Last year, both parties settled on $1.2 trillion initially. Minimally they want $4 trillion over 10 years. They barely scratched the surface. Major cuts remain.
Domestic spending will be hit hard. Social programs will bear the greatest burden. Defense will be largely untouched. Overall amounts appropriated will rise, not fall.
Expect current year's spending to exceed 2012. Cutting annual amounts depends on prioritizing domestic needs over imperial ones. Political will prevents it.
Spending cuts will dominate upcoming negotiations. Expect Republicans to play hardball. They may reengineer the August 2011 debt ceiling debacle. Agreed on $1.2 trillion in sequestered cuts followed.
Before Q I ends, deficit crisis 2.0 may emerge. Another sequester may follow. Expect a larger one this time. Social spending cuts will be prioritized.
Obama's strategy gave Republicans considerable bargaining leverage. They'll take full advantage. They'll play debt ceiling brinkmanship hardball.
They'll extract unacceptable pounds of flesh. America's middle income earners and least advantaged will be hardest hit. Corporate taxes will be cut. Defense spending will be protected. So will income and benefits for super-rich elites already with too much.
Expect America's fragile economy to tip into recession. Some believe it's there now and heading south. It's been held hostage for months.