When someone continually and repeatedly goes along on everything with someone else whom they 'claim' to be opposing, it's not 'caving'.
It's the plan...
Real News Network - July 21, 2011
James K. Galbraith: "Gang of Six" Plan is all about cuts not increased taxes; Obama represents Wall Street faction of Democratic Party
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Washington. In the first days of his presidency, President Obama met with a group of conservative journalists, had a nice dinner that apparently was very reassuring, according to David Brooks, one of the--a columnist who was at the dinner. Also George Will was there, William Kristol was there. David Brooks told NPR a few days later that the president had told them he was willing to, quote, tackle the big entitlement programs Medicare and Social Security. So for anyone who thought that these issues were not on the table and were asking President Obama to keep them off the table, they weren't listening, because apparently President Obama had always planned to take these issues on, and so he is, as the debt ceiling debate rages in Washington. Now joining us to talk about the current state of this debate and the proposal from the so-called Gang of Six is Professor James Galbraith. He's a professor of economics at the University of Texas Austin. He's also the author of the book The Predator State. Thanks for joining us, James.
JAMES GALBRAITH, AUTHOR: Always a pleasure.
JAY: So let's start with what's in this Gang of Six proposal. President Obama has endorsed it in general. He's still saying he's waiting for more specifics to endorse it completely, but he's given it a fairly bright green light. So what do you make of that and what do you make of the proposal?
GALBRAITH: Well, I have, insofar as there are details, I have them in front of me. And the principle behind this proposal would appear to be that sacrifice should be shared proportionately by those who can afford to share it and those who can't afford to share it. That is to say, it should take out of the hides of the poor and the vulnerable, and at least it claims to take something from the wealthy as well, although we'll come back to that. This is not a principle that has ever been associated with the Democratic Party that I grew up in and remember. The Gang of Six proposal, which I read now, if CBO scored this plan, it would find net tax relief of approximately $1.5 trillion. In other words, this is not a plan for increasing taxes; it's a plan for cutting taxes. And the way they would cut taxes, by reducing marginal rates, particularly at the top of the scale, would in fact reduce them on the wealthy. So unless I have missed something, and I believe I have not, there is nothing specific in this plan that takes anything out of the pockets of the wealthy at all on a net basis. However, with respect to Social Security, there is the plan specifically would shift the cost of living adjustments in Social Security in a way that would impose a cumulative and increasing reduction in benefits relative to what they would be now. So that would affect today's near-elderly on an increasing basis as they got older and older and make it much more likely that they would find themselves out of resources, close to or in poverty when they reach the great old age that Social Security is designed to help them through.
JAY: So we're talking about real cuts to social security and not-so-real increases in revenue, in taxes.
Also see Obama & A Bundle of Shared Sacrifice for the numbers and the sources of Obama's 2012 campaign financing:
President Barack Obama has relied more on well-connected Wall Street figures to fund his re-election than he did four years ago when he campaigned as an outsider and an underdog.
Individuals who work in the finance, insurance and real estate sector are responsible for raising at least $11.8 million for Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee, according to the Center's research. All of Obama's bundlers have raised a minimum of $34.95 million, as OpenSecrets Blog previously reported.