The Wall Street Journal reports Democrats are preparing a plan that would bring the total cuts to the FY2011 budget to $30 billion, exactly half of the $61 billion in cuts proposed by House Republicans:
The White House and Democratic lawmakers, with less than two weeks left to avoid a government shutdown, are assembling a proposal for roughly $20 billion in additional spending cuts that could soon be offered to Republicans, according to people close to the budget talks.
That would come on top of $10 billion in cuts that Congress has already enacted and would represent a deeper reduction than the Obama administration and Senate Democrats had offered previously in negotiations. But it isn't clear that would be enough to satisfy Republicans, who initially sought $61 billion in spending cuts and face pressure from tea-party activists not to compromise.
Meanwhile, Republicans are showing absolutely no interest in achieving a compromise to avoid a government shutdown. On Friday afternoon, responding to optimistic comments from Chuck Schumer that Congress would be able to avoid a shutdown, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor denied that Republicans thought progress was being made in negotiations and claimed Democrats would be blamed for the coming government shutdown. Essentially, in the face of Democrats agreeing to meet Republicans halfway, Republicans are responding with a raised middle finger. They are doing everything possible to force a government shutdown.
That might play well with the tea party, but it's bad for the country and it's bad for our economy. And what's bad for the country is ultimately bad politics. Their overreach is about to become Walker-esque.