The problem with Holtz-Eakin’s remarks, by contrast, is that like all mainstream American conservatives he’s not interested in reducing the deficit. Rather, he supports lower taxes and lower spending. This is why deficits exploded under George W Bush’s watch and also under Ronald Reagan’s watch. It’s not “irresponsibility” or some mistake; rather, conservative policymakers are not interested in the question of how large the deficit is, they’re interested in cutting taxes on the rich.Conservatives don't care about the deficit. Really. Therefore, bipartisan deficit reduction schemes built on the assumption that both parties "really" want to cut the deficit but just don't have the political courage to do so are built on a fallacy, and are not going to work.
Now, granted, most liberals do not believe in deficit reduction per se; they believe as deficit reduction as a means to the end of a growing, stable economy. There are exceptions -- just as there are some Republicans who actually do support deficit reduction -- but for the most part, liberals don't care at all about the size of the deficit except to the extent that it affects other goals liberals care about (and there are typically differences of opinion among liberals, including liberal economists, about the relationship between the deficit and other goals).
Conservatives, on the other hand, have a clear policy goal of low taxes, a goal that is inherently in competition with small deficits.
Both parties are rhetorically in favor of low deficits, because the Washington consensus says that balanced budgets are a Good Thing. But anyone who thinks that Republicans care about deficits is just ignoring thirty years of evidence to the contrary. Before 1980, it was more or less true; since then, it just isn't.