First Republicans and Democrats praised themselves for the bold new cuts proposed for the 2011 budget (roughly 1%). As it turns out it's only a cut if your starting point is the Obama proposed 2011 budget that was never acted upon. Spending for 2011 will be higher than it was in 2010 under the new agreement. It's neither bold, nor a cut.
Paul Ryan offered a glimmer of hope with a proposal to cut back on the proposed increases in spending over the next decade by about $6 trillion. This is still not an actual cut, but a reduction in the pace of growth, and it doesn't have a snowball's chance of getting past the Senate.
President Obama has his own plan, that he claims would reduce spending by $4 trillion over 12 years. That's about the same amount he had proposed increasing spending by just a few months ago. He plans on getting there, in part, by raising taxes on "millionaires and billionaires" and has redefined "millionaires and billionaires" to include couples with a combined income of $250k or more.
Both parties are trying to find ways to fund our enormous federal government at its current size or bigger. Even if they could find a way to accomplish this task (and they wont), it misses the point. Government is too big and too intrusive. It needs to be reduced in size and scope, not funded or financed. The obsession with maintaining the status quo, among both politicians and the general public will only succeed in the continuing erosion of most everyone's standard of living.
Here's hoping we get a clue at some point.