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Obama for America, the campaign apparatus with the very large e-mailing list and great segmentation techniques that exploited Romney's weaknesses to help the President to eke out (yes, I know the electoral vote involved no “eking out,” but the popular vote was something else again) his re-election victory, is now trying to mobilize people who voted for the President to work against their own interests by supporting his deficit/debt cutting activities. So, I couldn't resist the following commentary on their mobilization e-mail.

From the graphic:

Right now, President Obama is working with leaders of both parties in Washington to reduce the deficit in a balanced way so we can lay the foundation for long-term middle-class job growth and prevent your taxes from going up.
This is just one sentence. But it has more errors in it than a whole book written by some economists. First, it assumes that we should “reduce the deficit.” But:

-- It's fiscally irresponsible to frame and follow a long – term deficit reduction plan (limited austerity) when, as now, both a trade deficit and an output gap between the economy's potential and its actual results exist. Such a plan is one that must remove more net financial assets, specifically reserves, from the private sector than would otherwise be the case, every year the plan is pursued. Banks can compensate for these reserves by creating new ones when they make loans. But, loans create both assets and liabilities in equal measure and no new net financial assets.

So eventually, if deficit reduction is pursued for long enough, a declining rate of addition to private net financial assets will exacerbate the output gap by lowering aggregate demand and causing both labor and capital to deteriorate. This will eventually dig the US's economic grave by reducing the productive capacity of the economy, and the Government's ability to sustain greater levels of deficit spending, producing outputs of real social value, without triggering inflation. Oh, well, President Obama, Timothy Geithner, Jack Lew, Erskine Bowles, Alan Simpson, Alice Rivlin, Pete Peterson, and the rest of us will be able to find consolation by reminding ourselves that our collective trip to the poorhouse was in the service of the neoliberal notion that fiscal responsibility is all about containing the rise of the debt-to-GDP ratio.

-- REAL fiscal responsibility is a pattern of fiscal policy intended to achieve public purposes (such as full employment, price stability, a first class educational system, Medicare for All, etc.), while also maintaining or increasing fiscal sustainability, viewed as the extent to which patterns of Government spending do not undermine the capability of the Government to continue to spend to achieve our public purposes.

-- REAL fiscally responsible policy, if it works generally as expected, creates greater real benefits than real costs for people! It has nothing to do with conforming to some standard simple measure like an acceptable debt-to-GDP ratio that has only a questionable theoretical connection to the actual well-being of people. It is political malpractice to give, as the President is now doing with his drive towards a “Grand Bargain,” greater priority to that kind of abstraction, and to the opinions in the bond markets, than to full employment, price stability, a strong social safety net, and Government programs that will help us solve the many outstanding problems of our nation. Who would have predicted that this “pragmatic,” “realistic” president would have such a strong belief in “the confidence fairy”?

The President should put an end to the domination of Washington by that kind of malpractice. We, the members of Obama for America, need to call upon HIM to stop serving the bond markets, and put an end to the current misguided fiscally irresponsible campaign to promote a “Grand Bargain” that is sure to do nothing but destroy more private sector net financial assets and jobs, than would be the case if we either did nothing or increased the deficit, and created and maintained a full employment budget.

Second, what does it mean to reduce the deficit “in a balanced way”? We know what it means. It means that any “grand bargain” should be “fair” in that it takes something out of everyone's hide. “Shared sacrifice,” you know.

So, what's that about? Maybe a few points increase in marginal tax rates for the rich, the impact of which they will be able to substantially get around with tax loopholes and deductions anyway. Some reductions in spending on defense including cuts for defense contractors. And for the middle class and the poor the expiration of the payroll tax cuts, perhaps cuts for the long-term unemployed, certainly cuts for discretionary spending programs that benefit working and middle class people, and probably cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security entitlements, since the President has so kindly put these on the table again and again over the past years.

But that doesn't begin to be fair. The 1% have fully recovered from the crash of 2008, largely because of the policies of the Obama Administration and the Federal Reserve in saving the big banks, and the system that allows them to make profits in the derivatives casino, which in turn have also helped the stock exchanges to erase the losses caused by the crash. In addition, the big banks have never been brought to account for their execrable and astonishingly  numerous and blatant mortgage frauds that have made a hash of property rights for the middle class in the United States.

However, working people haven't shared in that recovery, as employment, housing, and inequality statistics amply indicate. The rich are getting richer, while everyone else is getting poorer, because of an economy and an associated financial system that has been politically rigged to benefit them and grievously harm everyone else.

So, even if deficit reduction was a REAL problem, which it is NOT, the President's call for balanced reduction is UNBALANCED and UNFAIR, because you can't forget about history and create balance. We've had 40 years of UNBALANCED economics, now fairness and justice demand REDRESS. We need UNBALANCE to create a NEW BALANCE.

Once again, we do not need, and should not have deficit reduction, but if the President must have “balance,” then let us have REAL balance. Let us quit mucking around, and go back to the marginal tax rates of the 1940s and 1950s, when the great American Middle Class was consolidated and full employment was often a result of economic policies that prioritized it higher than avoiding inflation. Let us have a social safety net that is not the least, but the most generous among modern nations.

Let us have no cuts for the middle class and the poor, and let us have policies that require sacrifice from those who have benefited so much from the rigged political system of the past decades. Doing things in “a balanced way” is a fine slogan. But real “balance” isn't a “Grand Bargain” that Wall Street-serving elites in both parties happen to arrive at. Real “balance” is justice and fairness and that kind of balance requires a settlement that gets sacrifice from those who have NEVER sacrificed anything, and gives benefits to those who have received little during the time of neoliberal economic distortion of our lives.

Third, the kind of bargain that will get sacrifices in the safety net and discretionary programs for Wall Street is not the kind that will create a foundation for long-term job growth. Only increased aggregate demand manifested in increased sales can do that, and only another credit bubble for the middle class, or INCREASED deficits from the Federal Government can supply that demand. Since the last thing most of us want is another credit bubble, the most preferable alternative is for the Government to use fiscal policy to end the human sacrifice of the middle class and the poor to the Gods of neoliberalism, and bring prosperity back to all Americans rather than only the economic elites.

And fourth, It is just WRONG to imply that if we don't have “balanced deficit reduction,” then we must have higher taxes. That is a false choice. We need neither deficit reduction nor higher taxes to ensure continued solvency. What we need is public deficits high enough to compensate for our capability to import more than we export, and our desire to save 6-7% of GDP per year. We are not getting deficits high enough for that now, and that is what Obama for America should be mobilizing people to support.

From the e-mail:

Your voice and action helped re-elect President Obama, and hundreds of thousands of you have already responded to our survey, which will help shape our next steps. Thanks to your feedback, we’re taking immediate action on one of your suggestions: keeping you informed about how the President is fighting for you so you can continue to talk to your friends, family, and neighbors. So here’s the deal:
President Obama, do the results of your survey show that a majority of OFA members 1) want long-term deficit reduction and are willing to cut the social safety net and discretionary Federal spending to get it, or 2) do they want you to leave these areas alone and just raise taxes on the wealthy, raise or eliminate the salary cap on FICA payments, and cut defense spending? I think you know the answer to this question as well as I.

OFA members favor deficit reduction, because they don't know that the deficit/debt isn't a problem for America. But they don't favor “balanced deficit reduction.” They favor 2) above instead. So, if you're really listening to their feedback, then why don't you stop “spinning” it, and just listen.

No “Grand Bargain.” No cuts to the safety net. No cuts to discretionary spending. If the Republicans don't like it, then just “go over the fiscal cliff!” And keep pushing in January to restore the middle class tax cuts and fixing other parts of the sequestration that damage the middle class and the poor. If the Republicans won't act reasonably in the new Congress, then they'll pay the price in 2014!

From the graphic:

Reducing the deficit in a balanced way. The President’s plan extends tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans Eliminates tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans Cuts spending by more than $3 trillion The Results

More than $4 Trillion in balanced deficit reduction that keeps your taxes low and preserves investments we need to grow the economy like Education and Infrastructure.

President Obama, you're asking OFA members to support $3 Trillion in spending cuts and only $1 Trillion in tax increases, or an average of $400 B in deficit spending cuts over the next 10 years. That $400 B is about the same size as the annual deficit spending on the American Re-investment and Recovery Act (the stimulus bill). But this annual anti-stimulus lasts for 10 years, whereas the stimulus lasted for about 2 years.

Now please explain to me why you think the stimulus bill was necessary and good for the economy and saved 3 million jobs, yet at the same time you think an anti-stimulus of the same order of magnitude lasting 5 times as long and made up mainly of high multiplier spending cuts will provide a foundation for long-term job growth, rather than simply cost the economy 15 million jobs? Do you think OFA members are dumb or something?

Why do you think OFA members will buy a pig in a poke? You haven't given any details about the spending cuts you are willing to accept, and which ones are off the table, yet you ask for our support? You say trust me, after you've put entitlement cuts on the table repeatedly in deficit negotiations and after you were the person primarily responsible for the creation of the notorious Catfood Commission; who has repeatedly made favorable comments about the Bowles-Simpson (B-S) report authored by these Captains of Catfood, when they were unable to get the approval of the Catfood Commission you created?

Sorry, Mr. President, but I doubt that OFA members are that gullible. If you really want their support and the support of OFA members generally, try telling people that deficit reduction isn't necessary but jobs programs are, and that you plan to go over the fiscal cliff and then fight hard for the Republican House to restore the tax cuts for the 98%, unemployment insurance for the long-term unemployed and a Federal Job Guarantee program that will create full employment at a living wage? That'll get all OFA members behind you quicker than you can say Green New Deal!

From the e-mail:

That’s the President’s plan, but he’s not wedded to every detail. He is determined to work with Congress to find compromise and common ground. His guiding principle throughout this debate will be what’s best for the middle class. He’ll be fighting for you.
Well, the President's $4 Trillion deficit reduction plan is bad enough, guaranteeing a stagnant economy for a decade.  But, in addition, to be told that he's willing to make it even worse, to maybe agree to even greater cutbacks in spending that people need, and to even less in tax cuts for the rich that they don't need? No, OFA, I don't think members are going to support that kind of flexibility for a guy who seems determined to give away the crown jewels of the New Deal, in return for minor concessions from the knuckle-draggers.
There’s a lot at stake. With your help we’ll continue to move this country forward.
Please forward this email and spread the word on Facebook and Twitter:
You bet I'll spread the word, I'll tell the world that support for this deficit reduction trope ('er so sorry, “plan”) is something we shouldn't give, and that, instead, we should shout very loudly for the President to begin acting like a Democrat, start trying to get full employment and extend the social safety net, and quit trying to play footsie with the Republicans and blue dogs.

There are plenty of things the President can do unilaterally to improve the economic situation. We voted for him to get started – not to cave to the Republicans and blue dogs again!

(Cross-posted from New Economic Perspectives.)

Originally posted to Money and Public Purpose on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:11 PM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (176+ / 6-)
    Recommended by:
    cacamp, My Spin, rexymeteorite, trueblueliberal, Jack K, WiseFerret, Anne Elk, blueoasis, Shawn Russell, George3, ciganka, NotGeorgeWill, Lujane, WisePiper, martini, pgm 01, TracieLynn, 2laneIA, deepeco, conniptionfit, psyched, Agathena, Swoof, Tool, aliasalias, RuralLiberal, ffour, stevenaxelrod, philipmerrill, ZhenRen, splashoil, Shahryar, cal2010, TheMomCat, dharmafarmer, Chaddiwicker, JesseCW, azale, chuckvw, shenderson, lotlizard, coolbreeze, Carlo, mollyd, Nailbanger, owlbear1, FourthOfJulyAsburyPark, JimWilson, mofembot, MartyM, LEP, kurt, akze29, banjolele, codairem, salmo, 3rdOption, run around, buckstop, priceman, hideinplainsight, MadRuth, MKinTN, smiley7, Syoho, PhilJD, Al Fondy, realwischeese, political mutt, Aspe4, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, Chi, Jim P, ChemBob, irate, CJnyc, 3goldens, meg, NBBooks, One Pissed Off Liberal, profh, scurrvydog, zerelda, RichterScale, dmsmith, TexasLefty, Don midwest, Lindy, The Hindsight Times, slinkerwink, Rizzo, bobswern, Miggles, jomi, Jim R, flatirons, UFOH1, Dem Beans, Scientician, RandomNonviolence, Detlef, CT Hank, DarkestHour, Wek, democracy inaction, tgrshark13, A Siegel, Andrew F Cockburn, Words In Action, clonal antibody, IndieGuy, letsgetreal, Mindful Nature, RUNDOWN, maryru, jellyyork, wonmug, Rhysling, radarlady, Timothy J, congenitalefty, SpecialKinFlag, historys mysteries, allenjo, DvCM, jrooth, leonard145b, dance you monster, arendt, quill, svboston, tegrat, davekro, madgranny, kbman, Wolf10, David Futurama, James Hepburn, Ian S, Medium Head Boy, Alice Venturi, Roby NJ, VTCC73, Mimikatz, Oaktown Girl, tofumagoo, RageKage, artisan, RFK Lives, shaharazade, chrississippi, Seneca Doane, chicagoblueohio, chuck utzman, itsbenj, hoplite9, NoMoreLies, Eddie L, beanbagfrog, AverageJoe42, Willa Rogers, JekyllnHyde, divineorder, dave1042, poligirl, triv33, gooderservice, bunsk, pot, Funkygal, Calgacus, raboof, prfb, Sharon, Free Jazz at High Noon, splintersawry
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  •  agreed but is OFA independent enough to do (22+ / 0-)

    anything except the Presidents bidding?

