Bipartisan budget negotiations led by Vice-President Joe Biden are quietly making progress. Word is that both parties have agreed on about $1 trillion in spending cuts, which Republicans have said are necessary to extend the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling ahead of an early August deadline.
Corporate leaders and the three rating agencies have warned of dire consequences if the US government has to default.
But the Obama administration and GOP congressional leaders are playing a high-stakes game of chicken. Republicans have taken tax increases off the table. Democrats have drawn a line in the sand on Medicare and Social Security. That leaves cuts in discretionary domestic spending, defense (but don