This detailed look at the budget deal suggests it isn’t as much of a surrender as first implied.
I have to admit this analysis leaves me more hopeful, especially with this point:
That the Democrats would accept a deal like this is a pretty striking indication of how the Republican House has changed the conversation on the spending front since 2010. Think of it this way: In their first budget after re-taking the majority—the FY 2012 Ryan budget, passed in 2011—the House Republicans wanted discretionary spending to be $1.039 trillion in 2014 and $1.047 trillion in 2015. These budgets were of course described by the Democrats and the political press (but I repeat myself) as some reversion to humanity’s barbaric past. Yet this proposed deal with the Democrats would put discretionary spending at $1.012 trillion in 2014 and $1.014 trillion in 2015—in both cases below that first House Republican budget.
Check out the graph at the link. It does illustrate bluntly that the Republicans are beginning to force the budget curve downward, if slowly. It also suggests that should they win big majorities in both Houses of Congress next November they will be posed to finally push for some real reductions in the size of the federal government, as they will have the votes in Congress and will be doing it with the strong endorsement of the voters.