Look: Republicans, who have been the main creators of the deficit in the first place, are the ones running around screaming about the deficit and the debt. They run on it. They campaign for it. They have accounting orgasms over it. So you know what, just let them have it. Just give them the whole fucking issue. If Republicans want to balance the budget by cutting Social Security or whatever else it is they want to do, FINE. Let them campaign on it, win the election, and then they can go ahead and do that. If they win, so be it. The American people will get what they deserve if they elect a Republican government.
But Democrats need to stop this shit. We should be standing up for our folks and our positions, not doing their work for them. Not figuring out how to do their politics for them. Not explaining to our people, our voters, why we have to adopt the Republican policies they voted against. We need to stand up as strongly for a Democratic vision of the economy and its relationship to government as strongly as we stand up for social issues. Can you imagine Democrats seeking a "balanced approach" to Women's rights? Looking to meet Todd Akin halfway? How about a "balanced approach" to marriage equality?
Right now we have divided government. You know what that means? It means status quo. It does not mean the American people want to the two parties to work together on things they strongly disagree about. It means they want one party to check the other. If there isn't broad consensus, then leave things as-is. When the American want movement in one direction or the other, they will send that message with a wave election. Otherwise, they want the status quo. That's exactly what they ought to get.
Our position in budget negotiations should always be: Let the people resolve this at the ballot box.
Make it plain: If you want your benefits cut, then vote GOP. If you don't, vote Democrat. If you want a tax cut for the rich, vote GOP. If you want a tax increase for the rich, vote Democrat. Let the chips fall where they may. And if they send a mixed message, then do what divided government usually does: nothing.