Thank goodness. The crisis had reached the point where even travel agents were starting to panic.

The GOP’s latest proposal – a two-week spending bill with $4 billion in cuts – was designed to be hard for Democrats to resist because it is full of cuts they had already supported. For instance, the Republicans’ plan included $1.24 billion in cuts proposed by President Obama in his 2012 budget and about $2.7 billion in cuts to earmarks that both parties have already renounced…

“We are encouraged to hear that Republicans are abandoning their demands for extreme measures like cuts to border security, cancer research and food safety inspectors and instead moving closer to Democrats’ position that we should cut government spending in a smart, responsible way that targets waste and excess while keeping our economy growing,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s spokesman Jon Summers said in a statement Friday.

In fact, Democrats argued, the GOP’s new plan is just “a modified version” of what they have been proposing all along.

“The plan Republicans are floating today sounds like a modified version of what Democrats were talking about. We’re glad they think it’s a good idea, but we should keep our focus on what we need to do to cut spending and keep our economy growing in the long-term. If we need a little more time to agree on a responsible path forward, we should pass a short-term CR for no longer than the next month,” Summers stated.

Wait, didn’t the same Jon Summers call the GOP’s $4 billion proposal “extreme” and a “non-starter” just 48 hours ago? Why, he did! But that was before Boehner unveiled his strategy to build that $4 billion out of cuts suggested by Obama himself. That’s why Democrats now feel compelled to not only praise the measure but to try to take credit for it — before they inevitably begin arguing that $4 billion is itself far too “draconian” to be acceptable.

And so there you have it. The great unmaking of America, which wouldn’t have affected most essential services (including Social Security payments) and which might have ended up strengthening the GOP’s hand, has been averted. For the full list of individual proposed cuts, see Andrew Stiles at the Corner.

Update:? The House Appropriations Committee website has a more detailed description of the proposed cuts.