Bob Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition, a budget watchdog group, said the current political landscape is a complex mix of public posturing and private probing for an agreement.
"It still think there is a very good chance we get some kind of agreement by the end of the year. What I worry about is that it's a smaller, fiscal cliff deal and not the kind of Grand Bargain we need," Bixby said.
"My chief concern is that we come up with a mini-deal that seems bigger than it really is. It could get puffed up with war savings, and interest savings, and by citing savings from last year's debt ceiling deal - but still fail to make important changes to entitlement programs," he said.