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in a balanced way' -- one of President Obama's goals for his second term, according to the ad that just ran on NBC's Olympics show.

Romney (and every other primary contender at the time) said he would not trade one dollar in tax hikes for 10 dollars in spending cuts. Most House and Senate Republicans agree.

So the "balanced way" seems to be, as usual, a one-way street to substantial cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, with equivalent tax increases on the wealthy probably not happening because the wealthy have exceptional political influence (not just on Republicans).

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are very popular government programs that practically exemplify the Democratic brand, yet Obama continues to put them on the table in the vain hope of a Grand Bargain with Republicans who have pledged to Grover Norquist that they will never vote to raise any tax.

More, below.

First of all, we can only begin to pay down our debt when we have a budget surplus.

We're about $1.4 trillion away from doing that; making up $1.4T the tea party way would cause another recession, and hurt millions of lower-income people.

Especially the many millions who rely on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Here are just a few examples of the kind of Village People Obama is appealing to with his "balanced" plan -- Senators Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), influence peddlers Lanny Davis and Michael Steele, and almost every millionaire journalist/pundit in D.C. and NYC.

They are all Very Serious People, and they all believe that debt reduction should be primarily achieved by substantial cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- mainly by raising the Social Security eligibility age again, the Medicare eligibility age for the first time, and letting states make Medicaid eligibility even more difficult.  

The idea of restoring income tax rates to what they were in the 1990s, when the economy did quite well, has never been a priority of the VSP deficit hawks.

And the idea that Lindsey Graham, a certain tea party primary target in 2014, would vote for any bill that raises any taxes is absurd.

Obama must have polling data that show that debt reduction is an important issue for some independent voters. And in a close election, those few voters may make the difference.

But supporting cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, even implicitly as here, will disaffect far more base voters.  

Not me, I will be voting for Obama.

But I wish he would stop sending dog-whistles to tea partyish independents in swing states, and mention in his national ads that he will work to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid from radical Republicans.

It's a winning message.

I and millions more are waiting to hear it.    

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

    by devtob on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:25:20 PM PDT

  •  He needs to clear this up (5+ / 0-)

    I will not vote for paying down any debt without knowing what he means.

    I am so totally opposed to balancing the budget on the backs of the vulnerable that it is an absolute voting issue.

  •  I just posted in another diary (9+ / 0-)

    this message.....and will repeat it here because it bears repeating.  IMO.
    The
    president should forget the debt right now because the average joe don't care how many trillions we owe.  They care how many hundreds or thousands they, personally owe.  They care about
    food on the table  and gas in the tank and the lights not being cut.  They don't give a ratt's but how much we borrowed from China.  They care how much they borrowed from Aunt Lilly.  She is riding them like stink on poop.  They don't care.

    The president should do a real gutsy thing and start a new deal of some sort or put people back to work under a new Federal program.  By executive order ....if necessary.   He needs to have an FDR moment.  He needs to take the pulse of the people who who care less about numbers they do not understand.  This is a nation spoon fed information.  The majority do not research unless it is about gays, guns, relgion and abortion.   Money comes first.  It trumps it all.  They don't care who made them poor.. Bush or Obama, they just want to live a life.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:34:05 PM PDT

  •  One point that is so often missed... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, Vetwife, phonegery, joe shikspack

    We always hear how much we owe to China, etc.

    But the fact is... since the financial crisis the Fed aggressively bought much of our own debt. The interest on the majority of our long term debt, we owe to ourselves.

    Romney/Rove 2012: If you liked Bush's Brain... you'll love Romney's.

    by jethrock on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:41:09 PM PDT

  •  excellent catch. he's still listening to the (6+ / 0-)

    third way reps of the 1%

    How did Supreme Court decision ACA help the 23 million still uncovered? Ask the 18,000 Doctors of PNHP -- they're not waiting, FORWARD now to pass H.R. 676, the “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act .

    by divineorder on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:44:24 PM PDT

    •  Obama certainly needs to appeal to independents, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder

      but hinting that he'll sell out on programs that independents, like everybody outside the 27 percent who will never vote for him, really like is politically stupid.

      A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

      by devtob on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 07:18:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  easy, restore the Clinton tax rates (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, devtob

    once the recession ends, ending all the Bush tax cuts.

    If we extend most of the Bush tax cuts instead, the only way to balance the budget is massive cuts to the most vulnerable.

    •  Almost all of the deficit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, divineorder

      would go away with 5 percent unemployment and Clinton tax rates.

      If Republicans were really concerned about the deficit, they know what to do.

      But they can't do anything effective to help the economy recover from the Great Bush Recession, because Grover Norquist and the Kochs won't let them,

      A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

      by devtob on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 07:02:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  True, but political problem for the President (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      devtob, nextstep

      In 2008 he promised he would not raise taxes on families under $250,000, "not one dime."  

      80% of the revenue from letting all the Bush tax cuts expire comes from families under $250,000.  

  •  I don't know what but some (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devtob, Icicle68, greenbell

    real average person needs to sit and have a pow wow with
    the president and the campaign.  The bubble they float in busts and spills all over us.  Some of us here have sat up there with those legislators and they DO NOT live in our world.  They don't eat like we do.  They don't scrimp like we do.  THEY DON'T................   We need a real single Mom and out of work Dad and maxed out student loan person up there chewing the fat on how to pull an FDR move and kickstart the economy because they all have jobs and money and insurance.  All of them.  They need to come down and smell the real deal going on down here in the streets of America.  We can't take austerity and let the rich run all over us.  

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:58:56 PM PDT

  •  I didnt see it as a hint towards cutting (0+ / 0-)

    Social Security and Medicare at all.

    But there is a group on the left determined to always see the worst in Obama or be outraged.  So why not. Hey, he blinked a little oddly towards the end of ad, did you notice? Probably means he will eliminate Medicaid.

    •  So let him clear that up (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      devtob, divineorder, joe shikspack

      If he plans to pay down the debt - what is he going to cut?  He is totally unclear and as far as I know he never took benefit cuts off the table.  If he wants me to assume he is going to cut benefits he has his message straight.

    •  I apologize for the sarcasm (0+ / 0-)

      It was improper. I just didnt read the line the way you did.

      I figure it's more related to the fiscal cliff, and they will try to negotiate the expiration of some of the tax cuts for halting some of the defense cuts from the sequester. I think the balance is between the spending cuts in the debt ceiling bill that was signed last year and the expiration of tax cuts for the rich.  

    •  Hey, I said I'm voting for the guy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder

      Despite his evident willingness to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as part of a Grand Bargain to deal with the deficit.

      I believe Obama would do well in this election if he were to run as a protector of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid against radical Norquist Republicans.

      If the Democratic base does not pressure Obama to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, no one else will.

      This diary is a small part of providing that pressure.

      A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

      by devtob on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 07:57:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You just closed your eyes really tight and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      splashoil

      thought of a happy place when his appointments to his Catfood Commission were announced?

      It was the equivalent of appointing Michelle Bachman, Newt Gingrich, Pat Robertson, and Dianne Feinstein to a committee to decide whether to attack Iran.

      All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

      by JesseCW on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 02:35:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bogus Framing = No Support (0+ / 0-)

    In this household.  They have given up calling.  I have been clear :  I will not vote or support evil.

  •  No further cuts to the safety net are acceptable. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashoil, devtob, joe shikspack, ferg

    Those who vote for people running on more cuts bear the full weight of the responsibility when those cuts fall.

    All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

    by JesseCW on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 02:30:02 AM PDT

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