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:26:12 PM PST

    •  Actual reading of the diary tells me that (49+ / 0-)

      it's one long strawman predicting that OBAMA SOLD US OUT AND HE'S WORSE THAN BUSH!!1!1!! because we do have an actual deficit and the assholes in DC (politicians, pundits and banksters) will not allow us to enact common sense and responsible ways of paying it down.

      However unlike the diarist, I understand that any economic policy that Obama can enact will be voted on and passed by a Republican House and Moderate (Dem/Rep, it doesn't matter on this issue, they'll still suck) Senate. So while I'm sure that anything that gets passed will be shit, unlike the diarist, I understand that there is no realistic expectation for anything else.

      But I do respect the diarist's right to post both his pre-emptive strike against everything that he thinks that the president will do to sell him out and what his vision of political fantasy would have allowed Obama to do.

      I just won't rec or HR it.

      However, unlike the diarist, I will be helping OFA to support Obama in pushing for the best options that we can get in negotiations with the same economic terrorists that he dealt with his first term- the same terrorists that the diarist seems to want to ignore in order to blame Obama for the results of the last 30 yrs of Conservative economic policies...

      "I will fight for my country, but I will not lie for her. " -- Zora Neale Hurston

      by blueintheface on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:56:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  When you say "I will support Obama in pushing (13+ / 0-)

        for the best options that we can get in negotiations" - I and hopefully we progressives have a problem.  Based on Obama's first term - Obama jumps to the GOP side to begin with.  Obama has never began with a progressive idea and then come to a moderate ending.  Obama always starts with want the GOP want and not what we dems want. We need to make sure that the people who elected Obama get what we based our hopes on.

        We need to stand with Senator Bernie Sanders to begin with.

        •  really? (4+ / 0-)

          because healthcare negotations began with single payer and went from there

          I think a previous comment was right you want a magician not a president

          •  no it sure didn't (6+ / 0-)

            single payer was removed from the table before the start, and public option was killed pretty fast.

            No, we want a President who will stand up for the people who elected him.  Not too much to ask is it?

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:56:31 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Ha! (7+ / 0-)

            That's revisionist history.  Health care negotiations most certainly did not "begin with single payer," single payer was never on the table.

            That's why so many of us are critical; if single payer actually had been on the table, we might have ended up with a public option.  But it wasn't and we didn't.

            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

            by democracy inaction on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:18:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  no it's not (0+ / 0-)

              and Cedywn has already shown that

              I am sorry the single payer didn't work out but the fact is I was always skeptical we'd get it though federally off the bat. The fact is that like Canada it will probably be a gradual thing

              •  Credibility matters (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joanneleon

                It is simply not credible to state that negotiations started with single payer, they didn't.  Single payer was off the table from the start and it was the Democrats that preemptively took it off the table.  Single payer was never part of the negotiations for health insurance reform.  The only place where single payer was even given a thought were blogs like this one.  In official negotiations, single payer was a dirty word, and there were even single payer advocates that were ejected from official public forums on those negotiations because they refused to shut up about it and stop questioning why it was off the table.

                Furthermore, you define yourself by the company you keep.  Unless you were a lurker, you weren't around here during the health insurance reform negotiations so you likely don't realize the depth of historical revision that Cedwyn is currently engaged in.

                Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                by democracy inaction on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 11:01:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  believe as you wish (0+ / 0-)

                  but given how utterly hostile you have been you'll excuse me (or not) for having a hard time believing you

                  see that's the problem with your method of 'debate' it so utterly poisons matters till it oft becomes personal and even if it doesn't become personal it's hard to be willing to hold an open mind.

                  Hell even now you are desperately defending your unacceptable behavior and don't seem to understand. Maybe you don't and honestly I hope that's the case because the alternative is worse.

            •  the irony burns (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hedwig

              those of us here who insisted we push for single payer were shot down by public option pushers who insisted single payer was impossible to get!

              Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

              by Cedwyn on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:32:28 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You have selective memory (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joanneleon

                and you, too, are trying to rewrite history.  The fact of the matter is that single payer was off the table from the get-go.  It was never a consideration in the insurance reform negotiations.  It was discussed here, sure, but where it counted - in the halls of congress - it was never on the table.

                As to your fantasy about those pushing for a public option "shooting down" those who were pushing for single payer, that's pure malarkey.  Single payer was off the table from the start, it was "shot down" well before there was even talk of a public option, which is why there was a concerted push for the public option; the public option was the fallback position from single payer, it was a far weaker, more watered-down opt-in single payer option (i.e. the "option" in "public option").  Those that pushed for the public option would have pushed just as hard if not harder for single payer had it been on the table because that's what everyone that wanted the public option would have much preferred, again, the public option being the fall back position from single payer if the Democrats had bargained from the position of strength they actually had instead of the position of weakness they chose, preemptively surrendering their political capital after a wave election.  If single payer had been on the table in negotiations, it would have been far more likely that we would have ended up with a public option.

                Again, the Democrats began bargaining from a position of weakness by removing single payer from negotiations before negotiations even started and that is something that, IIRC, you supported.  And I remember you here arguing against even the public option because you thought it would jeopardize getting any reform legislation at all so if you think you're going to convince me that you were some kind of warrior for single payer - much less a public option - you're sorely mistaken.

                Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                by democracy inaction on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 10:45:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  i've got the links to prove it (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hedwig, duhban

                  those of us here who insisted we demand single payer so that the public option was where we'd eventually land were shouted down.  

                  Single payer was off the table from the start, it was "shot down" well before there was even talk of a public option, which is why there was a concerted push for the public option; the public option was the fallback position from single payer, it was a far weaker, more watered-down opt-in single payer option (i.e. the "option" in "public option").
                  so why is that kind of pragmatism and accepting the world as it is egregious except for, apparently, this example?

                  why, on this point only, it seems, is pre-settling on a compromise position acceptable, but any other issue demands hard lines and taking no prisoners?

                  Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                  by Cedwyn on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 12:43:10 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I was there (0+ / 0-)

                    and I remember where you stood in that debate.  I remember a lot about your history that I'm sure you'd rather we all forget.  You can continue to try to rewrite that history but I, for one, won't buy it.

                    The public option only ever existed to appease those that wanted single payer and were pissed when it was preemptively taken off the table so what you're saying is just complete BS, the timeline of your version of events just doesn't line up.  If you pushed for single payer and got shouted down by public option supporters, you did so long after single payer was already off the table and it was no longer viable to push for single payer, though it still was possible at that point to push for the public option which hadn't - yet- been taken entirely off the table.  No wonder you got shouted down.

                    But I was there and I remember what you supported.  And it was whatever the president supported, which certainly wasn't single payer and in the end wasn't even the public option.

                    But keep trying to rewrite history, maybe you'll get some other rube to believe you.

                    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                    by democracy inaction on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 06:39:50 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  here you go (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mahakali overdrive, duhban

                      i'll await your apology, but not with bated breath.

                      http://www.dailykos.com/...

                      http://www.dailykos.com/...

                      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                      by Cedwyn on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 08:21:21 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You think (0+ / 0-)

                        you're clever but you're too clever by half.  Context matters.  Again, you were advocating for pushing single payer long after it had been taken off the table in negotiations and when the public option was still on the table, though it was just on the edge about to be pushed off.

                        I know what you are about and I understand why you took the subversive stance that you did.  And it wasn't because you supported the public option but the opposite.  You were pushing for single payer when it was not politically feasible in order to dilute support for the public option when it was on the table but single payer was not.

                        You act like I wasn't there participating in this debate in real time, or that I didn't see what you were trying to do.  You have a subversive history here that I am well aware of.

                        You think you've made your case but in reality, you've made mine.  You are trying to rewrite history and you'll get no apology from me for being right.

                        I think this comment best sums up the subversion that you were engaged in at the time:

                        And they want us all in a circular firing squad, pissing on each other instead of pushing back at the insurance companies and calling our congresscritters out when they won't act in our best interests.  They're deliberately using the public-option-vs.-single-payer controversy to drive a wedge between us, because if we're fighting each other, they win.

                        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                        by democracy inaction on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:31:39 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  bullshit (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          mahakali overdrive
                          You were pushing for single payer when it was not politically feasible in order to dilute support for the public option when it was on the table but single payer was not.
                          i was pushing for single payer at the very dawn of the debate.  did you even look at the timestamps?  and why are we even having this discussion if you truly believe this:
                          That's why so many of us are critical; if single payer actually had been on the table, we might have ended up with a public option.  But it wasn't and we didn't.
                          yes, context matters; the time to ask for more than is likely was at the start of negotiations -- as you and i seem to agree -- not when the damn deal is 90% baked.

                          i mean you just don't go into negotiations with your lower limit as an opener; done right, you never even make your true limits known.

                          as for the comment you quoted, i find the selection fascinating, coupled with ignoring this part:

                          The biggest concern right now is that the insurance vultures are working like mad to water down, sandbag and sabotage the public option, so they can force it to fail, while the Republicans all point their fingers and say "SEE!!!  GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE DOESN'T WORK!!!"  First, they tried taking public-option off the table entirely.
                          which is exactly why we should have been pushing for single payer from the get go, which you seem to agree with.

                          if every call made for the public option had instead demanded single payer, don't you think the public option's chances would have been a lot better?

                          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                          by Cedwyn on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:45:24 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  and please answer the questions (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      duhban, mahakali overdrive

                      instead of making this all about me.

                      so why is that kind of pragmatism and accepting the world as it is egregious except for, apparently, this example?

                      why, on this point only, it seems, is pre-settling on a compromise position acceptable, but any other issue demands hard lines and taking no prisoners?

                      so, why?

                      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                      by Cedwyn on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 09:47:36 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  First (0+ / 0-)

                        you need to show me where I advocate that "accepting the world as it is is egregious" or that "on this point only...pre-settling on a compromise position [is] acceptable, but any other issue demands hard lines and taking no prisoners."

                        Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

                        by democracy inaction on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 05:35:47 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  basically everything you've ever said (0+ / 0-)

                          about grand bargain-type cuts to the safety net.  to wit:

                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          While I do appreciate the push back against the diary that claims the cuts aren't all that bad, no one that calls themselves a progressive should be even talking about any proposed cuts to any social safety net program in the context of "good or bad," the only context that progressives should be talking about such proposals - irrespective of what is actually in the proposals - is "over my dead body."
                          does "any proposed cuts" include on the provider side?  


                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          http://www.dailykos.com/...

                          etc.

                          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                          by Cedwyn on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 08:52:30 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

          •  This is an utterly fact-free statement. Just (6+ / 0-)

            Completely false

            because healthcare negotations began with single payer and went from there
            Just striking in how utterly at odds with the facts this statement is.
        •  Seriously, stop. (5+ / 0-)
          Based on Obama's first term - Obama jumps to the GOP side to begin with.  Obama has never began with a progressive idea and then come to a moderate ending.  Obama always starts with want the GOP want and not what we dems want
          The logic that because someone has engaged in a specific manner at Time Point A, therefore will always behave in a similar manner regardless of changes in either external or internal factors at Time Point B, flies in the face of all studies of human behavior (and is personally insulting to my entire profession).

          p.s. the president's opening bid was to double his previous ask for revenue increases from 800B to 1.6T thus undermining your entire premise

          It's the Central Limit Theorem, Stupid!

          by smartdemmg on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:58:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  thank you (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueintheface, Cedwyn, smartdemmg

            I am sick and tired of the stupidity that led us to our 2010 shellacking. Looks like the diarist and many "Obama Pre-sux" commenters are addicted to their gloomy positions. This time many pragmatists will not let them drown us out, and then get defeated in2014. No!

            Criticisms MUST be based on actual facts not default memes.
            Until your comment none here recognized that Prez Obama changed his opening bid to $1.6T from $800b.

            And I thought we were supposed to be the reality based community!

            "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

            by zizi on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 11:21:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for a mature position from the left of (5+ / 0-)

        Obama. I rally hope that we can avoid this time a reply of the 2010 madness.

