If true, this is pretty stunning:
Here’s what appears to have been in the $4 trillion deal [Obama] offered the Republicans: A two-year increase in the Medicare eligibility age. Chained-CPI, which amounts to a $200 billion cut to Social Security benefits. A tax-reform component that would raise $800 billion and preempt the expiration of the Bush tax cuts — which would mean, for those following along at home, that the deal would only include half as much revenue as the fiscal commission recommended, and when you add the effect of making the Bush tax cuts a permanent part of the code, would net out to a tax cut of more than $3 trillion when compared to current law.
Obama said that the retirement age was on the table, which actually places him to the right of many Republicans. His base would explode and he would almost certainly get a primary challenge. But it would be a massive step on the road to fiscal sanity. And it’s a big step by the Democrats.
At some point, however, the Democrats are going to stop making concessions. And the GOP will have to decide — do they really want to fix the budget? Or do they just want an issue to attack the President in 2012? As I watch them, I worry that the really don’t want a deal in which spending cuts can also be hung on them. Clinton did a two-step in 1996, both claiming credit for welfare reform and blaming Republicans for it. It’s likely Obama will do the same thing on entitlements. But we’re beyond caring about the politics.