At a press conference in Seoul today, President Obama admonished those who are skeptical of recommendations coming from his blue ribbon, bipartisan taskforce.
"Before anybody starts shooting down proposals, I think we need to listen, we need to gather up all the facts,’’ Mr. Obama said during a joint news conference with President Lee-Myung Bak of South Korea. "I think we have to be straight with the American people. If people are, in fact, concerned about spending, debt, deficits and the future of our country, then they’re going to need to be armed with the information about the kinds of choices that are going to be involved, and we can’t just engage in political rhetoric."
You see? It's not that Nancy Pelosi and other naysayers of the preliminary report are genuinely concerned about the recommendations, they are simply engaging in "political rhetoric"
What it tells me is that President Obama is seriously considering the recommendations to cut Social Security benefits, including raising the retirement age. But he also gave a stern warning to Republicans who are pushing for a permanent extension of the Bush Tax cuts.
"There was a lot of talk during the course of this campaign season about debt and deficits,’’ Mr. Obama said, "And unfortunately, a lot of the talk didn’t match up with reality. If we are concerned about debt and deficits, then we’re going to have to take actions that are difficult and we’re going to have to tell the truth to the American people.’’
Perhaps this means that the President will show some teeth and fight extending the Bush Tax Cuts. I mean, if he's going to step on the third rail and push for cuts in SS benefits, he might as well go all in. Because if he's successful in pushing the Catfood Commission's recommendations through Congress, he will certainly be a one-term president.