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Cockeyed optimists and the federal budget

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20TH CENTURY FOX/Album/Newscom

(Read caption) Actress Mitzi Gaynor sings in the 1958 film production of the musical "South Pacific." Guest blogger Diane Lim Rogers writes that people who think that the president and congressional Republicans will come to an agreement on the budget this year sound a lot like Ms. Gaynor in the number "A Cockeyed Optimist."

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In Sunday’s Washington Post, the “Topic A” question (at the back of the A section) asked about the (my italics) “prospects that the president and congressional Republicans would reach a serious budget deal this year.” My answer was “basically nil” because politicians still view putting things on the table as admitting fault. Bill Gale’s answer was “small” because the Republicans are still too entrenched in their “no new taxes” fantasy world. Maya MacGuineas sounded a bit more optimistic that policymakers might actually try doing the right thing but only after they try all the wrong things first! But Alice Rivlin, the only person who was on both President Obama’s fiscal commission as well as (co-chair of) the Bipartisan Policy Center’s version, was clearly the most optimistic of us all, saying (emphasis added):

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