So the political parties are clear that they need to reach a compromise, right? Surely conservatives, of all people, would not want to trash the US's debt rating, risk the savings of millions and throw the world economy into a new depression.
Well, that's where you're wrong. The controlling faction of the Republican Party appears more than eager to push the US and the world over a fiscal and economic cliff. It has all but held a gun to the head of President Barack Obama, telling him that unless he takes the raising of taxes off the table they will let the global economy collapse. Some within the faction even hope that might help them defeat Obama in next year's presidential election.
I sincerely wish I could be bipartisan on this and write a column saying that blame lies on both sides. But I can't. The debt itself is bipartisan, built up over many years, but only the Democrats are taking responsibility for paying it back. Today's Republican Party in the US is so extreme, so doctrinaire and so reckless it stands alone on this question.