Republicans propose to balance the budget within 10 years, while Democrats argue that such a move could actually hurt the economy. History suggests the politics may be on Republicans' side.
Paul Ryan's tax play mimics the tactics of the 2012 campaign, Gleckman writes, promising tax reform built around wildly ambitious but gauzy rate reductions without a word about how to pay for them.
Republicans and Democrats are setting out fiscal goals that are light-years apart, Gleckman writes. Here are five stumbling blocks to a budget deal:
With negotiations still appearing stalled, a growing chorus on the left and right has been suggesting that a so-called "cliff dive" wouldn't be so bad. Better than cutting a bad deal, anyway.
The political and economic ramifications are too big for Washington to let the large tax increases and spending cuts take effect. But this doesn't necessarily mean lawmakers will craft a decisive solution to the nation's fiscal woes.