        He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

        by Sophie Amrain on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:15:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think (7+ / 0-)

          that you know how to do that.  You seem to think that the Democrats lost so badly in 2010 because they fought too hard against the GOP and went too far to the left when the opposite is true.

          I don't want to repeat 2010 again either but we will if Democrats don't fight hard enough for the middle class and don't move far enough to the left, which is what they did do from 2008 to 2010.  That's the apparent intent of the diarist and that's what you are taking issue with.  So when you say you don't want to repeat 2010, it looks to me like you actually do because you are apparently prescribing that the Democrats do the same thing they did from 2008 to 2010 now.

          If you really don't want to lose again in 2014, Democrats need to do something different than they did from 2008 to 2010 when you appear to want them to do the same.  That is a prescription for failure.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:24:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        clonal antibody

        Besides, it seems like you are a big fan of cutting social services, given what you advocate.

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:55:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Of course there's little chance of anything better (0+ / 0-)

        Since so few are willing to fight for it and so many people just shrug and hand the GOP what it wants.  "What else can we do?"  They ask

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:05:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree (25+ / 0-)

      It's definitely unworthy of a rec, but I can't think of any reason to HR it either. It's another of those diaries that makes a mountain out of a molehill to try to convince us how terrible President Obama is. And it's actually pretty poorly written.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:56:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  cursory glance is meaningless (0+ / 0-)

      how can you make a pronouncement about the diary's content from only a cursory glance?  

      the diary is horseshit.

      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

      by Cedwyn on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:52:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't agree that it is well written (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AkaEnragedGoddess

      but you're absolutely right that it doesn't deserve being hr'ed. Those hr's should be removed.

      Nothing human is alien to me.

      by WB Reeves on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:43:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  While I have some questions about some of the (29+ / 0-)

    points in this diary, it isn't deserving of a donut.  Tipped and rec'ed accordingly...

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Jack K on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 09:40:28 PM PST

  •  Great Diary (36+ / 0-)

    After this grueling campaign, we have yet another battle to fight.  There will not just be pressure from the republicans.  Some of Obama's wealthy donors and a huge segment of the financial sector will push for this.  

    It is not just the deficit reduction idea - this is a huge chance to take a swipe at SS, Medicare, and Medicaid.  It has long been the desire of the financial sector to get these funds privatized and carry them off to the Wall Street Casino.  Any alteration of the program is a good start for the banksters.  

    Many brilliant economists agree that we should just ignore the deficit for now; I have read a massive amount of info on this, and I believe that we should ignore, and perhaps even increase the deficit.  

    The defense cuts are indeed a good thing, but it would be great to offset them with a jobs and re-entry program for our returning Vets.  

    There are so many creative things that could be done right now to make our country even better.  However, the republicans are going to fight tooth and nail to see that this does not get done.

    Shame on the HR without even a comment...I say..Shame on you!  

    It gets on my nerves, and you know how I am about my nerves...

    by ciganka on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 10:19:45 PM PST

    •  Yeap, now is not the time for deficit reduction (14+ / 0-)
      Many brilliant economists agree that we should just ignore the deficit for now; I have read a massive amount of info on this, and I believe that we should ignore, and perhaps even increase the deficit.  
      The GOP has been fighting all the STIMULUS proposals during this recession.  The GOP always pushed for stimulus during previous recessions and the Dems would always agree, but NOT this time when Dems are in WH.  Remember Chenney's " deficits don't matter".

      Let's get the economy moving again and the deficit will be erased just like when Clinton had the economy humming.

    •  does anyone REALLY think that Obama does not know (25+ / 0-)

      that Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit and that the people he personally appointed to his Cat Food Commissions have organizations dedicated to the destruction of SS?.
      Really? Keep in mind that Obama gave a speech at Pete Peterson foundation, one dedicated to attacks on Social Security.
       Doubt that? Google it and listen to Obama's speech THEN tell me he is not an enemy to SS.
      Does ANYONE have a link to where Obama disavowed any acceptance to the comment from the chairman he appointed to the Cat Food Commission that called SS recipients "greedy geezers"?.
       Can anyone give me a good reason for Social Security benefits being part of the argument about what is wrong with the current economy?
      Emperor , clothes...?

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:34:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Destruction of Social Security" is overblown (6+ / 0-)

        Privatization of Social Security is what I would consider its destruction.  Reducing the rate of Social Security payouts through things like "chained-CPI" represent more of a conservative policy preference -- same with raising the retirement age in programs like Medicare of Social Security.  I don't think either of these options is the way to go -- I also agree that neither has anything to do with the current debate over fiscal policy.  They would reduce the benefits that are paid out in the programs over time, relative to the current path, but they wouldn't fundamentally change the programs into something completely different.  In the case of social security, if we do nothing, in 20 years, we'd have something pretty close to the proposed "chained-CPI" formula.

        It's fair to say that Obama has conservative leaning views on these issues, and that perhaps he's captive to the wrong people or simply foolish.  But his moves are more than a difference of degree from Romney-Ryan voucherization of Medicare and privatization of Social Security.  The Simpson-Bowles approach too, was more of a conservative-friendly approach to deficit reduction that was a lot more friendly to the 1 percent, than previous budget deals have been.

        •  to say he is captive to wrong ideas or 'simply (11+ / 0-)

          foolish' is somehow finding a way to ignore him creating the Cat Food Commission in his first three weeks of his presidency .The first three weeks, not a jobs program but attacks on the least incomes. Have you seen any prosecution of the  massive financial fraud by Wall Street that has wrecked lives around the country (and world) itemized in a 2 year investigation's report to the Senate committee (Sen Levin) ?
          Or what about the fact he has offered up cuts in the hundreds of millions of dollars to Social Security in every negotiation from the first deal with the Repubs to the 300 million dollar offer in cuts in the phony debt limit fiasco.
           Not any WPA ,or CCC  was considered as a solution to our economic disaster ("ideas of the 30's") but in an interview of President'elect' Obama in January of 2009 on CBS he did not talk about the tax cuts that had cost TRILLIONS of dollars in lost revenue from the tax cuts of Bush, the largest military budget in history of the world, or that a profit driven industry that profited off of what health care they DENIED was a problem, no but he specifically talked about Social Security 'reforms'.
          This guy has been dedicated to cuts from the get go and anyone is welcome to point out any cuts that will really affect him compared to those that will REALLY feel pain from this 'shared sacrifice''. Bullshit writ large.
          But hey only Nixon can go to China and now we have a complacent society with a President having the power to kill or indefinitely detain anyone, anywhere in the world and we are worried about nutty Republicans.
          We are screwed.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:31:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sequencing is off . . . (13+ / 0-)

            the Commission was formed by Executive Order in Feb. 2010.

            This was a little over a year after his inauguration, and in the month after the Scott Brown special election win in Massachusetts.

            "Every time" with respect to the cuts, is once, during the debt ceiling negotiations.  And these were cuts in the form of chained-CPI following the mid-term elections.  These are cuts in the rate of the increase, not cuts on current benefits.  If no action is undertaken, a cut along these lines happens automatically anyways as revenue from social security taxes begins to fall short of pay-outs, which would amount to a cut of about 20 percent in benefits in 20 years for beneficiaries.  I'd rather see current benefit levels preserved by raising the ceiling on income that's subject to social security tax -- or inaction on the part of this administration.  We'll see how things actually play out over the course of the next few months.  There is clearly strong resistance to screwing with social security on the part of a large number of Dems in Congress and they'll have say in what the contours of any agreement are.

            There's a litany of complaints there beyond the issue of Social Security.  I actually agree with you on one of the points -- e.g. the failure to actually hold Wall Street accountable is a big negative mark.  

            The other stuff I don't really think amounts to a fair criticism.  The WPA and CCC are easier to put into place when the Dems controlled a fillibuster-proof majority in the Senate and were responding to 25 percent unemployment.  If Obama had been able to get the 2011 JOBS Act passed, two million more people who are currently unemployed would have work right now.  The 2009 ARRA had created perhaps 2 to 3 million jobs, and saved an equal number from being lost. This administration deserves blame for not pushing harder on principal reduction of mortgages, HAMP has been an unqualified failure.  The also deserves criticism for failing to appreciate that the jobs crisis is a lot more important to Americans than deficit reduction.  I'm not clear that the administration really has absorbed this lesson from 2011.  We'll have to see.

            The biggest defense budget in history neglects the fact that the rate of increase under this president has been slowed under this president.  With the draw-down in Afghanistan we are actually likely to see a leveling and perhaps cut in the budget.  Indefinite detention isn't a policy that this administration has ended, but it hasn't exactly made robust use of the policy either.  It has largely ended the policy of torture.  The power to kill anyone, anywhere, is hyperbole.  Personally, I don't lose sleep over the fact that a guy like Anwar-Al-Awlaki or Bin Laden were killed without the benefit of a trial in foreign states.  Most of the terrorist acts or plots since 2009 where people have been caught have been tried in civilian courts.  The Gitmo population has been decreased, even though the prison still remains open.

            The health care reforms aren't my ideal approach either, but there are definitely aspects that I think are good about expanding coverage.  Clearly the industry hates aspects of the law -- limits on profits, cuts to MedicareAdvantage.  I don't mind the fact that I will be "forced" to buy insurance in 2014.  I may even have the option of being able to buy into one of the non-profit plans when it becomes available.  It's a significant improvement over not having insurance.  Having had a gap in coverage, without the law, I wouldn't have been able to obtain coverage or afford coverage before 2010, so the law is a BFD for me.

            Contra the GOP myths about Obama, he is a center-left politician more than an economic populist or a genuine liberal on a range of issues.  Overall I think he's done more good than bad.  He's a big improvement over W and based on the standards of the past 40 years, he measures up pretty well.  Obviously, if he's being judged by against a more liberal ideal standard, he's going to come up short in a number of respects.  

            •  This is an old subject (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gila, arendt, TracieLynn, Brown Thrasher

              But many progressives, like Ian Welsh for example identified lists of things Obama could have done by Executive fiat even without help from Congress through the dark days of 2009-2010.  He had hundreds of billions of already authorized funds in TARP and other programs which he had considerable discretion over the disbursement.  Instead of using it to help the economy, he gave the TARP money back to the treasury and bragged about his fiscal responsibility.  HAMP hurt homeowners to help banks.  That was by design.  It went on too long with too much press to be a "mistake."  It was designed to suck and help banks rebuild their balance sheets.

              Progressives need to open their eyes and understand Obama is not a liberal, he's not a progressive.  He's better than the GOP in innumerable ways, but he's a neoliberal in the form of Tony Blair.  He didn't want a New New Deal.

              It's too late to do much about Obama, but the 2016 primaries will ramp up soon enough.  Will the base demand an actual liberal candidate or settle for someone symbolically liberal who yet buys into the failed DC Village economic and social consensus?

              •  "Designed to suck?" (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NotGeorgeWill, Cedwyn

                What does that mean exactly? Are you saying that the President intended to screw with his own base? That doesn't make much sense politically and the President is certainly an astute politician.

                I agree with your point about the midterms but I don't see how "exposing" the Prez as a neo-Liberal is either necessary or even helpful to that effort. We'd do better to focus our fire on austerity as a policy prescription rather indulging in a quixotic and ultimately self defeating effort to denigrate the President.

                Of course the real key is building a mass, popular movement to put pressure on the political elites. I don't see how focusing on Pres. Obama's shortcomings help in that effort either.  

                Nothing human is alien to me.

                by WB Reeves on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:27:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  aliasalias

                  The program was set up to support banks at the expense of distressed borrowers.   The problems with the program were well covered by bloggers and the financial press, and yet no changes were made.  HAMP was never intended to help the people it ostensibly was set up to help.  If it was, they would have fixed it when it became obvious what the Banks were using it for.

                  The administration knew it wasn't working from the perspective of home owners, and did nothing about it.  I can't see how "it was designed to suck" could be any clearer.

                  Acknowledging Obama's progressive shortcomings is absolutely essential to having a better chance of nominating a progressive Democrat in 2016.  You don't have to believe Obama's a bad guy, he just doesn't believe what we believe.  

            •  We need a 'super rec' button (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lawrence, Cedwyn, NotGeorgeWill

              for comments like yours that allows the user to auto-link back to your comment for future reference.

              I am constantly frustrated by critiques of the president based on either vague, non-specific recollections of events or complete falsehoods. Thank you for taking the time to address this critique with a fact based rejoinder.

              It's the Central Limit Theorem, Stupid!

              by smartdemmg on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:23:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Well chained CPI if you are on social security is (10+ / 0-)

          the beginning of destruction.  Not everyone gets a large SS check.  Some people get $500 or less a month.  Remember - women were supposed to stay home and take care of the house, children.  And of course, women never made what men did - nor do they today.  a chained CPI makes sure women are hurt.  And the older you are the more you will be cut.

