This story today from what is generally considered a Democratic newspaper, suggests that the political debate has shifted strongly in favor of the Republicans and against Obama and the Democrats. From the Los Angeles Times: Deficit battle shaping up as GOP victory
Even as the political battle mounts over federal spending, the end result for federal policy is already visible — and clearly favors Republican goals of deep spending cuts and drastically fewer government services.
President Obama entered the fray last week to insist that federal deficits can’t be reduced through spending reductions alone. Federal tax revenue also must rise as part of whatever deficit reduction package Congress approves this summer, he said.
Obama has been pushing to end a series of what he calls tax loopholes and tax breaks for the rich. But even if Obama were to gain all the tax-law changes he wants, new revenue would make up only about 15 cents of each dollar in deficit reduction in the package. An agreement by the Republicans to accept new revenue would be a political victory for Obama because “no new taxes” has been such an article of faith for the GOP.
But substantively, budget experts note, the plan would still be dominated by cuts to government programs, many of them longtime Democratic priorities, such as Medicaid and federal employee pensions.
For a liberal newspaper to recognize and describe in detail the absurdity of Obama’s position on taxes versus cuts is remarkable. Normally a liberal newspaper would ignore the fact that the President’s suggested tax-law changes will bring in practically no significant revenue, and focus instead on the so-called refusal of Republicans to compromise. That the Los Angeles Times is not willing to carry water for Obama and the Democrats shows that the Democratic position is incredibly weak politically, and is likely to collapse if the Republicans stand firm. That the newspapers is also willing to describe fairly the Republican position, something liberal newspapers have almost never done in the past two decades, also suggests that they have had enough, and have finally realized how much their creditability has suffered in recent years by their unwillingness to cover political news honestly.
If this pattern spreads, the Republicans might find themselves getting everything — and more — of what they want. And that will be something I have not seen in almost fifty years of watching political life.