After a week of Rep. Paul Ryan’s deficit-reducing budget plan dominating the political conversation, the Democrats have finally responded with a plan of their own. Whereas Ryan’s plan relies on changes to entitlement programs for the bulk of the reduction, the Democratic plan aims to lower the deficit through cuts to mandatory government programs and military spending, while increasing revenue through higher taxes on the very rich. According to the Washington Post, this would reduce the deficit from 8 percent of GDP to 2.2 percent over the next ten years—a sizable reduction, but less than the Ryan plan, which would reduce the deficit to 1.2 percent by 2022 and balance the budget by mid-century.There are other differences between the plans, to be sure, but in many ways their similarities are the most striking thing about them. Both proposals are in broad agreement that cuts need to be made; they mostly disagree over where exactly the cuts should come from. Gone are the days when Republicans argued for cuts and Democrats argued for expanding the social safety net. Today’s budget arguments are about where and how fast to cut, not whether cuts should be made at all.Both plans have their good points and their bad points, of course. There’s much room for improvement. But at least both parties have finally put something in writing. Now all debates going forward will have a clear foundation. Let the public debate and the political haggling begin.