From the front page of my Wall Street Journal:

A backup plan to cut the federal deficit and keep the U.S. government from default gained momentum Thursday . . .

. . .

The so-called Plan B is taking shape in quiet discussions between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), away from unhappy House Republicans who don’t favor the approach.

It would link a package of spending cuts to a plan Mr. McConnell proposed earlier this week that would give the president the power to raise the debt limit through 2012 in three installments, unless two-thirds of Congress voted to block it. It likely wouldn’t include any tax increases, a senior Democratic aide familiar with the discussions said.

Messrs. McConnell and Reid are also exploring the idea of creating a committee to identify further deficit-reduction measures and force a congressional vote on the package. The mechanism would be similar to the commission once established by Congress to make politically difficult choices to close military bases.

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In light of the final Harry Potter movie that is out this week, all I can think is that Congress is much like Harry Potter’s wizarding realm, where magical tools and secret staircases appear just when you need them most.

It’s just a matter of knowing all the complicated rules and twists, he who wins is he who is most brave and has read more books of spells.

Meanwhile, those of us on Wall Street are just saying: “FIX IT!”

SNL segment begins at 2:15 mark:

Here’s what I think, and tweeted during Obama’s recent Twitter town hall meeting: What frustrates so many Americans is that we live within our means, budget and save for rainy day, but government does not.

Government spending plans, at their current levels, assume that some magic spell will come along and make more money appear. Unfortunately, the real world is not like Hogwarts or even Congress. Americans just spent the last two years realizing what happens when they don’t live within their means. Greece and the EU zone is learning it. The U.S. government is now learning too.

Money in must be greater than money out. It may seem a lot more complicated than that, but it’s really not. Just like a business can’t spend wildly and just expect its customers to pick up the tab by paying higher prices, government cannot do the same and expect taxpayers to pick up the tab.

It’s not about haves versus have nots. It’s about a simple concept that is not being followed: Money in, money out.

Whatever can’t go on forever . . . won’t.

Please, just fix it.

Another “Fix It” clip, at the 5:20 mark: