A Republican-Friendly Deal Republicans Won’t Accept

Yesterday, Paul Ryan suggested a smaller ransom for opening up the government and avoiding default. Cohn rejects the deal:

Ryan in the op-ed doesn’t simply call for negotiations over fiscal policy. He also sketches out what a deal should look like. And it would involve major concessions from Democrats—cuts to Social Security benefits and more means-testing of Medicare, plus tax reform that, presumably, would not raise revenue. In exchange, Republicans would offer some relief from the budget cuts taking place from budget sequestration. But this isn’t much of a concession. Just as Democrats are unhappy about sequestration’s cuts to domestic spending, Republicans are unhappy with sequestration’s cuts to defense spending. It’s hard to see how Republicans could get such a deal in a routine negotiation.

Pareene doubts other Republicans would support Ryan’s plan:

Ryan knows he has to demand concessions that border on unreasonable in order to get conservatives on board with any end to this crisis. The problem, as ever, is that any concessions Republicans can realistically extract from Democrats and the president run the risk of being seen as insufficient specifically because they are achievable, and trolls like Cruz and his enabling organizations will be happy to make that case. Republicans are a few steps away from using a government shutdown to get a Democratic president to cut Social Security and Medicare, and Republicans are the only people standing in their way.

Chait is on the same page:

The single most implausible element of the House leadership’s “let’s negotiate” gambit is the premise that a bipartisan budget deal would satisfy the Republican base. Any bipartisan deal, even one heavily slanted to the Republican side, would enrage conservatives. Even the tiniest concession — easing sequestration, closing a couple of token tax loopholes — would be received on the right as a betrayal. Loss aversion is a strong human emotion, and especially strong among movement conservatives. Concessions given away will dwarf any winnings in their mind. Boehner, Ryan, and Cantor have spent months regaling conservatives with promises of rich ransoms to come. Coming back with an actual negotiated settlement would enrage the right.