"... even if the current talks soon resolve the immediate impasse, which did not look likely on Saturday, any renewal of negotiations for a long-term fiscal plan will run into the same underlying problem that has doomed efforts for the past three years. Republicans refuse to raise additional tax revenue, and until they do, Mr. Obama will not support even his own tentative proposals for reducing spending on fast-growing social benefit programs, chiefly Medicare. During a White House meeting with Senate Republicans on Friday, he reiterated that the two go hand in hand, according to people who were there." NY Times
The real contest in Washington and in fact across the country is between those who believe that the federal government is an engine of great good that should be given more and more functions and money and those who believe that the federal government is a necessary evil that restricts and blights private interests and lives and which should be greatly reduced in power and function.
Specific issues like the ACA or the tax on medical machines are mere excuses. This battle has been fought and re-fought for all the years of the Republic. It has its roots in the traditions of English government that lie at the heart of American political philosophy and discourse. This struggle is essentially a renewal of the contest between the "King's Party," (Tories) and the Country Party (Whigs) that dominated English politics in the 17th and 18th Centuries.
In today's Washington we are now reduced to a prolonged contest of wills between these groups with the really professional "pols" running back and forth from one group to another like rats seeking escape.
The national media are largely adherents of the King's Party while still conscious of their corporate and special interest in seeking favor from groups like AIPAC. In pursuit of these interests the media are busily engaged in portraying the dissident Republican populists as a doomed clique of illiterate rural buffoons. What they seem to have succesfully ignored is the relative invulnerability of these "buffoons" in their home districts and the ability of the "buffoons" to tie the federal government in knots for a long, long time in this and future struggles.
Some say that POTUS is winning this fight. How? He has accepted the sequestration levels of spending as normal and the levels desired by the "buffoons" in next year's spending as a basis for discussion.
What is my solution? I have none. pl