          Yet we know groceries cost more each month.  Just look at your groceries receipts.  When they look at the cost of living they don't look at the cost of food or fuel.  Those 2 things are killers.  Eating and cooling/heating a house/apartment.

          SS is based on what you earned when you worked.  We paid into SS.  SS is not the problem - other than the fact that Wall Street wants the SS money in stocks and bonds and not sitting in the treasury.  Even Bernanke has said that SS needs to be in the stock market - so we can lose what we had just like the people with 401Ks that during bad times could not retire because they lost so much money.

          The very fact that Obama allowed the Big 3 to come into the talks to begin with is more than troubling.  the fact that when SB was not approved by the SB committee (did not get enough votes in the committee) and yet Obama kept urging more gangs to come along and keeps going back to SB is more than troubling.

        •  Otto Von Bismark (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          clonal antibody

          I think Obama is in the mold of the original conservative welfare state programs - programs that were understood as beneficence of the State and the Wealthy to the little people who should be grateful for the crumbs tossed their way if they worked really hard and obeyed all the rules.

          It's basically Guillotine Insurance to prevent another 1789.  Give the poor their bread and circuses and use it to keep them in line.

          SS after chained CPI will become a pale shadow of itself.  Not nearly enough to live on without actual welfare/charity.  It will take 20 years, but that's where it will go.

          The modern GOP is full steam ahead to another 1789 with their Ayn Rand worldview, and the centre-right Dems are better, but they're not liberals, it's not a liberal New Deal they want - it's an older deal.

      •  Obama has repeatedly mentioned that Social (11+ / 0-)

        Security has nothing to do with the deficit. I have heard that in more than one speech of him.

        He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

        by Sophie Amrain on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:16:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Alias, do you have a link to ANY real cuts (6+ / 0-)

        that Obama has brought to the floor of Congress and/or signed?

  •  Fatal flaw in the premise (17+ / 0-)

    These plans politicians bandy about are always scored on 10  year intervals. unless your expect the US to be in perpetual recession, you are arguing a false premise. If the preponderance of the "cuts" fall in years 6-10 they will occur when we are no longer in recession. Or when our economy is matching its potential, as you put it.

    Sorry, but I stopped right there. I am not going to get all worked up over imaginary cuts born of false assumptions. The Obama administration understands the priorities. Continue to give them the public support they need by pressuring them, and see that the real detail are as they emerge.

    •  You shouldn't read diaries you don't understand (18+ / 0-)
      President Obama, you're asking OFA members to support $3 Trillion in spending cuts and only $1 Trillion in tax increases, or an average of $400 B in deficit spending cuts over the next 10 years. That $400 B is about the same size as the annual deficit spending on the American Re-investment and Recovery Act (the stimulus bill). But this annual anti-stimulus lasts for 10 years, whereas the stimulus lasted for about 2 years.
      It's obvious you didn't even take the time to read the diary either.

      You also are unaware that the CBO analysis you claim expertise on say lack of spending from spending cuts and tax increases will send the economy into recession in 2013 as GDP contracts 1.3%. Not year 6 or seven out of 10. I mean CBO analysis is not everything but you should at least get it right and this diary gets it right like letsgetitdone always has because he understand sectoral balances in our economy.

      OFA reminds me of this Rick Ungar piece which is useful in a useful idiot kind of way for he provides good data, but this would be an example of a flawed premise that Obama's lack of spending was good when it is anything but including the spending cuts which takes place every year starting now.

      Who Is The Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower? Would You Believe It's Barack Obama?

      Not your garbage analysis of this diary you didn't pay attention to. So we're not spending enough. WE don't have enough deficits to cover our trade deficit in our current account, and we will have another debt ceiling debacle when it has to be raised early next year which means more sellouts and austerity which is what you and OFA celebrate. There's no reason to think things will get better, specifically if we have another Wall St crash. there's no talk of another stimulus.

      IT's really too much to expect you to read diaries and interpret them properly so please don't.

      I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

      by priceman on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:53:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would have tipped, but for the gratuitous insult (6+ / 0-)

        -s.  Simply providing all of the information you did was rebuke enough, you don't really need to rub his nose in it.

        •  Oh well. Not gratutious whatsover. (8+ / 0-)

          Yes I did. He's going to have to learn etiquette when visiting other peoples diaries when he spreads his nonsense like he does all the time. This kind of nonsense hurts discourse and misinforms people to the facts in this diary which in turn hurts people like the excuses for austerity and calls for politeness when people are suffering.

          I'm tired of it. I wont' apologize for it, and I'll kindly ask you to not put that term towards me for it's quite inaccurate given the poster.

          I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

          by priceman on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:52:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Priceman, I love your style of delivery (7+ / 0-)

            But you don't have to return the negative fire when you have facts on your side. You aren't going to teach him anything that hasn't been tried a gazillion times before on this website.
            Just wave as you sail on by.

            •  what facts? (4+ / 0-)

              quicklund spoke to the delayed effects that would come from any bargains reached to avoid the fiscal cliff.

              priceman responds with what enacting the fiscal cliff would do to the economy (the CBO link).

              apples to oranges much?


              beyond that, the blockquote he gives from the diarist doesn't even speak to, let alone negate, quicklund's point:  

              These plans politicians bandy about are always scored on 10  year intervals. unless your expect the US to be in perpetual recession, you are arguing a false premise. If the preponderance of the "cuts" fall in years 6-10 they will occur when we are no longer in recession.
              and this is just speculation and nonsense:
              and we will have another debt ceiling debacle when it has to be raised early next year which means more sellouts and austerity which is what you and OFA celebrate. There's no reason to think things will get better, specifically if we have another Wall St crash. there's no talk of another stimulus
              no talk of stimulus?  what, then, is infrastructure and education spending?
              Save one million jobs through immediate investments to rebuild America's roads and bridges and repair our schools: The Obama-Biden emergency plan would make $25 billion immediately available in a Jobs and Growth Fund to help ensure that in-progress and fast-tracked infrastructure projects are not sidelined, and to ensure that schools can meet their energy costs and undertake key repairs starting this fall. This increased investment is necessary to stem growing budget pressures on infrastructure projects. In addition, in an environment where we may face elevated unemployment levels well into 2009, making an aggressive investment in urgent, high-priority infrastructure will serve as a triple win: generating capital deployment and job creation to boost our economy in the near-term, enhancing U.S. competitiveness in the longer term, and improving the environment by adopting energy efficient school and infrastructure repairs. In total, Obama and Biden's $25 billion investment will result in 1 million jobs created or saved, while helping to turn our economy around.

              Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

              by Cedwyn on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:50:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  watch this (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                priceman

                Photobucket

              •  plenty (7+ / 0-)
                The budget office estimated that the tax and spending changes ahead would slash the deficit from the 2012 fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, through the 2013 fiscal year by $607 billion, or 4 percent of the gross domestic product — $560 billion after accounting for higher unemployment compensation costs and lower tax collections from individuals and businesses because of the slow economy.
                Even assuming the plan there are cuts that begin right away.
                President Obama, you're asking OFA members to support $3 Trillion in spending cuts and only $1 Trillion in tax increases, or an average of $400 B in deficit spending cuts over the next 10 years. That $400 B is about the same size as the annual deficit spending on the American Re-investment and Recovery Act (the stimulus bill). But this annual anti-stimulus lasts for 10 years, whereas the stimulus lasted for about 2 years.
                Cuts are cuts the amount is still quite significant even if 207 billion less the first year(hardly apples and oranges. Dumbass deficit reduction is still dumbass deficit reduction which sucks income out of the private sector), but given what happened last time it's very unlikely the POTUS will get what he wants. And it's 400 billion every year for ten years. I don't know why that is so hard for all of you to understand.

                And no they happen every year in the plan(just like letasgetitdone laid out), not at year 6 or seven for 4 trillion. The CBO analysis I laid out is instructive to how harmful cuts are.

                And when I say stimulus, I mean something that is going to make a real dent like a better AARA(the one that should have happened). Something that actually stimulates, but not just in theory like the bond vigilantes and confidence fairies the president believes in.

                And you might want to inform yourself because the debt ceiling is coming up again early next year. Even Tim Geithner knows that, so not speculation. Especially because I predicted this mess while you cheered the Bush tax cut sellout which led to all of this.

                The crisis was wasted and the opportunity for most little  jobs bills to pass are not likely to be met again either.

                I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

                by priceman on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:28:49 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  quicklund's comment was about (0+ / 0-)

                  the gradual nature/effects of cuts over a 10-year period, as would happen with any kind of deal obama et al manage to broker to avoid the fiscal cliff.

                  you replied by talking about what happens if we go over the fiscal cliff.

                  it doesn't get more apples and oranges than that.

                  And it's 400 billion every year for ten years.
                  please cite a source for this.  


                  meanwhile,
                  Cuts are cuts the amount is still quite significant even if 207 billion less the first year(hardly apples and oranges. Dumbass deficit reduction is still dumbass deficit reduction which sucks income out of the private sector)
                  you're living cuts right now.  from the email in question:
                  cuts spending by more than 3 trillion, including cuts President Obama has already signed into law.
                  so between this and the 716 billion in medicare savings, there's 1 trillion cut already.

                  as for debt ceiling shenanigans, let boehner try it.  his hand will be considerably weaker next year.    

                  Especially because I predicted this mess while you cheered the Bush tax cut sellout which led to all of this.
                  it's really so sad that you cannot refrain from making everything personal like this.  i was cheering for the extension of UI and the payroll tax cut to help non-1%ers.  i could make some flippant remark about you being all about selling those folks down the river, but that would be pointless, now wouldn't it?

                  Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                  by Cedwyn on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 05:58:40 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Boy (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              priceman

              That's good advice for me.  Wish they'd go somewhere else though.  Too much to ask though

              Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

              by Mindful Nature on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:08:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Genuinely funny (0+ / 0-)

            Ettiquette?

            I fouind his premise flawed and said that was enough for me to skip the rest of this overlt-long diary. Post a diary and expect people to disagree.

            Not an ad hom in the mix. But as noted, comprehension is not your strong suit p-man.

            That is both ad hom and accurate.

      •  Then why do you log on here, Priceman? (0+ / 0-)
    •  Some pretty big assumptions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, priceman

      You make some pretty big assumptions and leaps of faith here:

      If the preponderance of the "cuts" fall in years 6-10 they will occur when we are no longer in recession. Or when our economy is matching its potential, as you put it.
      Do you have a crystal ball you're not telling the rest of us about?  Because if we continue to follow the GOP prescription of austerity, it is no guarantee that the economy will be any better in 6-10 years, nor that it won't actually be worse.

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:53:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Agree that the HR is not merited . . . (10+ / 0-)

    even though I don't agree with all of the points -- although I have some of the same concerns about whether the Obama team will strike the right balance in the upcoming budget negotiations.

    I agree that deficit reduction in the short-term is not smart policy -- especially not with borrowing costs this low and an economy operating below capacity.  Most forms of deficit spending are going to give good bang for the buck provided that the money is spent in the domestic economy.  

    I disagree, however, that there aren't issues over the long-term.  e.g. the most obvious place being the increase in Medicare.  Additionally, as the economy recovers -- especially if it recovers in the near-term, borrowing costs go up.  High rates of public sector borrowing during an economic expansion raise private sector capital costs and reduce the economies ability to perform up to potential.  Debt servicing costs for the public debt, also have the potential to reduce economic potential.  This is the whole idea behind counter-fiscal policy and the old saw by JM Keynes: "the time for austerity is the boom, not the bust".  

    I also have a qualified disagreement with following:

    But, loans create both assets and liabilities in equal measure and no new net financial assets.
    It really depends on whether the loan is being put in the service of productive investment.  Over time, if the money is being lent responsibly, it should create wealth where it did not previously exist.  In terms of public finance, think of infrastructure spending, as just one example.  

    A simplified hypothetical:  Poor infrastructure costs 100 people $100 each a year to get their goods to market and travel for pleasure.

    A new bridge costing $100,000 reduces those annual costs to $20.  The bridge will last for 40 years.  The bridge makes it much faster to deliver goods, it reduces wear and tear on transportation used to move those goods (part of the big savings).  

    In 12.5 years the economic benefits of the investment will have paid for the principal cost of the project.  Even assuming that there is some rate of interest that adds a few years to the repayment (let's say 7.5 years).  This assumes that there is no real inflation.  If there is, that will actually ease the burden of repayment.  The next 20 years are all net gain.  That's creating wealth where it didn't previously exist.  In 40 years this hypothetical community will have $160,000 of net savings available for other uses than the community that decided to forgo the bridge investment.

    The loan is not simply a movement of $1 dollar on the balance sheet from one person's asset column to anthers.  There are many forms of investment that fall into this category when it comes to private investment as well.

