After three days of seeing tremendous moaning and groaning about the inclusion of a proposal to adopt chained CPI in the president's budget, I suddenly get it.

Eleven Dimensional Chess strikes again, once more sticking it to the GOP.

Including chained CPI in his budget proposal once again demonstrates Barak Obama's brilliant 11 dimensional chess ability at its best. If you wanted to permanently take chained CPI of the table, you couldn't have devised a more effective way of doing it.

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Jed Lewison has a great front page article.  

It recounts how quickly GOP representative Greg Walden, the head of the House GOP's campaign committee, began criticizing the proposal. Immediately after the budget proposal was released, Walden rushed to find a camera and argued that chained CPI was "trying to balance the budget on the backs of seniors." Now he is doubling down.

For the last few years, any discussion about deficit reduction has revolved around revenue increases, discretionary spending cuts, and reductions in entitlement spending.

With the deal extending the Bush tax cuts, the GOP is taking the position that there no longer needs to be any more revenue increases and opposes closing many tax loopholes. This despite the fact that huge tax breaks for corporate jets, keeping the 15% tax rate on carry over interest, etc., etc., are actually federal expenditures and not true revenue. The GOP is now opposed to any reductions in tax spending.

With the implementation of the sequestration deal, discretionary spending cuts has been mostly addressed, along with defense spending. Of course, the GOP is doing everything it can to get more defense spending, and complaining about other areas cut under the sequestration plan while saying they got 90% of what they wanted.

That leaves cuts in entitlement spending as the only area completely not looked at.

So the recent conversation on deficit reduction has run something like this from the GOP side:

  • You gotten all the revenue you're gonna get
  • The sequester's great, except when it ain't
  • Show me your entitlement cuts
  • In essence, the GOP has been setting a trap - trying to goad the president and the democratic party to put some entitlement reform on the table.

    And, lo and behold, it has happened. The White House budget now proposed the adoption of Chained CPI.

    And what has happened? The GOP is jumping on the proposal and using it politically to hurt the president and democratics. They have effectively rendered it dead on arrival. While it is true that many progressives have also been quite noisy about the proposal on the proposals merits, the effect of the GOP using it purely for politics has killed it. No democratic legislator in his or her right mind will go near it now. It won't pass the Senate, and the only way it would pass in the House would be if the GOP supported it, which they won't.

    Hat's off to you, Mr. President, you've done it again. You've sprung the GOP's "trap" leaving it with mud on its face.

    You'all can back off now. Chained CPI is dead.

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