NYT Op-Ed: What Republicans Think
The article seems to suggest that since we're living beyond our means drastic measures have to be taken, and that Republicans are more willing to acknowledge this fact.
Here's another way of framing the situation: If we're living beyond our means we need to adjust our living, but the basic conflict remains: Who should do the adjusting? All of us, or just some?
In my view, both parties agree that the future looks bleak. The difference is that Republicans would have (at least) a third of the population bear the brunt of the impending austerity in order to spare the rest.