“The Republican leadership has committed to this $100 billion cut… I expect them to do everything in their power to enact it. They’re on the record, they ran on this, and if it’s brushed aside there would be harsh political consequences,” - Brian Riedel, Heritage budget-wonk, last November.

Allahpundit isn't quite buying the argument that it's all about the shorter fiscal year. He's surely right about this:

This is what we’ve been reduced to the suspense of wondering whether the new Republican majority can achieve cuts that will barely make a dent in our annual budget shortfall. Hugely depressing.

But it's depressing, it seems to me, precisely because it is meaningless in terms of the real fiscal situation. To nitpick over $100 billion in discretionary spending - and to try and use this as a unifying theme for the opposition - is not just bad politics; it's a surreal diversion from reality. What's needed is an embrace of comprehensive fiscal reform - on the Bowles-Simpson model. And only the president can get us there - and is being given a golden opportunity by the GOP to own the issue they currently weakly claim.

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