Bob Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a budget watchdog group, said the past week has not been an encouraging one on the fiscal front.
"Not only are the President and the Speaker not coming closer together. They seem to be digging in their heels and refusing to make the basic concessions that are necessary to getting to a deal," Bixby said. "And as troubling, they are doing nothing to prepare their political bases for the concessions that will have to eventually accept - for Boehner on taxes and for Obama on entitlements."
Bixby said he understands the temptation for Republicans to view the debt ceiling as a point of leverage in the early months of 2013. But he thinks this is a very risky strategy.
"I'm not sure how the Republican leadership really sees last year's debt ceiling fight but many of their allies in the business community are in no hurry to repeat that fight ever - let alone next year. Many saw the fight as a Republican overreach," he said. "You would think the Republicans would be reluctant to do that again."