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The ironic thing was that I had been planning to write a positive piece this morning about Obama’s remarks on housing in yesterday’s Twitter town hall, as I was pleased he was acknowledging the mistakes of his housing policy, and was hopeful that this statement — along with the outstanding news this morning of new Treasury rules forcing banks to give some mortgage relief to unemployed homeowners — signaled a tougher stance on Wall Street. And I was hoping that Christine Varney’s departure from the antitrust division at the Department of Justice might give an opportunity for someone more aggressive to be appointed there, so my mood was pretty good before I saw this morning’s all-hope-dies-here headline on Social Security. Oh, well. This administration has specialized at raising progressive hopes one minute and crushing them the very next.

The question now on Social Security is what exactly is on the table and what isn’t. The statement the White House put out this morning is this:

There is no news here. The President has always said that while Social Security is not a major driver of the deficit, we do need to strengthen the program and the President said in the State of the Union Address that he wanted to work with both parties to do so in a balanced way that preserves the promise of the program and doesn't slash benefits.

That not slashing benefits part of the statement sure sounds good and makes me feel better, but what does working with the Republicans in a balanced way mean? They want to cut benefits, not raise the payroll tax. And Social Security — unlike Medicare and Medicaid which include a lot of payments to providers that can be tinkered with in different ways to potentially lower costs — is all benefits. So is it on the table or isn’t it? The White House says the President is opposed to cutting benefits, which is wonderful, and I’m grateful for them reiterating that in the wake of the news reports this morning. But if you put it on the table, that means benefits might get cut, which is a disaster for the middle class, and a disaster for the Democratic Party. It would break the Democratic coalition into pieces, do more to alienate the base than any other thing the President could do, alienate seniors, who have never been too crazy about Obama anyway and who we need to move toward us in 2012, take away the political high ground Democrats seized because of the Ryan budget’s attacks on Medicare and Medicaid.

It is the high rollers on Wall Street and their friends in the media and D.C. establishment who want to put Social Security on the table. The funders of the “we can solve our budget problems by cutting Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid” PR campaign are people like Wall Street billionaire Pete Peterson. Billionaires and multimillionaires demanding that retired people getting an average of $14,000 a year in Social Security get their benefits cut has always struck me as just a little wrong. Especially when these wealthy and powerful elitists figure out how to shelter their own income so they can avoid paying the same rate as their secretaries. But these hypocritical powerbrokers are exactly the ones for whom the entire Republican Party is fighting so hard. The question now: will Obama join them in screwing the middle class?

When it comes to government policy, there is no way to avoid the question of who wins and who loses. And over the last three years, in this massive economic crisis America has faced, it is the Wall Street big boys, the overgrown banks who own assets equal to 64 percent of our country’s GDP, who keep winning. When they blew up the economy and taxpayers bailed them out with no strings attached, Wall Street won. When the biggest banks swallowed up their competitors and got even bigger, Wall Street won. When bonuses and profits returned to record levels a year after they were bailed out, in the midst of the worst recession since the 1930s, Wall Street won. When the legislation allowing judges to force them to negotiate on mortgage writedowns failed, Wall Street won. When their carried interest tax loophole failed to get repealed, Wall Street won. When the amendment to force the break-up of the biggest banks lost, Wall Street won. When loopholes were added to derivatives regulations, Wall Street won. When the antitrust division at DOJ refused to lift a finger against the huge mega-banks, Wall Street won. When none of the top executives at these banks that had manipulated the economy went to jail, and few of them even lost their job, Wall Street won.

The biggest question of our times is this: in spite of the naked greed, corruption, and excess exposed in the 2008 panic, will the win streak keep going? Will they succeed in taking Social Security money away from low and middle-income seniors? Or will, just maybe, the Obama administration stand up to Wall Street corruption this time? If Obama knows he needs to change his policy on housing, and starts doing more truly great things like the announcement today in terms of helping unemployed people keep their homes, that would be a major victory for the middle class over the Wall Street titans. If Obama were to replace Christine Varney with a head of antitrust who was more aggressive at breaking up huge companies who have too much market power, like the Too Big to Fail banks, that would be a blockbuster victory for both the economy and our democracy. If Obama finally does the right thing and gives Elizabeth Warren a recess appointment to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that would be an exciting victory for the middle class over the big banks who have been trying to stop her.

These issues are all tied together in the same question: does the middle class win, or does Wall Street win? If Obama chooses Wall Street, gives into the banks on all these issues, and hurts senior citizens with Social Security cuts, he will break apart the Democratic coalition and doom his re-election chances. If he challenges Wall Street and fights for the middle class, he will win the 2012 election in a landslide. No matter what Obama does, though, progressives need to keep fighting for what we believe in: we need to fight with all our strength to preserve Social Security benefits, and we need to take on the Wall Street banks on behalf of homeowners and consumers.

