Do you support long-term deficit reduction? Do you support a long-term balanced budget over time?
As I've said, it seems to me pretty clear that over the last 30 years or perhaps longer, Democrats in office -- mainstream liberals -- have favored policies that tended to place a fairly high emphasis on either long-run balanced budgets or, at the very least, relatively small long-term budget deficits. Republicans in office have favored policies that yielded, or would yield, very large deficits. I'm curious about the extent to which those preferences of Democrats in office are in line with general liberal preferences.
(Note: virtually all liberals all the relevant politicians in office, believe that deficit reduction should begin after the economy resumes growing at a more rapid pace. Barack Obama and many Democratic Members of Congress do say that cutting a deal now for deficit reduction later would be good for the economy now. I'm not asking whether that judgement is sound -- I'm asking about whether, once economic growth is restored and unemployment reduced, deficits should be lowered significantly -- regardless of whether the agreement was reached now or later).
Additional, related question. Suppose that Republicans offered the following deal: they would support any plan that Democrats write that would cut $4T from total deficits over 10 years, with the only condition being that there would be no new revenues of any kind. Democrats would have total control over both the timing and the content of the cuts (but imagine controls that would actually require that every single dime of the cuts gets implemented). Should Democrats take that deal? Would that deal be better than a clean debt limit extension through 2013?