I wonder if this is what Brooks meant when he said the Republicans need to "do something more crafty" with their messaging on destroying Medicare -- let's figure out how to blame the Democrats too. It seems Brooks also thinks that the audience of Meet the Press is silly enough to believe that there is a chance in hell that the Republicans are going to agree to increase taxes, much less offer that up in negotiations with the Democrats.
MR. GREGORY: But here's the--I mean, the question, David Brooks, is whether there's going to be a deal before they raise the debt ceiling on Medicare, and what that looks like. I mean, Senator McConnell wouldn't say it, but he's certainly not backing the Ryan plan. He's not going to go to the mat. I mean, you don't--if you don't whip up the vote in the Senate, that's not going to the mat, it's letting your members vote. It would be something different than what Ryan is talking about.
MR. BROOKS: Right. If you ask Americans, should we cut Medicare to help and reduce the deficit, 78 percent say no. And so that's pretty strong. So that's what happened in New York 26, I agree with Ruth's analysis on that. So what do the Republicans like Mitch McConnell do? Well, they can do a couple things. One of the things that'll be useful is to cut a deal that includes Medicare. To have Democrats--Democratic fingerprints on a Medicare reduction plan, which would be good for the country. And by getting the Democrats involved, then that would reduce that as an issue.
MR. GREGORY: I--right.
MR. BROOKS: And then what they have to offer is tax cut--tax increases on the rich. Now, would the Democrats take that up? I'm not sure and, frankly, I don't think it's likely. But that's what the Republicans need. I think it's much more likely that we'll have really a fudge deal on the debt ceiling limit, a nontrivial chance of a significant default problem this year or a government shutdown problem this year, and then a very large chance of some sort of fiscal crack-up in the next couple of years. I was up on Wall Street this week. I know more about political risk than they do. They're vastly underestimating the source of political risk here. We could have a major problem, I think, either this summer or the next couple years. And I'd be worried about investing too much in the market, that's my financial advice.
(John Amato: I added the word 'Foolishness' to the title of the post because that's what Brooks statement is.)