Originally posted to Mike Lux on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Let me ... (27+ / 0-)

    ...put this in boldface for you:

    No matter what Obama does, though, progressives need to keep fighting for what we believe in: we need to fight with all our strength to preserve Social Security benefits, and we need to take on the Wall Street banks on behalf of homeowners and consumers.

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 12:38:23 PM PDT

    •  Which means (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobdevo, Sharon

      using all our strength to retire anyone ... anyone ... who acts in a manner which puts social security at risk, including the man who has veto power and refuses to use it in order to "preserve" his chances for a second term.

      In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but in its effects. J. William Fulbright

      by crescentdave on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 11:47:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The distraction of Social Security (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lakehillsliberal, Ed in Montana

      We certainly need to fight to preserve both Social Security and Medicare. But the fact that that's where the front line in the battle is shows how much we have already lost.

      My guess is that at the end of the day both programs will be 'saved' (FTTB). And it will be an occasion for much good feeling and praise for our undeservedly maligned President.

      Meanwhile, we will have swallowed:
      1) Trillions of dollars (literally) in contractionary cuts to government programs while recovery is still weak and unemployment very high
      2)The bipartisan validation of the right-wing frame that deficit spending is the cause of our economic woes

      Indeed, the second point is so far from being controversial in governing circles that the President has moved on to a new right-wing frame: structural unemployment-- i.e., the idea that our current unemployment levels are owing to inadequate skills in our labor force rather than insufficient demand.

      Of course, all these policies will just make matters worse, and the public, who have not been educated otherwise is likely to demand more of the medicine that is making problems worse.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 06:24:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would frame this a little differently (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        realtime, Ed in Montana
        structural unemployment-- i.e., the idea that our current unemployment levels are owing to inadequate skills in our labor force rather than insufficient demand.

         

        This is not about demand, the structural part of our unemployment is due to outsourcing of jobs.  No matter how much retraining someone does, if a company can get tax benefits from outsourcing and lower employee expense costs, they WILL NOT create jobs here.  

        •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

          In effect you're saying that American workers are overpaid not that they don't have skills that are valuable. In any case, even granting that there is not more demand for the skills American workers do have is not the same as asserting there is a demand for skills they don't have.

          In other words, the hallmark of structural unemployment is rapidly rising wages for some jobs while unemployment remains high. And (apart from a handful of investment bankers) that's just not happening. Those who still have jobs have stagnant wages. That's not structural unemployment.

          "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

          by Demi Moaned on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 07:27:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am not saying they are overpaid, I am saying (0+ / 0-)

            that because we force them to compete with cheap foreign labor, our government and businesses devalue their skills and services.  If we allowed slave labor as they do in China or had a cost of living as they have in India then we could balance the equation, but we don't so the equation cannot be balanced.  Our government has to put it's finger on the scale to balance it(as they have in other countries) but because the multinational corporation is the only master our government serves that is never going to happen, hence high structural unemployment is now the balance and no amount of retraining will change that.

  •  DOW +110 (5+ / 0-)

    It looks like Wall Street is voting on Obama's willingness to go after Social Security.

    All the talk of cutting Social Security may be a distraction.  The end deal may be a partial privatization of Social Security without any real cuts.  Now that would send Wall Street through the roof.

    •  14-cents VERSUS $17-trillion. (7+ / 0-)

      14-cents. That's the Obama-Going-After-Social-Security money. A 14-cent adjustment on COLA.

      $17-trillion. That's the theft of wealth from the Middle Class and Americans generally beginning January 20, 1981. The actions number over 100 for specific Acts of Congress and the Federal Reserve. The biggies:

      1. Reagan tax giveaways
      2. Big Bubble I (1994-2000)
      3. Bush tax giveaways
      4. Big Bubble II (2003-2008)

      Bubbles give enormous amounts of below-market rate money to the very wealthy. They are redistribution engines like no other -- stronger than the direct tax giveaways which only steal wealth in the one and two trillion dollar amounts. ZIRP Rules !

      Much political lying ensues. The better to cover it up.

      For one, the Republican Party is running a False Front operation -- identified with Congressman Ron Paul -- that lists a number of fakey-dopey Far Lefty anti-Wall Street demands among its public statements. One of these fakey-dopeys is a straightforward demand: audit the Federal Reserve. (The sole aim of this Front is to drag in disheartened working class voters, getting natural lefties to vote for corporatists -- similar to leftie-nationalist political ad campaigns from Italy and Germany and France in the 1920s.)

