Republican leadership in the House and Senate continue to make “line in the sand” statements:
- Everything has to be on the table, except taxes. "Some argue that to address our debt, we need to raise taxes. I'm totally opposed to that, and here's why. We don't have a revenue problem in Washington; we have a spending problem.” http://www.johnboehner.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=242397 
- Ryan voiced the same sentiment on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He said, “We don’t have a problem with our budget because Americans don’t pay enough taxes. We have problems with our budget because we spend too much money.” Politico, 4/13/11 in http://www.newsmax.com/InsideCover/Cantor-Ryan-ObamaShouldSayNotoTaxes/2011/04/13/id/392710 
This is destructive of bipartisanship and any opportunity for true compromise. Backed into a corner is not a constructive position from which to negotiate. And moderates and progressives on both sides of the aisle are being backed further and further into the corner.
“Revenue-positive” tax policies are necessary if we are to truly reduce annual deficits and the resultant borrowing. Elimination of all safety net programs would not provide enough savings to significantly dent the deficit. Yet, this is the direction of the House leadership in their budget and appropriations work.