewed talks between the White House and GOP senators — appear all but impossible. Because after all, if the deficit is already on the decline as a percentage of the economy and the debt is likely to remain stable for a decade, why would Democrats agree to fresh cuts to cherished social programs such as Social Security and Medicare, including the president’s proposal to reduce cost of living increases by using a different measure of inflation?
The second time in the article the notion of a Grand Bargain is shot down as "impossible" because Dems are likely to "revolt". Such subtle language usually reserved for intractable cement-heads like Bachmann or Gohmert, now applied to Chris Van Hollen and the Dems.
If I didn't know any better, I'd say Politico was setting up the Democrats to be blamed for whatever debt crisis the Republicans will manufacture in the next few weeks.
Shocking, I know.