RE: So, what will Republicans be forced to cut?
In terms of policy, and based entirely on what's being reported (which could be wrong), nothing that will come out of this now can be seen as anything other than a Republican victory.
The proposed changes to SS aren't actually all that big a deal, at least not the last version I saw, which was based in changes to COLA. They've been messaged poorly by Democrats, so Democrats will suffer for it politically, but as a matter of policy, I don't have an objection worth mentioning.
The cuts, however, are a huge deal. Our economy can't tolerate them. They will serve as a severe drag on an already faltering recovery. The most immediate problem we have right now is unemployment, not the deficit or the debt, and this deal will not help. The absolute best case scenario is that unemployment stays the same, but it could conceivable get a hell of a lot worse. Even the "best case" is pretty bad. Nine percent unemployment leading into November 2012 is an almost assurance of a Democratic defeat. Obama might squeak by an extremely thin margin, but Congress will be firmly in the hands of Republicans, and then we've just got more of this idiocy to look forward to.
We are heading into a worse position than we were in 1937. Hopefully it won't take a world war and tens of millions of dead to wake us up this time, but my optimism is about gone.
“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.” -- Dorothy Parker