During last night’s debate, a moderator tweaked the Republican field for being unwilling to accept a deal with Democrats that contained $10 in spending cuts for every dollar in increased taxes. As it turns out, that’s not the deal Democrats are offering. Supercommittee Republicans offered a $1.5 trillion proposal that contained $500 billion in new revenues to $1 trillion in cuts. The Democrats rejected the proposal in favor of a 1-to-1 ratio: $1 trillion in tax increases plus $1 trillion in spending cuts for a $2.3 trillion package (the last $300 billion is to come from reduced interest payments).
Both the tax increases and the spending cuts remain vague, but this much is clear: all of the tax hikes must come before the spending cuts. Republicans have been burned on similar deals before, even with much more favorable cut-to-increase ratios. So when you hear that Republicans are ideologues who won’t accept a “balanced” deficit reduction proposal even when spending cuts outweigh tax hikes by 10 to 1, in the real world the Democrats aren’t willing to contemplate anything close.