In response to Spending cuts first:
I have the same concern, i.e. that the cuts that have been put in place will become the new “doc fix” if Democrats retake the House. They would leave it on the books to keep the baseline looking good and then simply undo it on an ad hoc basis, maybe once a year.
As for having the cuts first, the President has already gotten most of the taxes he’s going to get so that horse is out of the barn at this point. Maybe we can try that during the next Grand Bargain on deficit reduction which will probably be needed in about 3-4 years. That’s the sad thing here. Even if the cuts do happen, we haven’t touched the debt.
On taxes, Ramesh Ponnuru recently made the case that we should worry less about cutting top rates, which aren’t as high as they were in the 80s, and more about payroll taxes. He recommends expanding the child tax credit rather than focusing on a rate cut. As a father of three, that sounds good to me.