      Well, kiddos, auditing The Fed at this point would produce astonishing results. Big Bubble II spilled over with Bernanke extending the redistribution engine to foreign groups of Top 1%ers.

      Yes, indeedy. $17-trillion. Out of your pockets. And not one word from any American politician about instituting a Wealth Tax. Pass Amendment XXVII similar to XVI and set a floor at $10-million, rising to a 2% hack on wealth over $1-billion with no "family trust" loop holes. (The income tax took 30 years to get through, so we'd better get cracking !)

      Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

      by vets74 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:14:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps their reasoning is thus: (4+ / 0-)

    The White House is convinced it cannot prevail over the Republicans, so they are looking to frame the outcome as "Obama offered up much in the spirit of compromise but the Republicans refused to budge one inch".

    The hope being that the Reps will look like bad-faith, hyper-partisan actors while Obama will look all bipartisany and good-faithy and also that an 'inevitable' bad deal will be solely the responsibility of the GOP.

    •  1. The Republicans ARE acting in bad faith. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ed in Montana

      2. Obama is offering up a laundry list of technical corrections and tax giveaway killers that has been floating around in Top Ten To-Do Lists among macroeconomists for decades.

      3. Winning over a huge chunk of currently Republican-leaning Independents -- actually that's quite doable. These voters reacted to the unemployment numbers and walloped the Dems in 2010, but now they are starting to see that the GOPers are far worse than the Dems.

      Make any significant inroads with today's Single-Issue Anti-Abortion voters and Obama's strategy could cause an utter debacle for the Republican Party in 2012.

      Look at who the GOPers elected in 2010. This is the class of "You Lie !"

      There's at least 150 GOPers in Congress now, crazy or crazier than Joe Wilson. Give them the likes of Romney or Pawlenty for a presidential candidate, add a final reckoning for Class Warfare, and the 2012 election might well be a slaughter much, much worse for the GOP than the Nixon scandal's election of 1976.

      Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

      by vets74 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:31:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  they found a weak one (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ed in Montana

        It took the Republicans 70 years to find a Democratic president so weak that he can not defend any social program or any non-corporatist agenda.  And they found a good one.  A president who nominates Republicans for every administrative office and is so naïve he thinks they are working and care about his interests.  Like Geithner and Summers really cared about his success at handling the financial crisis.

        I don't believe in blaming Republicans for everything that is wrong.  Why are Republicans so far right?  When Clinton grabbed their corporate agenda he forced them to move farther to the right.

    •  I'm done with 11-dimensional chess (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ed in Montana

      The problem with that hypothesis is that there's not the slightest evidence that the President is unwilling to make good on everything he has offered. In fact, I fully expect all the 'concessions' made so far to be incorporated into the final deal. Social Security may be 'saved', for now, but at what cost.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 06:27:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The smart move for Obama, let the (0+ / 0-)

        debt ceiling expire for two days and after the stock market drops 1000 points, institute the provisions of the 14th amendment.  Doing it that way will provide this conversation from ever being had again.

        •  The damage to the country would be irreparable (0+ / 0-)

          ... even from a short interruption of the reliability of US debt. There's enough sanity left that it's unlikely to happen. But the pain (i.e., shock) that can be administered because of it is considerable.

          "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

          by Demi Moaned on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 07:29:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think we need the shock, we obviously (0+ / 0-)

            did not learn our lesson, the last go around.  The American public went to the polls and created this mess in 2010, they should have to eat the results otherwise things will just get worse as they elect Michelle Bachman President.

            •  I'm basically of the we're doomed school (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk, rmonroe

              Our political discourse is so far down the rabbit hole that the best we can hope for is some mitigation of the damage and slowing down the process of collapse. The public will make bad choices not least because the voices that would instruct them better are thoroughly marginalized by the collusion of our mass media with the vested interests of the governing class.

              But I don't expect any kind of shock to produce a good result. We've gotten to the point where bad outcomes reinforce the demand for a more extreme application of the policies that cause the problems.

              "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

              by Demi Moaned on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 07:58:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's like open heart surgery at quarter speed (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Demi Moaned

                and no anesthetics.

                I say, let the damn thing get over with already.  Sucks to have to live through the end of an empire, but shit happens, ya know?

                •  Well, I've had a good run (0+ / 0-)

                  I turn 57 next week and I've had a comfortable and interesting life. Whatever good remains to me is gravy at this point.

                  But I pity the young people coming up. And I just want to gag when I hear the tired excuse that we need to do all this so as not to burden our children and grandchildren.

