By Susan Duclos
From seeing the constant stream of leaks to the mainstream media from "officials" in both parties, offering up inside information about what they heard, what they see and where negotiations are going, trial balloons set out there to see how much backlash each party will receive on an idea, one can reasonably predict that by the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013, some type of deal with be reached to prevent the US economy from flying over the so-called fiscal cliff.
John Boehner tossed the first trial balloon out immediately after the November elections, offering up $800 billion in "revenue" not to be mistaken with actual tax rate hikes, and while conservative supporters do not support any tax increases even indirect ones like closing tax loopholes and eliminating some deductions, many understood revenue would have to be part of any deal.
Now conservative supporters are seeing trial balloons set out on tax rate increases on our job creators, but not as high as Barack Obama wants them to be.
From the other side, the trial balloon the media is being used to float, is on Medicare reform and raising the eligibility age.
My Prediction, short term and long term:
My guess is we will see both tax rate increases instead of just revenue and some type of entitlement reform because entitlements as they stand are unsustainable.
Supporters from both sides will bitterly complain until the next crisis comes to the forefront and another battle begins.
The 2014 elections are where the ramifications and damage will be seen from whatever deal is made.
If Boehner would stick to just "revenue" without tax rate hikes, conservative supporters would have complained but backed most of the current lawmakers in the midterm primaries and 2014 elections where all 435 House seats are on the ballot.
From the comments from lawmakers and official "leaks" about ongoing negotiations, Boehner is going to cave on taxes even if he claims a "win" because Obama didn't get the "full" amount of tax increases he wanted and that is where the Democrats that will threaten, howl, kick and scream over entitlement reforms will differ from the Republicans that will do the same.
Republican supporters will remember come 2014, they will vote for primary challengers against incumbents if they think their representative betrayed their promises and they will replace them with people they believe will truly maintain conservative principles and keep the promises they made to their constituents to be elected in the first place.
Democratic supporters will vote for the Democratic incumbent in 2014, despite how bitterly they will complain about being betrayed over whatever deal Congress and Obama fashion now.
To Democratic supporters, being the pary in power, means much more to them than principles.
To Republican supporters, principle means more to than power.
One final thought: The reason Republican lawmakers will feel the pain worse than the Democratic lawmakers will in 2014, is because Boehner publicly acknowledged the damage higher tax rates would do to businesses, unemployment, investments and the economy, so negotiating a deal that raises tax rates anyway is a betrayal to the very country and one that cannot and will not be forgiven by conservative supporters.
If Boehner wants to prevent a wipeout in 2014 for the Republican party his only option is to walk away from talks with Obama because at this point, Boehner is only talking and negotiating with himself and he is still coming out on the bottom.