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View Diary: Krugman: After the Flimflam (100 comments)

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  •  Taking just one quote - The one hope we have (8+ / 0-)
    The one hope we do have is that resistance from Democrats has increased enough that the President might not be able to put together majorities in either chamber of Congress in favor of a grand bargain, with Republicans firmly against raising tax rates or further closing loopholes and Democrats increasingly opposed to cutting benefits on the needy and the middle class.
    Hope we might, but the evidence appears less than comforting - an embrace, by Pelosi of chained CPI, as a concept.
    "If we can demonstrate that it doesn’t hurt the poor and the very elderly, then let's take a look at it. Because compared to what?,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol. “Compared to Republicans saying Medicare should wither on the vine? Social Security has no place in a free society?”
    Which embrace kisses an inherently flawed notion, that the the only alternative available is the vile brew Ryan and the GOP wishes to foist on Congress, and then on us, the people.

    It would be bad enough if Pelosi's latest utterance was merely an indication that for elected Democrats chained CPI, and it's associated erosion of retiree security, is now the likeliest of all unmerited policy concessions. Worse yet is doing so while ignoring the best efforts, the best ideas of her own caucus.

    Oh, and give them an inch and by which longer distance from where we need to be do you think we will find ourselves standing?

    •  you might have real pushback in Senate (11+ / 0-)

      and wouldn't it be ironic if Reid finally moves to filibuster reform not because Republicans are obstructionist on nominees and the jobs bill, but because Bernie Sanders filibusters on chained CPI and protecting Social Security, gets supported perhaps by the likes of Franken and Merkley and enough tea party type Republicans (and maybe even more mainstream Republicans who do not want to give Obama any success)

      Pelosi is attempting to be a team player, and is protecting her right flank - in that read Steny Hoyer -  but just because she said it ought to be looked at, if it hurts the poor (or by extension the middle class) she has left herself wiggle room

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 04:22:05 AM PDT

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      •  I don't doubt her political motivations match (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Habitat Vic, Dallasdoc, tardis10, unfangus

        your description.

        It is the effect which I believe she has miscalculated - badly.

        Her support hinges on the assertion that the chained CPI must demonstrably be benign. To which I'd first ask, by whose lights? Pelosi might rebuff as failed arithmetic a particular analysis supporting chained CPI. Others, to her right, are likely to have a different disposition. Her prior embrace of the concept leaves more than enough wiggle room for Blue dogs, and players further to the right to declare a bipartisan "victory" on the issue. Damage will be done.

        Meanwhile, the other true alternative (from the House) goes begging, ignored, silently declared irrelevant.

        •  How can this benignness be (4+ / 0-)

          asserted when it represents a shit ton of money of what is considered SPENDING which is what the Republicans wish to curtail?

          IOW, if it is so benign to the future recipients, why would it make such a dent in the deficit? Regardless of whether it is phased in, in small increments, the figure must be huge. Otherwise, it wouldn't be pushed.

          The logical disconnect boggles the mind. The bread I like is about $4.69 a loaf [Arnold Oatnut]. The crappy bread is $2 something. People are not going to be able to eat pretty soon. I use bread because almost everybody eats it. Even dry staples like peas and beans are over a dollar a bag now, something like $1.29-$1.79. Rice is up to about a dollar a lb. for bottom grade.

          Something's going to have to give.

          •  Yes, we have to have more money flowing (5+ / 0-)

            to the people and less being captured by the middlemen. Because, they just hoard.

            Also, we have to debunk the illusion that accumulating and hoarding currency is a sign of anything but an obsession. Just because dollars are inherently worthless, people hoarding them is not a benign obsession -- not when the people responsible for managing the national accounts take the resulting scarcity as an excuse to deprive the general population of the necessities of life.

            We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

            by hannah on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 05:39:17 AM PDT

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      •  pelosi almost always leaves herself wiggle room (0+ / 0-)

        but it's as if she's forgotten that anything outside the Beltway exists.

        Goddamned Steny Hoyer, I can't stand him.

        if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:30:26 AM PDT

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      •  Here's hoping that you are right about Pelosi (0+ / 0-)
    •  This is a crap notion. Chained CPI is an extremely (4+ / 0-)

      ugly policy. They'd do better to let the Repubs go full-bore on their "Social Security has no place in a free society" meme, and see what that does for the Republicans in 2014.

      Has she lost her understanding of politics?

      if necessary for years; if necessary, alone

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 08:29:25 AM PDT

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