Resetting The Debate

We still don’t know all the specifics. But this week Senate Democrats will introduce a budget that resets the fiscal policy debate to the status quo ante, before President Obama and John Boehner settled in for failed fiscal cliff negotiations.That’s another way of saying that thanks to those fiscal cliff negotiations, the Senate Dems’ budget will actually be to the left President Obama’s most recent tax and spending offer to House and Senate Republicans.

That might sound surprising, particularly given the Democrats’ tenuous grip on the Senate going into 2014. But in a divided Congress like this one, a budget resolution is little more than an opening bid, and if you’re still under the impression that a “grand bargain” is still attainable — as Democrats apparently are — then resetting the scales, just like House Republicans did, is the right way to go.