The reason theyíre not is because the fiscal long-game mostly favors liberals. To see this, letís fast forward a decade or two and imagine a similar negotiation. I suspect that, if anything, Medicare and Social Security will be even more popular than they are today given the aging of the population, making them even harder to cut. Itís possible that raising taxes on the affluent will be less popularósome 60 percent supported Obamaís desire to do that in last monthís exit pollsóbut I doubt it. Historically, Americans have been sympathetic to the idea. And while itís true that, as conservatives point out, you canít fund the entire welfare state by raising taxes on the wealthy, itís not the only source of revenue thatís likely to exist. If nothing else, Iíd guess a future Democratic president could raise taxes on income well below $250,000óprobably down to $100,000ówithout incurring major blowback.