No need to panic yet, since Politico's "insider" piece on budget negotiations confesses to intervening seismic shifts of unpredictable magnitudes. Anyway, here's the reported, though vastly speculative, downside:
$400 billion in entitlement cuts.... The vast majority of the savings, and perhaps all of it, will come from Medicare, through a combination of means-testing, raising the retirement age and other "efficiencies" to be named later.
I'll just say it for the record--no value judgments, no philosophical preferences, no personal likes or dislikes implied or explicit. For now, this is only an objective observation, nothing less, nothing more: Such a deal would cripple Obama's second term. It would demoralize if not lose his base and undermine if not devastate the base's potential 2014 turnout.
But, as noted, there's no need to panic. The "fiscal framework," at this point, is little more than speculation--perhaps less in the shape of a structure than of a balloon.