Ezra Klein lays out the odds of the GOP reducing the deficit should they regain control of Congress:
If Republicans take the House and the Senate, how much likelier is a full extension of the Bush tax cuts? I'd say it goes up to 70 percent, and the only reason I don't say 100 percent is that President Obama has more incentive to pick a fight with Congress. Nevertheless, the compromise will almost surely include a temporary extension of the tax cuts for income over $250,000.
Now, if Republicans take the House, how much likelier is a deficit-reduction deal that increases revenues or cuts spending by at least$700 billion over the next 10 years, thus making up for the tax cuts? Maybe 10 or 20 percent? And I think I'm being generous here.
What if the Republicans take the Senate, too? I'd think the chances might actually go down, as Obama would need to fight on behalf of his base if he's going to remain viable for 2010. You might see some changes made to Social Security, but nothing on the order of $700 billion over the next 10 years.
When you have a closely divided Congress you end up with another gray elephant that increases the deficit – earmarks. This is mostly evident in the Senate and something we have already seen come into play with the GOP’s “filibuster it all” attitude.