OK, so we've seen this movie several times. Has the same ending. As we approach the deadline for the debt ceiling and sequestration...
...Obama will claim to stand firm publicly until he gets the deal he secretly wants. Which will be to:
1. Make the debt ceiling votes go away for 1 or 2 yrs.
2. Raise the SS retirement age by at least 1 or maybe 2 yrs.
3. He'll extract some modest cuts to defense in exchange for either chained CPI or something just as brutal.
4. Some other Medicare/Medicaid concessions to cost cutting (read reduced benefit) with maybe, if he's very lucky, the ability to negotiate scrip pricing.
5. A few billion $ for short term infrastructure to placate (read buy) a few recalcitrant Sen/Rep votes.
6. Little to no change to corporate tax code or subsidies (read no long term revenue relief).
All of which is to say, hellooo austerity, Democratic style.
Anyone care to argue this going another way? Please do. I'd like to have some hope but I think Obama's shown his hand several times over the last few years. I think we'd have had a more progressive result if Goldwater was Pres. (half kidding).