Concerning the current federal budget brouhaha, it is becoming very clear that for Republicans it's not about fixing the deficit, as they claimed, it's about cutting spending and taxes. If it were about the debt and deficit, we could have a deal that would raise revenues and cut spending and fix the trouble. We could pay for the government that the people, through their elected representatives, have said they want.
But the die-hard conservative Republicans don't want the government the people have chosen. They want lower taxes for the rich lower than they've been in decades and that means a much smaller government, which means drastic cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
But that's not what Americans really want. They want our elderly to have health care and old-age supplemental support. They just want it to be at a reasonable cost with reasonable taxes.