On the fiscal cliff deal, Jared Bernstein writes (link):
So, here’s my first blush response to this deal. The thing that worried me most in the endgame is that the WH would be so intent on a deal that they’d lock in too few revenues with no path back to the revenue well, and that they’d leave the debt ceiling hanging out there. Remember, the ultimate goal of Repubicans here is still to “starve the beast”–to shrink government by hacking away at both sides of its ledger–receipts and outlays.
Those fears will be realized unless the President really and truly refuses to negotiate on the debt ceiling and is willing to blow past those who would stage a strategic default. If he is not, and if this cliff deal passes, then I fear the WH may have squandered its hard won leverage.
I share Bernstein’s concern about the “debt ceiling hanging out there.” A negotiation such as the debt-ceiling is not a good one for the President, because his opponents have a lot of incentive to be radical, and he has none. And there is evidence the GOP intends to dig in harder than ever. See, for example, Sen. Lindsey Graham’s statement urging House Republicans to pass the Senate fiscal bill, and “save your powder for the debt ceiling fight” (link).
In terms of the rank-and-file, the following is likely illustrative of conservative movement thinking, following the fiscal cliff deal:
@kesgardner: 20, 415 followers
Now the real game begins. The House holds the power of the purse and we are at the debt ceiling. Let's see what spending cuts we get.—
Ken Gardner (@kesgardner) January 02, 2013