                  Our leaders are doing little else than piling on the burdens as fast as they can.

                  "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

                  by Demi Moaned on Sat Jul 09, 2011 at 08:56:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  No one cares about that.. at least not avg joe (0+ / 0-)

      whose only criteria is tied to his or her economic well being.  Did "hope" and "change" help them or not after 3 years?

      And if the answer is no, then all the blather about "well he tried to bargain in good faith" is meaningless.

  •  wall street will win; they already have. (7+ / 0-)

    the fact that "austerity measures" are being discussed in the direction of the middle & lower classes rather than at the wealthiest citizens and corporations is indicative of the final score. All we have to do is look to Greece and Ireland to see what our future will be. The money makers on wall street are not adding to the productivity and out put of goods in our economy. They simply bet. And the bet was made a long time ago that wall street will get our social security because the economy has nothing else to offer. We make nothing. We offer nothing. We only purchase things from other countries because they are cheaper than if we made them here. Every time I watch a "How It's Made" episode, I watch robots and mechanical assembly lines packaging and labeling things that people used to do. I shake my head at all the lost jobs that have been turned over to technology and shipped off to other countries. Wall street already decided our future. And that future is American citizens are too costly to the bottom line. We have all been fired from being productive members in our economy. We are only expected to buy crap and if we can't there are other countries that surely will.

    Earth: Mostly harmless ~ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (revised entry)

    by yawnimawke on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 08:24:59 PM PDT

  •  Do the democrats have the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jolux

    will to win?  The desire?

    Ordinary political process is dead. The Supreme Court killed it. In Chambers. With a gavel.

    by Publius2008 on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 08:35:57 PM PDT

    •  Do they have the right strategy ? (0+ / 0-)

      Do they have tactical weaponry -- the types of attack mailers (and other mass ad tools) that GOPers have deployed for decades ?

      This kind of fake whining about Dems is funny. RNC drooling/whimpering/tubercular coughing.

      Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

      by vets74 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:41:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  my comments (0+ / 0-)

        It took the Republicans 70 years to find a Democratic president so weak that he can not defend any social program or any non-corporatist agenda.  And they found a good one.  A president who nominates Republicans for every administrative office and is so naïve he thinks they are working and care about his interests.  Like Geithner and Summers really cared about his success at handling the financial crisis.

        I don't believe in blaming Republicans for everything that is wrong.  Why are Republicans so far right?  When Clinton grabbed their corporate agenda he forced them to move farther to the right.

        •  Recall the Caylee Anthony trial ? (0+ / 0-)

          The media talking heads and that trial are you doing the Obama White House.

          The GOPers had fearmongering and secret-Muslim crapola to add to bad economic news in 2010.

          For 2012 ???

          Not exactly. And the GOPers are showing their true colors today in the House. Refusing to tax the rich is suicide.

          Angry White Males + Crooks + Personality Disorder psychos + KKKwannabes + "Unborn Child" church folk =EQ= The Republicans

          by vets74 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 09:39:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The House always wins... (6+ / 0-)

    That's how casinos work.  The game is rigged in their favor with the blessing of the regulatory authorities.
    Wall Street is the house.  

    But let's talk about who Wall Street is not:  it is not the investors.  No, it is run for the benefit of those managing this farce of a free market.  (I call it a farce because the investors do not have timely or accurate information about the financial state of the entities they are investing in--this is by design by both the entities and the regulators.)  The middle men making these markets, running the house, win no matter the economic condition.  Sure they might net less than normal, but they don't fail because the country is going through a Great Recession.  They assert that they are entitled to make obscene amounts of money...while minimum wage is a travesty against the Almighty!

    In addition to the middle men there are the "incestuous" boards and management of the companies themselves.  If the company fails, the workers are laid off, and the investors walk away with nothing, the execs still have golden parachutes and never really fail.  Companies reshuffle, the execs swap around, business goes on.

    The only people that really have any skin in the game are the individual investors, and the workers.  Both suffer when company fails...when management fails.  And many of the investors are also workers...since workers no longer can rely on pensions.

    The business/corporate view of the economy is predatory (Gecko-esque) to a degree that it did not appear to be 25 years ago.  Consumers are the prey.  This is win-lose, baby!   No need for that namby-pamby win-win/we-are-all-in-this-together stuff.   How soon can they bleed the victims (consumers) dry?    

    The failure of Obama to reset the narrative is epic and generational.  He came in following a president whose economic theory had been disgraced as badly as Hoover's.  Yet he failed to address the root problems of modern Hoovernomics.  And the supply siders are still doing most of the "regulating."  

