Only 20 percent of Americans believe that a budget deal should consist of spending cuts only - the same 20 percent that believe that Palin and/or Bachmann should be president and that the earth is flat. Actually, a plurality of Republicans says there should be a mixture of tax increases and spending cuts. Yet as NYT columnist David Brooks points out, "the G.O.P. is now oriented around this 20 percent. It is willing to alienate 80 percent of voters and commit political suicide because of its faith in the power of tax policy."
The people in my group (you might call us conservatives) are more likely to embrace a low and steady approach to fiscal policy. Control debt. Control entitlements. Keep tax levels reasonable and the tax code simple. Work on the economic fundamentals: human capital, productivity, labor market flexibility, open trade, saving and investment. Don't believe you can use magic levers to manipulate growth month to month. People in my camp form a silent majority. But we have been astonishingly passive during these budget negotiations. The tax cut brigades and the Medicare/Spending brigades are well organized. The people who believe in balance and the fundamentals sit piously on the sidelines.