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View Diary: The cutting of Social Security was always in the cards, face it (61 comments)

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  •  yes and no... (2+ / 0-)
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    mollyd, mickey're was always in the cards since Republicans have, basically, been holding the entire budget process hostage unless or until some kind of paring of Social Security and other entitlements was done (what they love to refer to as "entitlement reform.") seems highly unlikely that President Obama has "wanted" to cut Social Security all along. There's no evidence to suggest that this was his first preference. There's ample evidence to suggest that the only reason it's in the President's budget at all is because Republicans have been insisting on one thing and one thing only: that ANY budget deal with the president must, first and foremost, include what they call "entitlement reform." (And, of course, we all know that Republicans' verson of "reform" of anything, especially things like Social Security, means the opposite of "reform"...but means...methods of trying to kill it off).

    So...when people say things like the President "wants" to do something that's difficult, such as cutting money, that's not necessarily so just because some folks say it is.

    Based on all available evidence, the President has been given one choice by Republicans: changes to entitlements or no budget deal...EVER. That's what they've been saying (in fact, the only other previous requisite...that it involve no tax increases of any sort...was abandoned by them a long time ago, leaving as their one and only requisited for a budget agreement being...cuts to entitlemments).

    So...given that, and the fact that Republicans have control of the House and much more power than their miniority status in the Senate might otherwise seem, the President had one choice in order to get ANY kind of budget agreement from Republicans EVER: changes to entitlements.

    Now...where he has disappointed how he's gone about it.

    In my opinion, the President should have told Republicans he's ready to give on so-called "entitlement reform," as Republicans have been demanding as part of any budget agreement...and left it at that. (He could then later use things like increasing the Social Security income cap (or, better yet, eliminating it altogether) and reducing benefits to those earning more than a million dollars in income as bargaining chips. He could even have later thrown in the chained CPI as part of the conversation in order to extract concessions from Republicans.

    However, as usual, the President, as he and other Democrats keep doing (making the same mistake over and over) is to make concessions to Republicans EVEN BEFORE SERIOUS NEGOTIATIONS HAVE EVEN BEGUN (meaning that Republicans will, as usual, take the President's chained CPI as a given and demand...even more so-called entitlement conceessions).

    A chained CPI could work and be acceptable to me, if done the right way (i.e. raising basic benefits, especially for the lower income folks, as the Simpson-Bowles commission recommended to compensate them for smaller cost-of-living increases in the future). However, as usual, the President and his team seem to be willingly giving up most of their bargaining chips....well in advance of the actual negotations having even really begun.

    •  What about foodstamps, EITC, Head Start (6+ / 0-)

      CHIP, LIHEAP, WIC, Subsidized Medicare drug coverage, being cut by chained CPI?.

      Just to reduce the deficit>? No, it'll contract the economy.

      ...... Social Security blogathon March 25th thru March 29th. #HandsOffmySS FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 08:54:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you really think Obama is that stupid? (8+ / 0-)

      Do you really think he (and his team) are that oblivious the the basics of negotiation?  That they understand less than 90% of the population when it comes to negotiating tactics?

      Or... is it possible that Obama actually wants "entitlement reform" as much as the GOP?  Hell, he's been talking about it for years.

      It seems to me you either have to believe this is something he wants or you have believe he and his team are complete morons.

      We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. - Former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

      by RageKage on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 09:44:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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