The continuing saga of House and Senate leaders trudging up to the White House to negotiate with the President has done nothing to make progress on the real issue: meaningful budget reductions to reduce the annual deficits and get the out of control growth of the federal government back within striking distance of being controlled.
So the answer is pretty simple. End the Three Party talks. There can be no useful result of a 3 way contest: the President seeking to aquire more power and set up a win in the 2012 campaign--without regard to the impact on other Democrats; the Senate trying to appease the liberal base of its Majority; The House trying to live up to its instructions from the electorate in the last election. There is no common ground in the 3 positions -- so it's useless to try.
The House has passed a budget which the Senate, according to its Constitutional role, has not acted upon. There could be meaningful and real negotiations between House and Senate leaders, as there have been in similar situations in our history, if they were scheduled by Senator Reid, the Senate Majority Leader. The fact that he, and his fellow Democrats, have not taken any action, is the root cause of this supposed crisis.
It's that simple.
I agree with Mark Levin and others. The House should act and pass a debt ceiling bill that authorizes a small increase in the debt limit and contains ACTUAL cuts to the remainder of this year's outlays and to the FY 12 Budget that significantly reduce the deficit for next year. No gimmicks, no accounting games. Real cuts. Then send the Bill to the Senate, where Senator McConnell and the other Republicans should urge action. If there is no action on this bill, then it is the Democrats, not the Republicans who bear the burden.
To motivate action, the Republicans should also indicate that for every day of delay in this regard, they will use the Senate rules to delay all other Senate business on a 1 day for 1 week basis -- no confirmation hearings, no treaty hearings, nothing -- until the issue of the debt is settled.
With other business grinding to a halt, the House then seems to have the ability to craft and pass two more bills -- to cap spending during this Congress to no more than 18% of GDP, and another to amend the Constitution with a Balanced Budget Amendment.
It's been over 900 days since the Senate passed a budget. It's time to focus on them as the issue.
It's also time to let the President out of the process, since there isn't any apparent value in his holding these negotiations.