The two major parties are shaping a deal that will raise taxes now and supposedly cut entitlement payments “10-20 years down the road”. Oh, you betcha. Dan Mitchell is not the only conservative commentator to point out that when Republicans go into a negotiating room with Democrats they get the shaft, but after Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Bush fell for the trap and agreed to accept tax hikes in exchange for cuts to be named later and never got the tax cuts (instead, they were pilloried by the Democrats for raising taxes) there is no excuse for Republicans to do so again.
Republicans know this, so why would they tee up the football again? The simplest explanation is also the most obvious. Just like their Democrat counterparts, D.C. Republicans are politicians, first, last and entirely. They are all about getting reelected – indeed, that task consumes them from the morning after their first campaign win to their final day in office, decades later. The current political climate says that you won’t get reelected if you don’t raise taxes on the minority and you won’t get reelected if you cut entitlement spending.
So that’s what they’ll do, hiding their complicity with the “enemy” with loud trumpeting of the cuts to come, about how this time by golly they’re going to get serious about cutting spending, etc. Nothing changes.