    •  I've been refraining (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      clonal antibody, NotGeorgeWill

      from further comments, because there are just too many to reply to. But NGW, I thought I should say something about this:

      It really depends on whether the loan is being put in the service of productive investment.  Over time, if the money is being lent responsibly, it should create wealth where it did not previously exist.  In terms of public finance, think of infrastructure spending, as just one example.
      That was in reply to my:
      But, loans create both assets and liabilities in equal measure and no new net financial assets.
      Notice that I said net financial assets. The loan creates both a deposit, and also a liability for the borrower. On the bank side, the loan is an asset, while the borrower's deposit is a liability. That is the accounting. Now the borrower's use of the money may well create real wealth in the economy. But looked at from a macro perspective, it doesn't create any additional net financial assets.

      Now compare that with Government deficit spending. First, let's take the case where the Government doesn't borrow first before it deficit spends, a case that doesn't actually occur these days. The result of deficit spending without borrowing is clearly new cash reserves in private accounts as the government marks up those accounts with its payments.

      Now take the case where borrowing precedes deficit spending. The Treasury removes reserves from the private sector by getting them in payment for its Government bond. The Government then turns around and does the deficit spending. What's the result? The Government bond is left in the private sector as a net financial asset.

      Anyway, we always have to keep nominal financial wealth and real wealth clearly separate in our analyses. The banks can can lend money, and in the lending create it, but they can't create net financial assets, actual new financial wealth. On the other hand, people borrowing money and spending it on economic endeavors can create new real wealth; just as people who get payments from the government can use those payments to produce real wealth.

      •  Fair points . . . (0+ / 0-)

        As an accounting matter this sounds correct to me and generally true.  Some possible exceptions come into play with derivative contracts (e,g, AIG created more liabilities on its books without sufficient reserves to cover its bets when things went wrong -- you can create a contract based on future promises without actually having reserves on hand to cover those commitments), Fed policy can create new financial wealth as well through the printing press.  But for the purposes of this topic, they aren't really relevant.

        The problem that we have right now is that private sector balance sheets are constrained by high levels of debt -- especially for households and consumers.  In order to restore the economy back to a path of normal growth, you need to bring those private debt levels back to a more sustainable level.  In a situation where the paradox of thrift comes into play -- private sector cuts back on spending, and the government cuts back on spending -- that debt burden becomes harder to reduce, because we enter a cycle where declining aggregate demand reduces aggregate demand over time.  Under normal conditions Fed policy alone can free up money by reducing the cost of capital, which helps to restore a more stable level of demand in the economy.  In a situation where rates are near zero and the economy is still puttering along, it is typically due to a change in the behavior on the part of lenders and borrowers (e.g. fewer qualified borrowers, lenders who are risk averse -- either because their own financial position is precarious, or because they are reluctant to assume more financial risk because of concern that it might put them in a precarious position).  Under those conditions the lender of last resort -- the federal government -- typically needs to become the spender of last resort as well.   The public spending helps to fill the gap in aggregate demand due to cutbacks in private sector spending and investment.

        I'm not so sure that we disagree on the prescription/solution to our current economic situation -- in fact I don't think there is any disagreement.  Although I think we may arrive at the understanding from different directions and based on different rationales.

  •  Deficits are positively helpful (23+ / 0-)

    In a recession.  And where else are you going to get a virtually interest free credit line that will more THAN PAY FOR ITSELF??  Borrow at near zero percent, rebuild our infrastructure, put teachers back to work, build the new green economy, crating millions of new jobs.  Collect the income taxes from those new jobs, and pay down the deficit with THAT.
    The ONLY effective deficit reduction plan is one that creates new jobs.  Anything else is refusing to feed your children today in order to pay off your credit card tomorrow.

    •  So you support the President's plan (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, Quicklund

      to create jobs through investments in infrastructure, research, and education, while increasing revenues via a tax increase on the richest Americans?

      President Obama has budgeted trillions of dollars in deficit spending to help the economy recover. He is also, rightly concerned about the issue of long-term debt and he will use these tax revenues to stimulate the economy in the short term in order to generate the revenues needed to begin eliminating the debt over the long term.

      Here's my take on it - the revolution will not be blogged, it has to be slogged. - Deoliver47

      by OIL GUY on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:31:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wait, are you telling me that Obama (23+ / 0-)

    favors a balanced approach for reducing the deficit? Dammit, why didn't he campaign on that? It's almost as if he didn't say it in basically every speech and campaign ad.

    Doesn't he know that deficits don't matter and we don't ever have to worry about our growing debt? If only President Obama had the wisdom of this diarist and Dick Cheney.

  •  Somethings to consider (5+ / 0-)

    The only thing saving the United States is that it is the defacto world reserve currency.  If we had to bid for an exchange without that benefit of everyone needing dollars to buy oil, we'd be in worse shape than Greece.

    Deficits do matter in many respects and it is my opinion that it needs to be constrained in the long run.  That is, manage the aspects of the budget that will have long term impacts on our defict.  Get the US budget to a revenue neutral or positive position is the best way.  Debt compounds and the more it does, the larger the percentage of revenue must be paid for debt service rather than economic activity.  That is the part that is killing us. And was engineered by the Grover Norquists of the world to strangle our government in a bathtub.  

    Fortunately, we owe the vast majority of our debt to ourselves in the form of borrowing from trust funds such as Social Security.  But that may not always be the case in the future.  Further, our economy may not endure at the present levels. If our economy shrinks to say 13 Trillion from the nearly 17 Trillion we have now, how will we cope with that?  What is the effect of rapidly increasing commodity prices such as oil and food?  People will have to get by on less.

    One of the best ways to spur private investment is to reduce the opportunities for the 1% to invest in "safe" risk-free government securities.  That is what drove the boom after the clinton budget that had surpluses.  The 1% had to find investments to make up the lost opportunity of federal bonds.

    I think it is perfectly appropriate for the President to call on OFA to assist in enacting the President's agenda.  He should have done so in the 1st term.  

    --United Citizens defeated Citizens United...This time. --

    by chipoliwog on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:08:16 PM PST

    •  A lot of disagreement with this . . . (7+ / 0-)

      1. the U.S. is the world's largest consumer market for pretty everything -- it's not just about oil, although that is part of the equation.  

      People who want to sell in the U.S. market have to accept payment in USDs for the hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods that are sold in the U.S. every year.  

      2. If the day comes where foreign investment starts moving out of the U.S. to other currencies, the dollar loses value relative other currencies, but then our exports begin to look a lot more attractive.  Dollars flow into the U.S. market through trade rather than in the form of credit.  That's not exactly a formula for a depressed economy.  China has achieved near double-digit growth in no small part because of its strong export market (which has been aided by an artificially deflated currency -- although not now to the same degree that it was a few years ago).

      3. The problem that Greece has is that it is tied to the stinking euro.  If it had its own currency, it would have a much better capacity to import growth through trade flows.  It can't now, because its tourism and exports are priced in the same currency as stronger economies like Germany.  The only way it gains a competitive advantage relative to Germany is through internal devaluation, which means wage cuts and the like.  The U.S. is not Greece for a host of reasons (e.g. our economy has a wider range of goods and services that it produces), but having our own currency is a huge relative advantage that gives us a lot more flexibility.

      4. What is the effect of rapidly increasing commodity prices?  It depends.  In the short-run it could be disruptive, but it also pushes us towards more efficient uses of things like energy and alternatives to oil.  This takes time, but it isn't necessarily a net negative over the long-term.  Additionally, the effect of inflation in some commodities could put downward pressure on other expenses, as businesses compete for a smaller share of dollars.  I don't see the economy shrinking from $17 trillion to $13 trillion, however, due to economic factors.  Maybe severe political mismanagement, or a premature move to austerity (and even then it would have to be a big move).  Under those circumstances, it would seem unlikely that oil prices would go up.  A severe recession has the effect of reducing demand for commodities like oil.

      5. The move of private investors into to T-Bills has everything to do with risk management right now.  During the Clinton years dollars weren't moving out of T-Bills because we weren't selling enough debt.  Money moved out of T-Bills, because investors had a greater appetite for risk and weren't satisfied with a 6 percent return when they could get twice to four times that much in private investment.  Once the economy recovers more strongly and the psychology shifts from the flight to safety towards profit maximization, we will have to offer a higher rate of interest on T-bills in order to attract investment dollars in government debt.  Right now, the rate is low, because of the fact that people are risk-averse and are hedging against the risk of another down-turn in global markets.

      I agree with you though that the President should do more to engage the OFA in order to get measures through Congress.  Hopefully he strikes the right balance between growth centered policies and deficit reduction.

    •  Japan (0+ / 0-)

      The Yen is not the world's reserve currency and Japan has been near Debt-to-GDP of 200% for a decade without a crisis.

      Krugman figures being the world reserve currency is worth about $50B a year in benefit to the US - from all the people holding US dollars.  That's not nothing, but it is hardly a sum that keeps the US afloat where otherwise it would be facing a Mad Max/Greece crisis.

  •  We lost the fiscal framing contest decades ago (8+ / 0-)

    This fiscal debate is an opportunity for us. I refuse to stay in a permanent reactive-defensive state.

    Why we aren't capable of taking advantage of this phony crisis as yet to be explained to me.

    I'll be standing proudly with OFA once again because we learned in the first term what happens when people stand down after an election and start gnawing on their own side instead of the other side. Real movements organize and mobilize. I would invite the diarist to organize in another way if OFA is not appealing.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:26:35 PM PST

    •  I think that you (3+ / 0-)

      like so many others in this thread, have a fundamental misunderstanding of why the Democrats lost so badly in 2010.  They didn't lose because there was criticism, they lost because they failed to heed it.

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:04:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a fair criticism (2+ / 0-)

        How best to correct that error is where the disagreements begin.

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:01:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Which Democrats and what criticism? (0+ / 0-)

        You  think significant numbers of people referred to as "the Obama coalition" didn't show up to vote for Martha Coakley -- for example -- because they were upset with Obama?  They sure showed up for him.

        I didn't vote in 2010.  Democrats bashing Obama and trying to distance themselves from him was kinda popular.  Those democrats didn't listen to "my" criticism of them for it -- and didn't get my vote.

        That meme that Dem losses in 2010 was a reflection on how folks felt about Obama might have seemed to have more weight if Obama, himself, had lost when he was on the ballot.

        Right -- we hate Obama so we won't vote for other Democrats -- but we'll still vote for him?  Whatta concept!

        I got a "thank you" from Obama -- today -- for supporting him from the beginning.  It's I who should be thanking him -- but that card is on display in my living room.  I hope to see many more "Obama" type Democrats on ballots in the future.

        •  You obviously don't realize it (0+ / 0-)

          but you are reinforcing my point.

          I'm a Yellow Dog Democrat; I vote in every single election including primaries and I vote straight Democratic ticket in every general irrespective of what any Democrat says about any other Democrat.  I may have a lot of criticism for Democrats but as a Democratic voter, I have earned the right to criticize.  If you didn't vote in 2010 because the Democrats you could have voted for weren't nice enough to Obama, I have little but contempt for you because you are part of the problem and you have no business lecturing me nor any other voter.

          Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

          by democracy inaction on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:25:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Curb not cliff. n/t (6+ / 0-)

    I just flushed my Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone. Whaddya know, trickle down theory actually works somewhere.

    by cal2010 on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:35:37 PM PST

    •  why? n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens

      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

      by AaronInSanDiego on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:36:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Slope, not a cliff . . . (6+ / 0-)

        is the phrase that I would use.

        The impact of the cuts doesn't hit at one time, they come into play over a series of months and years.

        From the NY Times:

        Chad Stone of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, for instance, has argued that the cliff is more of a slope. Its powerful effects would be felt gradually and cumulatively, not immediately. You would slide down, not fall off. Moreover, Congress could undo much of the damage. Meaning even if you slid down, you could climb back up.

        Moreover, the “cliff” is in fact no monolith, instead composed of dozens of separate policy changes with different potentials to disrupt the economy— hence the Economic Policy Institute’s decision to call it an “obstacle course.”

        Whatever it is called, analysts agree that it would hardly be pretty, to torture the metaphor once more.

        The only reason I could see it being more cliff like is if the expectations about the failure to reach a deal become self-fulfilling.  Obviously it will screw with private sector business planning in ways that aren't likely to be constructive.
        •  This cliff, curb, slope was devised by Rep Eric (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Chi, 3goldens, blueoasis, NotGeorgeWill

          Cantor.  Enough said.  Obama must not let the GOP bully him as they did in the first term.  We must not let Obama consent to the GOP.

          •  the whole reason this particular can (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NotGeorgeWill

            was kicked to right now was because the GOP was just certain they'd be working with a GOP president come january.

            are you seriously suggesting cantor pulled some kind of brilliant power pay?

            Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

            by Cedwyn on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:58:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  As long as you're quoting Chad Stone (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NotGeorgeWill

          Perhaps you'd be interested in this panel on C-SPAN. Then you can tell us whether you think Chad Stone or Stephanie Kelton and Jamie Galbraith are right about the Fiscal Cliff.

