The budget deficit is a long-term problem whose solution requires two elements: raising taxes on the rich, and lowering health care costs though government action. Republicans won’t do either of these things — their ideology forbids it — so all their talk about fiscal responsibility is purely symbolic.
Although Republicans aren’t serious about reducing the deficit, they need to convince the teabaggers that they are. Puny gestures like going after NPR won’t be enough. They’ll have to shut down the government for a while.
After giving the Tea Party its kicks, Boehner and McConnell will be busy for the rest of the year cleaning up the political mess they’ve made. That should be fun to watch.