Let's put the hyperbole and extremist posturing aside for at least one moment. The deal reached last night really just kicks the can down the road. Can we agree on that? Both parties had almost two years to put together a comprehensive package and couldn't do it. Can they do it in two months? I'm not optimistic. But if they could, what would a comprehensive, balanced compromise look like? IMHO: 1) Medicare, MedicAid, and Social Security: is going to have to be addressed. My approach would include raising the retirement age, taxing benefits for the most wealthy, and including imigration reform to get those here illegally paying into the system after facing at least some sort of penalty for coming here illegally in the first place. 2) Tax reform: Take away deductions and credits for third, fourth, fifth, (etc.) children. We don't care how many children you choose to have - we're just telling you how many we will subsidize. 3) Tax Reform (2): It is my position that we have all benefited in one way or another from our practice of borrowing money to enjoy an artificially inflated economy and we all are going to have to pitch in to pay the bill. I do not approve of the "let the other guy foot the bill" approach and I don't believe the fantasy that lower taxes produce more revenue. 4) Spending: My non-subsidizing of more than two children theory applies here as well for AFDC and support for the needy. In tax credits as well as aid benefits, I'd of course favor "grandfathering" in existing children, but 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc... children born 10 months after passage, wouldn't be elligible for credits/benefits. 5) Spending (2): Spending cuts should come across the board and that includes defense. No sacred cows. 6) The Debt Ceiling: Not a bargaining chip. We passed legislation that obligated us, we can't go back on those obligations. If we address the deficit in a meaningful way in other legislation, this shouldn't be an issue at all. Just MHO.