If i was Boehner, and i really cared about bringing down the deficit here is what i would do, i would go to the democrats and say here is what we are going to do. We (the republicans) are going to get together and we are going to find 200 billion dollars to cut out of the budget for 2012, and we expect you (the democrats) to come up with 200 billion dollars in spending cuts as well. Once the two sides each have their plan to cut 200 billion out of the budget, they get together and put a together bill which makes all of the cuts both sides wanted, and put it in the same vote to raise the debt ceiling, and say unless this whole thing goes together in one bill, we (republicans) are not going to vote on raising the debt ceiling. This would eliminate any of the finger pointing or anything which goes on when cuts are made to the budget, since both sides would be voting on the bill, so it essentially lets everyone off the hook with their base and cuts four hundred billion out of the budget, probably a little less since there would be some overlap in it where both sides decide to cut. Look at what happened with the lame duck congress, republicans wanted tax cuts, dems wanted unemployment benefits, and both sides got to point fingers and essentially get themselves off the hook saying they did what they had to in order to get what they wanted. The same would happen here, if cuts happen to areas which pisses off either sides base, they can both simply say, "my hands were tied, i had no choice but to vote for it in order to get what i wanted." No one ever wants to make budget cuts because they are seen as the bad guy, and this is the reason why government just keeps growing bigger and bigger every day, if they were to do it this way they essentially all give themselves a free pass. I dont get why politicians dont think of simple ideas like this.