This week, the President starts dancing with the House of Representatives. He'd like for those poor Republicans to realize how they just need to cooperate, hug their Democratic buddies a bit, and be willing to agree with folks.
So the deal on the table will be this. The Republicans will be meeting at the White House this week and listen to the President. The deal will be that a "bridge" will be built.
As part of the bridge, the Republicans will remove various tax credits in place that rich and moderate folks enjoy. You can call them loopholes, but the real term is tax credits.
With that....the Republicans will ask the President to put some budget cuts on the table....only a modest sum of sorts. Maybe a cut of 3k government employees for 2013. Maybe some defense cuts. Probably some various modest cuts that won't hurt any agency to a significant degree.
Then they sign up to a deal that basically lasts to around October of 2013 at the earliest, maybe the end of December of 2013 at the latest. At that point, they want the real budget cuts to occur.
What they will ask for....which the media won't really talk much about....is simply a bridge to the President out into the middle of 2013, and then he has to go right back to talking about the budget once again. The odds of the House or Senate engaging into anything fruitful in 2013? Zero. By June, they have to return to this next round of budget cuts, which will be fairly dramatic.
What this involves? If the arguing continues on through the end of 2013 with no resolve....you enter another election cycle in January of 2014. Twenty Democratic Senators end up in a public forum at the wrong time and wrong place.
Yeah, the bridge deal is a pretty flawed deal. You simply buy time and avoid sequestration going into 2013. For the President, it simply means your entire agenda is tied around a constant discussion over the economy, tax reform, budget cuts, and small-sizing your government. Four years more....of talk that doesn't get to any of your real goals in life. A lose-lose-lose situation in the end for the White House.
The sad guy in this whole mess is Harry Reid. He has to get up each day and get his focus back into prospective....the budget is generally the only topic of the day, and you keep wondering when this mess will ever clear up. He probably remembers the old days...when he'd have a steak at lunch with some Republican old-timer, and discuss lusty affairs and the best way to get more campaign funds.