The chart below represents Republican nirvana as of March 2011. According to their own JEC report, the best research suggests that successful “fiscal consolidation” efforts (i.e., deficit reductions) have historically been heavily weighted toward spending cuts. The sweet spot is 85% spending cuts, 15% tax increases:
The research touted here by Republicans is almost certainly wrong because it uses cherry-picked data from countries that weren’t trying to fight off high unemployment and a stagnant economy. But as Mike Konczal points out, that doesn’t matter. Right or wrong, this is what Republicans were touting as recently as three months ago.
So what happens when the president proposes a plan that’s almost exactly 85% spending cuts and 15% tax increases? They summarily reject it, and continue to insist that if they don’t get their way they’ll happily burn down the country by refusing to increase the debt ceiling. This should surprise no one, of course. This is how it usually goes when you negotiate with terrorists.