When conservatives learned of all the budget gimmicks and fiscal sleights of hand that were contained in the budget deal hammered out by Speaker Boehner in April they were justifiably peeved. They felt hoodwinked by the promise of $38.5 billion in cuts, which turned about to be far less in reality. The editors at National Review called it "Strike One."
With that past as prologue it is understandable why many conservatives are wary of virtually any deal that has the hand prints of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on it, and especially any deal that Obama is willing to sign off on. Erick Erickson at Red State lays out the fears felt by conservatives on what the negotiations may ultimately produce:
The least likely scenario is John Boehner’s plan barely makes it through the House and then the Senate Democrats say, “Okay, we’re out of time, let’s do it.” That’s what the GOP is telling themselves will happen. Senator Reid today quashed that idea by saying the Senate will vote tonight to kill Boehner’s plan.
The more likely scenario is that Reid will either use Boehner’s plan as a shell to then pass Democrat ideas possibly including tax increases, White House policy preferences, etc. They will then send the bill back to the House and, since the shell will be John Boehner’s plan, the Democrats will dare John Boehner to kill his own legislation.
What seems most likely at this point is that the Senate will kill Boehner’s plan tonight or tomorrow, then declare that we are out of time and insist on a “clean” debt ceiling increasing saying we’ll take care of all the other issues later. The GOP, having folded all the way down to a bare bones plan, will probably cave.
While we have hope that the ultimate debt ceiling deal won't resemble Enron accounting spreadsheets, or a Boehner plan riddled with tax increases inserted by Harry Reid, it is understandable why many conservatives don't see Washington as capable of producing anything but.
As long as the aforementioned doesn't occur, conservatives can be happy that the GOP has beat the Dems to death over tax increases — read that, right now there are none in the deal.
Conservatives can also rejoice at the fact that such major spending cuts are being proposed at all. Can you ever recall a time in US history when a debt ceiling raise has given Republicans the political leverage to extract Trillions in spending from a Democrat Senate and a Democrat President?
The 2010 election was an overwhelming vote in favor of reduced spending — even Obama acknowledges that much.
Right now both moderates and conservatives are upset with Washington's spending. The tension, as we see it, is moderates in polls say they just want Washington to get something done, but conservatives want Washington to get it done right.