A balanced federal budget isn't a pipedream or some crazy economic theory that will never come to pass. Our home states of Ohio and Minnesota balance their budgets thanks to constitutional requirements, as does nearly every other state in the nation.
The media consensus is that the Republican Party is the loser, and that Republicans must ultimately come crawling back to the president and the Democrats, take their medicine, and forsake their goals. But Ted Cruz does not have to play it that way.
America's problem is our debt, not our debt ceiling. We desperately need a balanced budget amendment to tackle our debt. But a BBA that allows judges to hike taxes would be even worse than the status quo.
It's a safe bet that when the new fiscal year for the federal government begins on October 1, the Constitution will not require a balanced budget. And, probably, neither will it be required of any budget after that.
The balanced budget vote in Congress again this week is a contest between popular common sense and the informed opinion of the establishment. If you're a politician, you don't want to argue with common sense.