          •  I don't see much disagreement . . . (0+ / 0-)

            I disagree with Galbraith's views generally that debts never matter.  

            But I agree with him and the consensus of the other speakers that the world won't end in 2012 if no action is taken on the measures.  You'll note that Stone states that "there is time to act", which I take to mean, "this is still something that we need to deal with this issue, because several cuts and tax increases in the midst of a sluggish economy are likely to put the economy back into recession".

            There are other issues that get mixed in with this topic that need to be spelled out:

            1. Medicare and Social Security -- not a real economic issue in the short-term.  The general consensus, even amongst more liberal economists, is that long-term we do have an issue with spending in Medicare.  If we don't fix the revenue formula for Social Security, there will come a point in another 20 or so years where the program takes in less than it pays out to beneficiaries.  There are multiple ways to actually resolve these problems without cutting benefits.  The decision to cut benefits is a political choice -- it is a value choice.  Not an economic one.

            2. Austerity is bad for the near-term health of the economy.  In this sense doing nothing and letting the automatic cuts and increases take place -- the default course of action -- would undermine the recovery and likely put us back into recession.  So there's an argument for making a deal.  The argument that these economists favor is "not do anything rash" but to cut a deal later when they think that we will have more leverage to get a better deal.  They also question that we need a "grand bargain".  I don't disagree with any of this.  

            3. Euro-crisis is a crisis of the financial system, not generous social safety net programs.  Yes, clearly this is the case in Ireland, Spain, Portugal and to a lesser extent Italy.

            I listened to about 45 minutes of the talk -- I'm familiar with these arguments.  I agree with them, that as an economic matter, there is no necessity to strike a "grand bargain".  As a political matter, this is anyone's guess.  If no deal is cut over the next several months, the economy goes back into recession.  Is a new recession better than no deal whatsoever?  This is a harder call.  

    •  3 card monte not cliff (10+ / 0-)

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 11:44:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like "Fiscal Bunny Hill" (0+ / 0-)

      Remember when it snowed in winter? Remember skiing?

      •  More like Fiscal Benny Hill (0+ / 0-)

        Both sides chasing each other around while Yackety Sax plays, but the whole thing is pointless anyway.

        It's all Kabuki.  Much of the Fake Precipice could be solved by merely doing nothing.

        You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

        by Johnny Q on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:10:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with the President that he should take the (10+ / 0-)

    information to the people through their Organizing for America platform and I have never found it to be manipulative.  I can agree or disagree with the positions but I like getting their goals and perspectives straight from them.  It becomes a dialog that millions of people can engage in without the flawed intermediaries in the media.  I also know that feedback means something after four years of watching the process and that's why I give it.

    My GOP reps in my totally red state do not care what my feedback is nor do they attempt to lay out their vision.  Their's is a world of dissembling and disregarding opinions that they don't like.  I'll take OFA.

    •  Good points. It is so easy to gin up outrage by (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn

      distorted citation and focusing on tiny parts of the whole picture. Our political culture would be much the better for it.

      If the leftists (to whom I actually belong, the difference to the diarist is I do not live in my alternate universe) want to be heard better we should organize to become a voice as powerful as OFA. But that would mean hard work, not splitting into ten different factions of purity, etc. Easier to write a blog post trying to co-opt a movement (OFA), which one has done nothing to grow.

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:22:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Pragmatic" (18+ / 0-)

    Here's a challenge:  identify one occasion in the past 30 years when the "pragmatic" fiscal or economic policy didn't also "just happen" to be the preferred corporatist policy.  Coincidence?  You tell me.

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 12:31:51 AM PST

  •  I'm not crazy about some of your rhetoric but I (5+ / 0-)

    somehow missed the $3 trillion in spending cuts versus
    $1 trillion in increased revenue that you point out.  I was going on an assumption that the starting point would be aligned with the 2013 Fiscal Year Budget that Obama proposed last February.  It shakes out to the same end result of shaving $4 trillion from the cumulative deficits over the next 10 years.  It gets there with a $1.6 trillion increase in revenue and $2.4 trillion spending reduction.

    I'm not happy to see $3.00 in spending cuts instead of $1.50 for every $1.00 increase in revenue.  The details of the $2.4 trillion reduction in spending placed about 40% of it in a category called "Overseas Contingency Operations."  The savings would be derived from ending the military operations in Afghanistan, the drone war in Pakistan and other countries in the region.  Other savings would come from adjustments to Medicare that trim payments to providers, and adjustments to Medicaid that could impact beneficiaries.  Cuts to farm subsidies and oil subsidies were in the mix too.  

    I don't think the economy recovery has progressed far enough to put spending cuts into effect for another year.  I do have one concern about the continuation of deficits indefinitely that you don't mention: interest rate risk.  

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

    by leftreborn on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:18:39 AM PST

    •  Good points regarding spending cuts . . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, Quicklund, ciganka

      I seem to recall that there was also some discussion about cutting Medicare prescription drug rates.  This is low-hanging fruit, that should be a no-brainer.  e.g. perhaps as much as $50-$100 billion in savings over the next decade.

      Of course, the pharmaceutical lobby and its defenders in Congress won't see it this way.  Never mind that they already received an increase in patent protections, worth billions, or a new (as of 2003) and generous revenue stream thanks to the existence of Medicare Part D.

      Much of the other cuts sound sensible, which is one reason that they probably won't have much of a chance with the House GOP.

      Obama's going to have to show a lot of adversarial political skill than he has in the past in order to achieve a "balanced" deal that actually makes sense.  Also the GOP is going to try to get political cover for cuts that are going to be very unpopular, the administration should hang those moves around the GOP's neck, rather than providing it cover.  e.g. with respect to Medicare and Social Security.  Of course, the desire for a deal, may cloud the administration's political judgment.  And there's no question that the industry lobby groups and the 1 percent lobby still retain significant influence, even with a president who just won re-election thanks to a large number of voters, volunteers, and supporters whose interests are directly opposed to those groups.

  •  winning by almost 100 evs and 3 million (5+ / 0-)

    votes and counting is not 'eking out' a victory

    are you trolling or what?

  •  You give a rather perfect example of how not to do (7+ / 0-)

    it with your letter. It is rambling, far too long for what you have to say and woefully oblivious to how the world works.

    So you start by pissing off Obama and his supporters by insulting his victory as 'eking out'. I fail to see the wisdom in pissing off people you want to influence. Also, your claim is plain wrong. Last numbers I have seen is a popular vote margin of 4 million votes. If you would bother looking at the world instead of opinionating about it, you would notice that most people stick to their party like they stick to their religion, and for rather similar reasons. So realistically only very few people can be pried loose from the fringes of the other party's electorate. Four million votes is not shabby at all, especially considered in the context of other recent elections.

    Then you betray your ignorance by claiming the popular vote is the real measure of a Presidents mandate. This is of course invalid, since a Presidential candidate has to optimize his strategy for the existing election rules, i.e. optimize for the electoral college. You probably could push up the popular vote by campaigning in the very blue and the very red states (push people out of complacency and lift them out of resignation, respectively). Then you would not have enough resources in the Swing states and lose the electoral college that way.

    And these 2 points already tell me, that it would be a waste of my time to try to ferret out possibly hidden insights in your diary. Such sloppy reasoning as evidenced above does not bode well for your other complaints having any legitimacy.

    Also, OFA was built by the President - it relies on personal involvement of OFA people with the President and his policies. Why should it work for your ideas, all of a sudden???

    He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

    by Sophie Amrain on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:05:52 AM PST

  •  OFA has it right (9+ / 0-)

    We do need long term deficit reduction.  This is basic Keynsian economics: once well into recovery you are supposed to cut spending and raise taxes.  The president isn't proposing to make those cuts immediate.  

    Also, they are not calling for any significant new cuts.  The $3T figure for spending cuts is counting the $1.5T already passed last year, plus over $800B in savings from ending the Iraq and Afghan wars, plus $360B in saving from health care reforms, plus reduced interest costs due to deficit reduction.  

    There's only a few hundred billion of other savings in the president's budget, including things like reforming agricultural subsidies, and the PBGC, and changes to federal retirement programs.  

    So they are really mostly making the same argument you are: that asking the wealthy to pay more at this point IS balanced.    

    Note that in the Great Depression by the way, taxes on the wealthy were increased, which allowed the New Deal to work without any great increase in debt as a percentage of GDP.  The first tax increases and the first stimulus efforst both occured mid-1932.  From 1933-1939 real GDP growth was stronger than the 1920s, while debt as a percentage of GDP was stable around 40%.

    So I see nothing wrong with having those tax increases kick in this year.    

    •  Well into recovery... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dharmafarmer, slinkerwink, 2020adam

      that's where the disconnect occurs.

      Tell that to the tens of millions who are unemployed, under-employed and/or not earning a living wage in this country.

      I mean, I spent the last few months defending the President's economic record, too, but that was only relative to what he inherited and what the Republicans would have done with that. Otherwise, the "demand" side of the economy is still totally whacked.

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries.

      by Words In Action on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:56:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is how diarist screws up: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth

      He is talking about the wisdom of immediate action. When the entire effort is to delay cuts and tax hikes on the middle class.

      One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

      by Inland on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:59:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Link to new economic perspectives is not working (8+ / 0-)

    Tipped and recced but I wish that we could find a way to discuss some of this important stuff in a way that wouldn't bring out the defenders of all things Obama.
    It wouldn't be lying or working against america to leave out some of the less important stuff like the eking out a win bit in the opening paragraph.

  •  Thank you! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, dharmafarmer

    While I filled that thing out, I kept putting in pieces of my mind on that exact subject!  I wish I'd saved my final comment to them, but it was exactly in this vein!  Thank you for pointing this out.

  •  Dear Letsgetitdone, your very last line: (4+ / 0-)
    not to cave to the Republicans and blue dogs again!
    (Bolding is mine)

    ...gave you away, if you get my drift.

    To that I say, BULLLLL SHIIIIITTTTT!!!

    Regards.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 05:53:47 AM PST

  •  I 've worked for OFA for the past 4 years and -- (17+ / 0-)

    though I can't and don't speak for the organization -- I can tell you that it's not what you think.  

    OFA is almost entirely made up of volunteers, regular people. There's no unifomity of viewpoints other than that we want the President and Democrats to win, and sometimes support big policy pushes.  DADT, Obamacare, etc.

    Rather than having each Democratic campaign reinvent itself from scratch every 4 years we have worked to keep a basic campaign structure alive and in place so we can better get our ground game and GOTV going when the time comes.  And it's worked.

    Personally I'm against any weakening of SS or Medicare.  I'd like both to be strengthened.  SS is not a contributor to the deficit.  Most Dems agree on this, I think. As to debt issues, I agree with Krugman.

    Imo your complaint is misplaced. OFA is not a problem.  Republicans and their funders and constituencies and sympatisers are the problem.  

  •  Why read into "just one sentence"? If allowed two (8+ / 0-)

    sentences, OFA might show that it agrees with you on lots of your principles.  

    It would just be you jumping to conclusions, except for the inflammatory headline of OFA being "against the People".  If I were to apply your method of allowing only one sentence, I'd mark you as a troll.

    One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

    by Inland on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:29:00 AM PST

  •  if you turn this into rocks / sux (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, sethtriggs, auron renouille

    You won't even get half of Daily Kos members, much less OFA members.

    Brand new favorite RSS feed of Daily Kos Radio Podcasts http://kagrox.libsyn.com/rss
    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

    by We Won on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:32:43 AM PST

  •  This diary should be HR! Attack on Obama (6+ / 0-)

    We have to support Obama no matter what he does.

    The goal of dailykos is more and better democrats.

    We won a historic election, it is time to continue to follow wherever Obama leads.

    Who cares if he negotiates away social security and medicare.  Because bi partisan efforts in the country will address what counts as politics.

    Politics is what the two parties say it is.

    For example, income inequality was not on the agenda until OWS. In fact, even the Democratic party walked away from poverty by 1980.

    For example, reducing military spending was not a topic of the election.

    These are just a couple of examples of how the corporate media make a big deal out of what politicians say, but don't cover the topics that the politicians don't talk about.

    During the Reagan administration, there were convictions of a thousand high level bankers who went to jail. This time around when the financial system crashed the world economy no one has gone to jail.

  •  Oh boy, here we go again with the inaccurate, (15+ / 0-)

    conjecture-based preemptive Obama bashing diaries....

    This diary reminds me of the plethora of nonsensical diaries posted here in 2010 and 2011 that predicted that we would be in a double-dip recession by now because the President is a "sell-out" or some other asinine pseudo reason.

    Btw, if the deficit doesn't matter at all, I guess we we're all wrong when we say that we can't afford more wars or more tax cuts for the rich, huh?  We might as well just get rid of taxes and just borrow all the money that we need according to this diary's twisted logic.

