The stakes are so high that Obama can probably win this one without giving away the store. The question is whether he will needlessly give up much of Social Security, Medicare, and the resources he needs to pull the country out of recession, along the way.
Last week Eric Cantor signaled that the GOP will demand enormous sacrifices from ordinary Americans, but nothing from the top paid CEOs. And if they don't get what they want, the Republicans are threatening to pull the pin and blow up the entire economy.
"If you don't want us to do something really irresponsible, you'd better let us do something really irresponsible." If you happen to be John Boehner, a sentence like that apparently makes perfect sense.