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View Diary: Obama, Boehner meet on fiscal mess (222 comments)

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  •  If this is the case what does the Democratic Party (16+ / 0-)

    really stand for? And why do progressives support it? Did we not just win the last election? Here is my bottom line: Tax hikes on those making 250,000/year no cuts to Social Security or projected Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid. Period. That is as far as I am willing to go. That is not a starting point for negotiation. Anything less is a sellout. And it is a sellout by Democrats. "Going over the Cliff" happens on January 1st. And it can end by Jan 3rd. So who really cares if we go over "the cliff". The debt ceiling is unconstitutional and should be tested in court. But the only way you get to test it in court is to ignore it and let Congress sue the Executive. I have had enough "bipartisanship" with this crowd for a lifetime. Time to fight for working people and the poor. The rich can take care of themselves without our help.

    •  The Dems have ALWAYS stood for needless caving (7+ / 0-)

      fainting, and generally snatching defeat from the mouth of victory.

      Now it's going to look WORSE because Dems WON the election well - but now we have to STILL PRETEND the GOP are stronger than us????????

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 08:58:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I guess the problem is that Medicare will run (0+ / 0-)

      out of money as currently implemented so something does have to be done with that at some point (whatever it is). That would be why Democrats like Obama are willing to talk about it.

        •  not according the report produced each (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          year by Medicare

          •  Reality check" (9+ / 0-)

            "A remarkably important and persuasive paper that calls into question the need for “reforming” Medicare has not gotten the attention it warrants. “An Examination of Health-Spending Growth In The United States: Past Trends And Future Prospects” (hat tip nathan) by Glenn Follette and Louise Sheiner looks at the model used by the Congressional Budgetary Office to estimate long term health care cost increases. Bear in mind that this model is THE driver of virtually all forecasts of future budget deficits.

            This paper, although written in typically anodyne economese, is devastating in the range and nature of its criticisms. And the reason this assessment should be taken seriously, independent of the importance of the issues it raises, is that the authors are uniquely qualified to make this critique. Follette is chief of the Fed’s fiscal analysis section. Sheiner, a fellow member of that group, has worked for both the Treasury and the Council of Economic Advisers previously. In other words, the sort of analysis they have made here is the core of what they do on a daily basis.

            The argument made by the opponents of the plans to cut Social Security and Medicare generally take this form: concerns about Social Security are greatly exaggerated. They are based on long-term forecasts, which are notoriously inaccurate in outlying years. The most commonly cited, by the Trustees of the Social Security system, projects the exahustion of the famous trust fund in 2033. As several analysts have observed, if Social Security really has a problem, we’ll know it in plenty of time; there’s no need to do anything immediately.

            By contrast, conventional wisdom is that Medicare does have a long term cost predicament, but the problem is not demographic, but that of the steep rise of health care costs in general.

            The fundamental beef of Follette and Sheiner with the CBO model is that it naively assumes past growth in health care spending as the basis for its long-term projections. The result is that it shows that trees will grow to the sky. One of the things anyone who has build forecasting models will tell you is you come up with assumptions that look reasonable and then sanity check the output (for instance, does your model say in year 10 that your revenues will be 3x what you can produce given your forecast level in plant and investment? If so, you need to make some revisions). The Fed economists point out numerous ways that the model output flies in the face of what amounts to common sense in the world of long term budget forecasting. From the opening of the paper (emphasis ours):"


            "Due to a sharp slowing in the rise of health care costs over the last four years, the assumption that exploding health care costs would lead to unfathomable deficits may no longer be plausible even to people in high level policy positions.

            As we all know, the large budget deficits of the last four years are entirely due to the economic downturn caused by the collapse of the housing bubble. The budget deficit was slightly over 1.0 percent of GDP in 2007 and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projections showed it remaining low for the near-term future. The origin of the large deficits of the last few years is not a debatable point among serious people, even though talk of “trillion dollar deficits, with a ‘t’” is very good for scaring the children.

            However, the big stick for the deficit hawks was their story of huge deficits in the longer term. They attributed these to the rising cost of “entitlements,” which are known to the rest of us as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid."


            Unlike this site, there are others who are looking into the details rather than just the latest political sound bite.

      •  Medicare can be handled later, separately, and (10+ / 0-)

        with a different Congressional membership that the current pack of rats.

        There is zero reason for medicare and social security to be involved in this particular show.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 09:05:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That is a Lie. This has been covered over and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder, fwdpost

        over again during the election and Obama said it is fine and we do not have to cut, nor would he cut, anything in Medicare that would effect the beneficiates.

        This was a promise.

      •  Even if that were true, there are a thousand (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        divineorder, Mr Robert, Timothy J

        more progressive ways to approach the issue than to raise the eligibility age.

    •  You were voting between a Conservative party (7+ / 0-)

      and a Reactionary party.

      "Progressives" support it because most of them are either chicken shit, not really progressive (just conservatives who see conservative  in the US defined by reactionary right of the GOP), or any number of other reasons that really doesn't help any of us.

      You are preaching to the choir, and, in fact, I would go further:

      The above mostly misses the point that the Democratic Party has mostly been a right wing party.

      The entire point of this to be perfectly clear is to underscore that no one should be under any delusion that the Democrats are a right wing party.

      Its one of the reason that I do not believe they will be able to capitalize on the demographic shifts. The newer demographics are a shift to the left (or an ideological shift); not just a partisan shift. THat's why you got people like Rahm Emmanuel and Cuomo acting as they are acting. They know the hand writing on the wall is against them demographically so they want to rig the situation to maintain the status quo that allows them to cut entitlements etc.

      The battle over the next few decades will be in both partys. Not just the GOP if there is going to even be a battle. Which I am not so certain there will be.

      •  Particularly because the demographics who (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bruh1, Bailey2001, akmk, divineorder, Mr Robert

        elected Obama are from constituencies which have not yet accumulated wealth.  They don't have the surplus to cover extra years without Medicare or Social Security and still fund their retirement years.

        We hold the $500K crowd harmless and raise the Medicare eligibility age?  

        How many of those folks waiting in the long lines make $500K?  How many can afford health insurance at 65?  

    •  Or what? You won't vote for them last month? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Period. That is as far as I am willing to go.

      How many divisions does OWS have?

      by Diebold Hacker on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 10:24:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I did vote for them last month. (0+ / 0-)

        But that does not mean they can count on my loyality in 14. And if they fuck it up again I will not accept blame from you or anyone else. No more free rides. Democrats need to earn my vote from now on. And if Democrats lose in 14 it will because they failed to deliver. Not because I complained.

        PS your signature line is originally from Stalin. When asked about the power of the Roman Catholic Church he famously replied "How many divisions does the Pope have?". Notice that Catholicism is still here and communism is not. So much for needing divisions.

        •  Of course. (0+ / 0-)
          I did vote for them last month.
          Me too.
          But that does not mean they can count on my loyality in 14.
          Me either.
          And if Democrats lose in 14 it will because they failed to deliver.
          They will likely fail, and they will likely lose seats in the off election.
          PS your signature line is originally from Stalin.
          That's the joke.

          How many divisions does OWS have?

          by Diebold Hacker on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:16:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good joke. (0+ / 0-)

            But what do we as progressives do if we get sold down the river? We are the only ones looking out for the poor and the working class and the powerless. If Democrats turn their backs on those folks they turn their backs on us. For me politics is a way to policy, not the other way around.

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