01/18/2011 12:19 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Deficit Hawkoprite Watch

Sometime this spring, Congress is going to have to raise the debt ceiling or the federal government will face default. Republicans are going to demand many, many pounds of flesh in exchange, ranging from cuts in discretionary spending to rethinking of entitlement programs, which together could undermine the weak stimulative effect of the December tax cuts. Democrats are probably going to give in to at least some Republican demands for two reasons: politically, they fear that they would be held accountable for a default because the public still associates spending with Democrats, and they hold the White House; pragmatically, they are just not as crazy as the Republican right, and in most negotiations the crazy party gets a better deal.

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