Congressional Democrats and Republicans are setting low expectations about budget talks scheduled to begin next week — with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dismissing as ‘happy talk’ any notion of a grand bargain that would include cuts to entitlement programs.

The Nevada Democrat won’t be directly involved in the formal House-Senate budget negotiations set to begin Wednesday. But he has been among the most overt in blaming the opposite party — even before the talks begin. And he has given perhaps the bleakest assessment for a potential compromise on tax increases and cuts to entitlement spending.

“You keep talking about Medicare and Social Security,” Reid said on Thursday, cutting off a Nevada Public Radio host. “Get something else in your brain. Stop talking about that. … There is not going to be a grand bargain.”