From a NYTimes.com article about Dem and GOP spins on the not yet given State of the Union speech:
“The public itself seems split, or perhaps confused. Americans overwhelmingly say that in general, they prefer cutting government spending to paying higher taxes, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll published last week. Yet their preference for spending cuts, even in programs that benefit them, dissolves when they are presented with specific options related to Medicare and Social Security, the programs that directly touch millions of lives and are the biggest drivers of the long-term deficit.
“’To borrow an analogy, cutting the deficit by cutting investments in areas like education, areas like innovation — that’s like trying to reduce the weight of an overloaded aircraft by removing its engine,’ Mr. Obama said …’It’s not a good idea.’
“Republicans are themselves divided over how much of the budget they can realistically slash. The leadership has already acknowledged that it would be difficult if not impossible to fulfill the $100 billion campaign pledge, and instead has suggested that cuts prorated for the balance of the fiscal year would be more realistic. Tea Party conservatives are pushing the leaders to stick to the $100 billion target. Now the leaders face the task of uniting the rank-and-file around challenging the president.”
Both sides are poised to do the same thing - not much - while blaming the other side.
Obama and the Dems will preach the need to “invest,” or put it more clearly, continue spending money on things that make their constituents happy. The GOP will hammer on the need for huge cuts in spending and then not make them, hoping the Tea Party won’t notice and that its corporate constituency will notice that it is business as usual.
The reality of where we find ourselves is that the federal government spent 1.3 trillion dollars more than it took in last year. The coming fiscal year without cuts will burn about the same amount of borrowed money no matter which side prevails with its rhetoric.
Both sides are looking to borrow maybe $50 to $100 billion less than last year, still spending some 1.2 trillion dollars that the country doesn’t have. It’s just a matter of who gets the borrowed money at the margin.