    What a ridiculous diary - it's embarrassing to have it on the reclist.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 06:40:51 AM PST

    •  Have the sky-is-falling type been right even once? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, Beetwasher, kalmoth, blueyedace2

      I cannot recall a single issue on which the panic-addicted perpetual Obama critics' predictions of doom have been close to correct. Yet they keep coming back with shiny-eyed conviction that Obama = doom.

      •  Not that I can think of. (5+ / 0-)

        Doom and gloom predictions of a double dip recession(predicted by some of the very same people who are recommending this diary)....  it didn't happen.

        Doom and gloom predictions of Libya turning into a second Iraq.... it didn't happen.  It is interesting how the Republicans are advancing a similar meme, though.

        Doom and gloom predictions of the President ending Medicare and Social Security.... it didn't happen.  Nonetheless, a diary like this one still gets on the reclist despite containing b.s. like this:

        No, OFA, I don't think members are going to support that kind of flexibility for a guy who seems determined to give away the crown jewels of the New Deal, in return for minor concessions from the knuckle-draggers.
        That right there actually deserves a HR, because it is conspiracy theory, yet the diary still makes it to the reclist.

        I blame the period during Kos' virtual absence from the site, when a lot of people came here who like to peddle b.s.

        I sure hope we don't get a repeat of 2010 and all the anti-Obama trollery that it entailed.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:01:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks. I cannot think of one either (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawrence, kalmoth, blueyedace2

          It is true that PBO failed to shut down Gitmo, but that was not for a lack of trying or procrastination. And it is true PBO was on his heels for a good portion of his first term. Both being due to fierce GOP opposition.

          But all this mind-reading, these predictions of doom, these self-congratulatory backseat driving insructors, the sellers of sky-is-falling doom ... they have a 100% error rate.

          •  A lot of the frantic Old-man-yells-at-cloud posts (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund, Lawrence, kalmoth

            seem to all be based on fundamental misunderstandings of how the political system works, assuming that the executive branch can force the legislative into submission.

            If that were the case, we'd all have well-worn HilaryCare cards in our wallets.  Funny thing is that I seem to have misplaced mine :).

            "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

            by auron renouille on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:30:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe you left your in the bully pulpit (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              auron renouille

              "Bully pulpit" being one phrase I don't hear again soon.

              Here's the mental disconnect I just do not grok:

              Many people of the liberal persuasion cringe at the growing plutocratic nature of America. We see power and wealth devolve into fewer and fewer hands. We wonder for the future of basic small-d democracy in teh face of too few holding too much personal influence and power.

              Then, we elect a Democrat President.

              All of a sudden the super-powerful special interests who worry us so are considered non-existant by the perpetual Obama critics.  Everything should happen at once. Those super-powerful plutocrats? They have no power! They have no influence! There's no political headwind! There's nothing to stop every pet project from being put in place because in America, the President can do anything!

              So naturally, if the President does not do everything, yesterday, it can only mean Barack Obama is a much dumber politician than DKos bloggers. unless of course he is really Rick Santorum in disguise. (No wonder Santorum has such a hard time producing "his" birth certificate!)

            •  I forgot... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              auron renouille, kalmoth

              to put an icon in the title. So here are some extras.

              :-)

              ;-)

              :-D

  •  As delusional as Republican trickle down (9+ / 0-)

    The left needs to stop with the Dick Cheney point of view that "deficits don't matter".  It's a form of denialism as crazy as Global Warming denialism.

    In classic Keynesian economics, it's about the timing of paying down debts.  Now is not the time, but if a Grand Bargain calls for tax increases now, along with investments in energy conservation, Solar, Wind, infrastructure... and cuts in defense and some discretionary spending in the outer years of a 10 year budget, we should jump all over it.

    If we don't show the country that we take deficits seriously,  and that we have a classic economic plan to pay those deficits down, we will assure the resurgence of the Republican party.

    •  Why did you HR this diary? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher, Scientician
    •  This! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, Diogenes2008
      If we don't show the country that we take deficits seriously,  and that we have a classic economic plan to pay those deficits down, we will assure the resurgence of the Republican party.

      He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

      by Sophie Amrain on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:19:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We simply need to keep educating about history (5+ / 0-)

      Historically Democrats have been much more fiscally responsible than Republicons.   The majority of the current debt is because of Republicon policies.

      The Republicons ran up the debt on their watch without a thought, but as soon as the Democrats took the majority the right wing has made the deficit their primary talking point, and blaming Democrats a primary bogeyman.

      I'm quite tired of the Republicons controlling the national debate on issues.

    •  Deficits don't matter (4+ / 0-)

      If we want to get technical, they don't matter.  It's actually reducing overall spending once the economy is near to full employment that helps to extend a recovery.  You can do that by raising taxes (reduces private spending) or cutting public spending, both of which might tend to lower deficits.  But the deficit reduction could still be best thought of as a relatively unimportant side effect.  

      And it's typically something you want to do when the deficit is already relatively low (because the economy is doing well) not when it is relatively high (because the economy is in recession).  So best not thought of as a reaction to deficit levels.

      In addition, one reason deficits might tend to be chronically high might come from over use of monetary policy to control spending.  Having the central bank hike interest rates to reduce private spending (rather than raising taxes or reducing public spending) is the one way to reduce spending that doesn't lower the deficit.  So a central bank that is chronically aggressive about monetary tightening (as the Fed has been in recent decades) might lead to an economy where chronically high deficit levels are needed.

      Another way to look at this same phenomonom is to think of chronic high deficits as a symptom of an overvalued currency.  The increased debt helps absorb the foreign capital inflows required to finance a trade deficit.  

      So they can matter as an important symptom, but treating the symptom directly too often leads to the wrong medicine.  

      •  Deficits/debt do matter, and history shows it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kovie

        There are numerous examples of countries having to go through gut wrenching debt deflations due to running up too much debt.  Argentina is a good recent example, but France in the past, and to some extent Greece today.

        I was getting ready to argue pretty hard with you, but you make a very good point that fiscal policy (through tax increases and cuts) should be the primary method of keeping the economy stable.  But given the quality of the politicians we send to Washington, I won't be holding my breath on that one.

        As far as the currency valuation, I'm not sure I can agree on that. The dollar has significantly declined in value in recent years, compared to a basket of currencies and even the Yuan.  And I think you make the assumption that we would continue to have large capital inflows if the TBonds weren't dirt cheap and considered safe right now.

        •  Currencies (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          clonal antibody

          A. On the first point, how many of those countries had a debt denominated in their own currency, with floating exchange rates and free trade?  Argentina for example, got into trouble because of a peg to the US dollar.  Greece got into trouble because of the Euro.  As Paul Krugman asks:

          "What’s the model under which a country that does have its own currency and borrows in that currency can experience a slump due to an attack by bond vigilantes? Or failing that, where are the historical examples?"

          B. On the recent devaluation, note that the trade deficit has also been cut in half in recent years.  Also, policy in Europe has been even tighter, as they have imposed austerity.  China meanwhile had been keeping their currency artificially low, and has largely corrected that through a gradual strengthening.  

          There remains the question of why the trade deficit grew as the dollar declined from 2002-2006, but one could argue that at that time we had unneeded fiscal stimulus.  We went from a $200B surplus in 2001 to a $400B deficit by 2004.  Uneployment was at 4% before the recession in 2001, peaked at just over 6% mid-2003, and was already below 5.5% by late 2004.  Maybe that economy just didn't need big tax cuts and massive war spending.  

          It's true though that fiscal policy is more important.  Part of the point of having the Fed be less agressive would be to allow some inflation (and wage increases) to occur first, and allow some political pressure to build then to cut spending, rather than have the Fed respond immediately to even very low levels of inflation.  

      •  They DO matter, but in the way you put it: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pete Dunkelberg
        So they can matter as an important symptom, but treating the symptom directly too often leads to the wrong medicine
        Don't treat the symptom, treat the causes.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:25:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Nobody actually cares about the deficit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dharmafarmer

      It always comes in way behind other things, and it's only as high as it is because of relentless propaganda by the GOP and the Blue dogs.

    •  The diarist was not denying that deficits matter (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dharmafarmer

      They were denying that they matter NOW, in light of far more pressing concerns that if properly addressed will bring down the deficit eventually in a far sounder and more sustainable fashion.

      Now, if you're concerned about the optics of appearing to not care about the deficit despite actually caring about it but in a sophisticated and not sound bite-based way and how this might be used against Dems, then you have a point. But in politics optical realities must be balanced with policy soundness and rarely be allowed to outweigh them.

      There's got to be a way of squaring the circle of not losing the opinion war while managing the underlying issues in a smart and responsible way. I had hopes that Obama, perhaps more than any other leader, would be able to do this, but his track record to date on this has been mixed, with way too much emphasis on optics (and even then, done wrongly) and way too little on policy.

      Which is why I think Dems lost the house in 2010.

      And how they can win it back in 2014.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:22:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong, "the country" cares less about deficits (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      clonal antibody

      than the economy and jobs.

      The reason Republicans curbstomped Dems in 2010 was because Obama unequivocally sided with Wall Street, allowing Repubs to farcically seize the populist mantle.  And we're still dealing with it in a Republican House.

      Polls consistently show the country cares more about jobs and economic vitality than they care about the deficit.

      Also, 60% of the country supports raising taxes on the wealthy.  Democrats showing the country some new taxes on the wealthy will solidify Democratic control.

      You are right that deficits should be eliminated, in times of plenty.  That is not this time.  Beating the deficit drum now is both bad policy (it will hurt people who are the least at fault for the economic recession) and bad politics (reinforce Republican framing).

      What's wrong under Republicans is still wrong under Democrats.

      by gila on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:25:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Charles Pierce sums it up (18+ / 0-)

    nicely here

    Wait. Stop. The president, and the congressional Democrats, are under no affirmative obligation to make John Boehner's life easier just because he's got a caucus full of more nuts than a Wal-Mart fruitcake. The president, and the congressional Democrats, are under no affirmative obligation to arrange for John Boehner's mellow to stay unharshed just because he's dependent upon a political "base" that went to the monkeyhouse 30 years ago, pitched a tent, and never left. John Boehner's political problems are John Boehner's political problems. They're not the country's to solve, and certainly not the president's, either. Let him solve them himself. The popular speculation is that this is all just political posturing, and sop-tossing, and ass-covering. I am less sanguine.
    Read the article and then remember Pierce's discussion of what he believes is the no. 1 issue.  "People got no money.  People got no fcking jobs"
    •  Basically agreed (6+ / 0-)

      Our #1 economic problem is not the deficit. the deficit is a symptom as much as anything.

      The #1 problem could be that the richest are taking a larger and larger slice of what we have. Greater inequality means a worse economy.

      Or it could also be that we have lost much of our traditional manufacturing base, leaving us unable to supply jobs to workers.

      It could be these things are all part of one big problem, all of which produce large deficits.

      One problem I have w/Obama's rhetoric is his failure to connect these things.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:45:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree with Pierce (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, IndieGuy, 3goldens

      One of Obama's biggest blunders was in the debates where he promised that sequester "will not happen".  

      More than likely, he's going to need to let it happen.  This newly elected congress isn't going to be a hell of a lot better than this one.  I doubt we'll get a better deal from them.

    •  What Pierce misses is that GOP has absolutely (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diogenes2008, auron renouille

      no desire or need to change anything to support progressives or the 99%.  When government fails, Republicans win.

      Get in on The Action

      by Benintn on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:16:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So you support zero laws being passed this term? (0+ / 0-)

      I'm curious to see how that goes.  Going without a budget for four years will make this "fiscal cliff" negotiation look like a speed bump.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 05:32:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent post! And, it's being well-circulated... (13+ / 0-)

    ...throughout the blogosphere. Kudos to you, Joe! Keep it going!!!

    (The level of cognitive dissonance around here, post-election, needs to be headed-off at the proverbial pass. Thanks for being a part of the effort of bringing truth to power.)

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:08:37 AM PST

  •  part of the reason I laugh at the rec list (9+ / 0-)

    lotta good stuff on DK, and then there are the barking at tires posts like this one.

    How big is your personal carbon footprint?

    by ban nock on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:10:31 AM PST

  •  http://goo.gl/EbQDF (0+ / 0-)

    "Somewhere Between Generations X
    And Y Obtaining Political Power Became
     A Process Of Selling Market Fiefdoms.
    Vassals Use To Pay Tribute To
    Kings In Return For Gatekeeping
    Privileges.

    Insurers WANT ObamaCare.

    http://goo.gl/...

