The graphic whizzes at The Washington Post have worked up a nice interactive feature to help you track the evolution of the different deficit deals. The main thing you’ll notice is that they keep getting smaller:
They keep getting smaller because bigger deals require more compromise. And the Republican Party isn’t exactly in a compromising mood.
But you’ll also notice that as the deals get smaller, they attract more promises for future compromises. Reid, Boehner and McConnell/Reid all included some form of bipartisan “supercommittee” charged with developing larger deficit-reduction plans for Congress to pass sometime next year. I think of this as the Procrastination Fallacy: Somehow, everyone in Washington thinks it will be easier to reach a deal tomorrow than it is today.
But will Republicans really be more interested in compromising on taxes in the middle of an election year? Will Democrats really be more likely to agree to Medicare cuts during a presidential campaign? People sometimes criticize Washington types for being out of touch with “real America.” But sometimes their decisions make you think they’re out of touch with Washington, too.