    Obama has so adopted the conservative framing (while being villified as "a socialist or liberal" by the same conservatives) that Americans now associate the conservative failures of his policy with progressives!  Ever have someone supposedly on your team that sucked so badly at his/her position that you wished they were on the other team?  Too often that is how I feel about his performance.  Oh, he's been transformational...just in the opposite of the way he was elected to be.

    If you ask "what color is the poster" when someone criticizes the President's policy or track record, you are probably a racist. If you assume white progressives don't like the President's policies because of his skin color, you are definitely a racist.

    by Celtic Pugilist on Thu Jul 07, 2011 at 09:56:37 PM PDT

  •  Does the house win in Vegas? (3+ / 0-)

    Obama is not much more than a pit boss . . .

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 03:16:47 AM PDT

  •  This Actually a Question??? (2+ / 0-)

    As someone recently pointed out, the ongoing financial train wreck is just a bump in the road for the banksters.

    If you think Dodd-Frank is going to stop the banksters, please think again.

    Right now they are in fact looking for their next scam; one is the billions of dollars spent on public education by the federal government. they are putting plans in place to get their grubby hands on that money-- and the Obama administration is on board.

    "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

    by Superpole on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 03:50:13 AM PDT

  •  Will Obama's Thieving "Savvy Businessmen" Pals (0+ / 0-)

    on Wall Street win?!

    They already did --
    Obama refuses to look back and criminally prosecute his filthy rich buddies for megafraud for knowingly selling "shitty" subprime mortgage-backed bundled CDO trash for AAA-rated treasure --
    they're counting and hoarding their billions in compensation instead of rotting in prisons throughout the world for the rest of their lives for putting the world economy in the toilet and ripping off anyone they could.

  •  Forget it, Obama is incapable of standing up to (0+ / 0-)

    Wall Street.  He's asking them for dough for his re-election campaign, isn't he?  I don't think he can stand up to put on his pants.

  •  sidebar: looks like they did (0+ / 0-)

    If the Top 25 Hedge Fund Managers Paid Taxes Like You and Me, We'd Cut 44 Billion of the National Deficit

    http://www.alternet.org/...

    Do not consider Social Security a piggy bank for giving tax cuts to the wealthiest people in our country. ~ House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

    by anyname on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 04:59:26 AM PDT

    •  anyname $44 B over ten years (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lakehillsliberal, Sparhawk

      The article had many assumptions which are unlikely true, such as the notion that all income to hedge fund managers qualify for capital gains treatment, which isn't the case. Most hedge funds don't hold their assets long enough to qualify for long term capital gains treatment. The article did note that at the max a change in the tax laws would provide the Treasury an additional $4.4 B a year, or $44 B over the next decade.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 06:56:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  right on in my thots too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rmonroe
    If Obama chooses Wall Street, gives into the banks on all these issues, and hurts senior citizens with Social Security cuts, he will break apart the Democratic coalition and doom his re-election chances.
  •  Absent a revolutionary movement in the US (0+ / 0-)

    who else but Wall Street could possibly win in a nation so totally dominated by Reaganist-Thatcherist hegemony?

    "Tu vida es ahora" ~graffiti in Madrid's Puerta del Sol, May, 2011.

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 08:57:17 AM PDT

  •  He won't "slash", he'll only "trim" (0+ / 0-)

    by freezing the benefits to individuals while cutting the costs to the Economy

    synonyms:  reorganize, reform, improve, strengthen or improve

    (Think of of a pack of hyenas "reforming" a gazelle.)

  •  This is such an absurd problem that shouldn't (0+ / 0-)

    exist.  I mean, for an institution (the US in this case) to purposely default on its debt because of internal disagreements, thus causing further economic damage to the country doesn't make any sense.  No one in government should have the power to cause a default on debts while the country still has credit and the ability to pay.   And frankly, I believe the 14th Amendment is in agreement with this.

     If Obama allows them to touch social security or medicaid while he has the constitutional power to settle the problem himself without making any concessions, I think it would be a terrible betrayal to democrats.

  •  I'm confused, the Bush tax cuts will all expire... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BentLiberal

    ...unless the Senate extends them AND the President sign off on it. Why would Republicans be needed when Dems are in complete control of allowing them to expire?

    While Democrats would be asked to cut social-safety-net programs, Republicans would be asked to raise taxes, perhaps by letting tax breaks for the nation’s wealthiest households expire on schedule at the end of next year.

    Eliminate the Bush tax cuts Eliminate Afghan and Iraq wars Do these things first before considering any cuts

    by kck on Fri Jul 08, 2011 at 12:13:29 PM PDT

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