    Insurers Nervous Over
    Prospect Of Romney Victory
    Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, AP,
     10/28/2012
    (Any Oligopoly Will Be
    The Primary Beneficiary
    Of Any Govt Program That
    Is Structured To Support
    Oligopoly)
    High Risk Exchanges Could Be
    Thought Of As
    ""Outskirts Of Medicare,""
    Which Is National Health
    Insurance For Customers
    Insurers Don't Want, Though
    Insurers Get Paid Extra For
    Taking Them Back Or
    Contracted With For
    Managing Some That
    Had First Been Passed Off
    To The Taxpayer For
    Being Risky (And When They
    Get Paid To Take Them Back
    Or To Manage Them, Then
    Bango!, It's Not Anti-
    Oligopolists Who Want To
    Pull The Plug On Grandma--
    The Papers As To When
    To Terminate Come From
    The Insurers.)
    So ""Outskirts Of Medicare""
    Becomes A Destination For
    Customers Who Can't
    Keep Up With The Premiums,
    Cause, Being Mostly
    Boomers, They're Riskier
    And More Expensive, And Thus,
    A Group The Insurers Would
    Just Assume Throw In With
    Medicare, But Then To
    Potentially Get Funding-
    Shafted Along With
    Medicare (And Social Security.)
    Meanwhile, Back At The
    Farm, Medical Loss Ratio
    On ""Bronze Tier"" Lower
    Coverage Policies Is An
    Oligopoly-Institutionalized
    Pre-Set 60%, Or 40%
    Operational Profit.
    The Cost Factor, Cost-Plus
    Incentivized To Be High,
    Is Already A Factor
    Proved Not Reliably
    Self-Policed.

    http://www.neontommy.com/...

    Those Of High Risk But
    Not Able To Get Risk-
    Palmed-Off-To-Taxpayer
    Subsidized, Despite The
    MLR Being 80/85%, Can
    Quite Reasonably Expect
    Their Premiums To Be High
    Enough For Them To Wish
    They Qualify For Government
    Subsidy, Funding-Shafting
    Prospect Or Not.
    Out-Of-Pocket Remains
    Very High For Most, And
    Many Will Remain Uncovered.
    Health Care As Percent Of
    GNP Rises To Just Under 21%
    By 2019, But With Most
    Things That Matter To People
    Likely Impacted By Still-
    Allowed Just Go Away
    Deductibles.   In Other Words,
    The Ambiguous Thing On
    Your Skin Or The Maybe-
    Maybe Not Seriously Broked
    Toe Will Not Be Deductible-
    Immune.
    There Is No Desirable
    Clinical Rationalization,
    Except What Innovation
    Does In Fact Appear
    In The High Risk Exchanges.
    For Most There's A Cost-Plus
    Insurance Regimen Yet
    With Physicians Oddly Still
    Insurer Controlled.
    So In A Nutshell It's Not
    Great For Patients, And It's
    Not Great For Doctors.

    http://evernewecon.weebly.com/...

    So, A Market Progressive
    Who Considers The Shell
    Game ObamaCare Replaces
    To Have Been A Cruel Sham

    http://goo.gl/...

    Could Reasonably Take The
    View It's Worth Starting All
    Over, Though Neither
    Democrats Nor Republicans
    Are Interested In Eliminating
    Immunity From Anti-Trust And
     Fair Sector-Wide Treatment
    Of Risk.
    ObamaCare Serves Oligopoly
    Well.   A Population Played
    For What It's Worth, Except
    As Much Risk Priced-Off-Pushed
    -Off As Possible, With Those
    Thus Departed Very Possibly
    Then Standing With Those
    On Medicare To Hear
    People Paid By Rich
    Demagogues That Their
    Tax Support Is Too Expensive.
    However, Lessons Learned
    From The Insurers In Actual
    Higher Risk Patient Management,
    Along With Practice Efficiencies
    Learned From HMO's, Should
    The Charade Of The Last Four
    Years,
    With Its Meaningless
    Bogus References To ""The
     Public Option"" (That's A Feeble
    Consumers' Substitute For Ending
    Immunity From Anti-Trust And
    A Far Cry From Insurers' Devices
     For Passing Higher Risk To The
    Government,)
    Ever Be Replaced With
    Legitimate Sector Rationalization,
     Will Nonetheless Be Very Helpful.
    Eliminating Immunity From The
    Anti-Trust Laws, Splitting The
    Largest Insurers, And Removing
     The Pre-Determined Profit
    Margins Would Make The Carriers
     Behave Much More Like Well-
    Physician-Rationalized HMO's While
     Allowing For Fee For Service Based
     Regimens Too, Especially If These
    Companies, Still For-Profit,
    Contained Charters Requiring
    (In-Practice) Physician Rep
    And Patient Rep Management
    Decision-Making (Material) Input.
    A Risk Equalization Escrow
    Mechanism Then Can Work
     For Everyone's Benefit.
    It Can Apply To The Entire
    Population.   The Demagogues
    Want To Shaft Medicare.  
    This Shafts Them.
    To Boost The Profit Carrot
    Value, A Taxpayer Financed
    Performance Bonus Mechanism
    Would Still Be Dramatically
    Cheaper Than Simply
    Cost-Plus/Oligopoly/High
    Statutory Fixed Profit Margins-
    (Dash-) Plus Maybe Pinch Of
    Rationalization For
    "Outskirts of Medicare,"
    Which Is Really The Land
    Of Patients The Insurers
    Only Want With Money
    From Govt.   But The
    Plutocrats Already Want To
    Start Shafting Medicare."                               

  •  At last. Economic sense. (8+ / 0-)

    When will Dems stop believing the GOP's economic bullshit?

    We are all in the same boat on a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terrible loyalty. -- G.K. Chesterton

    by Keith Pickering on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 07:56:48 AM PST

  •  It's gonna be an interesting next four years. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink
  •  The adminstration and Dems could easily under- (7+ / 0-)

    mine what was accomplished by supporters and organizers and activists this election season with the way they handle this first major challenge.

    2010 can be repeated in 2014, and no, it won't be the voters' fault.

    You can't defend, let alone strengthen, the Middle Class, without protecting SS & Medicare. It's a damned lie to assert that you can.

    When we voted for tax increases on the rich, we did not say we were to horse-trade the safety net for it.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries.

    by Words In Action on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:03:13 AM PST

  •  Would you rather that we raise taxes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, NotGeorgeWill

    on the middle class?  What's your solution?

    Using Obama for America against the people?  Which people?

    Get in on The Action

    by Benintn on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:06:20 AM PST

    •  You didn't read the diary, did you? (11+ / 0-)

      In which the diarist made it clear that raising taxes on anyone, let alone the middle class, was NOT the only, or best way to lower the deficit in a balanced, long-term way, but rather that deficit-financed spending on the economy was.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:14:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, that's what Republicans are saying. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, Quicklund

        They want to keep all the tax cuts, keep the wealth inequality, and believe that somehow what hasn't happened over the past 12 years will happen now.

        I read the diary.  I don't agree with the prescription.

        "balanced, long-term way" - how is that different from what the Obama administration is suggesting?  He criticizes Obama for the 3:1 cuts-to-revenue method (ignoring that part of what Obama is cutting is the Afghanistan war) but doesn't explain how he'd go about making things more balanced.  How, apart from the approach the Obama Administration is proposing, do you raise revenues?

        Get in on The Action

        by Benintn on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:20:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  By spending massively more on infrastructure (7+ / 0-)

          no matter how further in debt it puts us, and if the Repubs won't let him, make their refusal the loaded gun he uses to destroy them. We talk way too much about financial deficits, which was manageable over a very long term, and capital investment deficits, which are not. Money we owe can eventually be paid back or managed. Lives lost due to bridges that fall and the professional potential of young people who never get to realize it due to failing schools cannot.

          We do have a massive deficit problem in the US. An investment deficit. Which incidentally is the prime cause of the financial deficit, more than the tax cuts, wars and unecessary spending combined.

          I realize that Obama has to operate within the bounds of political reality, but I also believe that he's been doing so well within the comfort zone of that reality, much more so than he needs to or should, and that, if anything, he should be the one pushing the limits of that reality leftward (as should we, of course).

          Even if it's largely politically driven or informed, Obama has to make his agenda as progressive as politically possible. There are no politically safe and prudent ways to get ourselves out of this mess. Not just the financial, economic or infrastructure mess, but the political mess that gives today's GOP a say over anything, when in reality they shouldn't be in a position to so much as determine where a stop sign is installed let alone economic policy.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:34:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where do we get the money from to pay for it? (0+ / 0-)

            I don't disagree with you - but we've been trying to do that since 2009... and beyond the Recovery Act we haven't been able to get the GOP committed to contriibute anything.

            An agenda that doesn't get passed in Congress isn't progressive.  It's gridlock.

            What are your thoughts about how best to put pressure on the Republicans in Congress?

            Get in on The Action

            by Benintn on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:36:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Huh? (7+ / 0-)

              The money will always be there for the getting. What limits our ability to invest in infrastructure is 100% political and characterological and 0% financial.

              I.e. we print or borrow the money, as we've done since 1776.

              And it's ALWAYS worked.

              As for political pressure, well, he's got to make the Repubs look like the bad guys standing in the way of recovery, out of blind ideology or allegience to the 1%. But he can't do that if he keeps adopting and enabling their RW frames about how to think and talk about the economy. It's almost a disease with him, the need to seem "balanced" and "reasonable" even when the way in which he tries to do that is neither in line with economic reality nor political prudence. I think he's stuck in this late 80's/early 90's Dem mindset in which the best way to win politically is to co-opt RW frames and ideas, when in reality it's the worst way.

              Thing is, he's so boxed himself into a rhetorical and ideological hole with his Clintonian messaging, that it's going to be hard for him to get out of it, even if he wants and realizes that he has to, and I'm not convinced that either is true.

              He's got to get the hell out of his comfort zone. It's a trap.

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:43:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think I mostly agree with you. (0+ / 0-)

                From what I hear you saying, Greece be damned, we're the United States of America and we'll always have plenty of money.  I think there are long-term economic and national security concerns about unfunded endless wars and prescription drug plans.  I'm on the same page with you, however, about the importance of infrastructure investment.  

                Are you fairly comfortable wearing the term "socialist"?  I know Republicans will spend a lot of money and political energy doing name-calling as a way to rally the government haters. (And in a post-Watergate world, I still think there is general suspicion of and mistrust toward a strong federal government - that is a sea change since the 80s)  Are you cool with that?

                Get in on The Action

                by Benintn on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:50:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Guess what? (7+ / 0-)

                  They've been calling us socialists for years, and will continue to do so for years, so I really have no choice but to be comfortable with it even though it's untrue. To be a true socialist you have to be for the near-total government takeover of the means of production, and I'm not at all in favor of that, just certain parts of it that are one, public needs, and two, better run by government in terms of the common good. E.g. roads, schools, defense, etc.

                  Was George Washington a socialist? I guess so.

                  As for Greece, that's just silly. For one thing, from what I understand Greece spent vastly more money in relation to its GDP than we have or are ever likely to, with a much weaker economy and lesser borrowing capacity, with zero capacity to print money, in a monetary system it had no control over, unlike the US, which is still the world's monetary overlord. It might never be able to catch up with its debts, so they'll have to be forgiven in part. We can and likely will catch up with ours, as we always have, so long as we can bring the economy back to health.

                  With more spending, of course. :-)

                  "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                  by kovie on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:26:17 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Socialists are awesome! (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kalmoth, kovie, GoGoGoEverton

                    I hate that we get maligned and am happy to embrace being a Socialist, no matter what slur is attached to it. One thing that we don't get credit for nearly enough is our interest in solidarity. I think we're fundamentally just Democrats who have discarded Capitalism as viable, but otherwise, are interested in the most good for the most people in the exact same way as Democrats (thus my unflinching support for Democrats). Also, I think our basic pragmatism is often not noted well enough. We are, at heart, doers, and we think about how to get jobs done as well as possible with the available resources. So we're resourceful as well. I think we are pragmatic radicals, and I have no problem with anyone calling me a Socialist, and in fact, I welcome that term -- as long as no one mistakes me for someone stupid enough to vote for Socialist U.S. Parties, which are about as goofy and ineffective as they come.

                    So far, the Democrats are doing a pretty good job of speaking for me, at least compared with the GOP, who are just ugh, scary.

                    We should embrace the term when it's not inappropriate. Because that's how terms which have scare-power have that power taken away from them. I refuse to live in the legacy of narrow-minded, post-Cold War political slander, personally.

                    Bit off-topic from your bit about Greece, my apologies! Lotta coffee here.

                    •  Jesus was a socialist (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mahakali overdrive, psyched

                      Wingers like to forget that. Probably would have belonged to a carpenter's union if he were alive today and been raising bloody hell, yelling at Obama to stop trying to kiss Repub ass and just overturn their tables already.

                      But I'm not a socialist, not because I'd be ashamed of it but because it's just not accurate to call me one. More of a social democrat or welfare state capitalist.

                      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                      by kovie on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:19:46 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Greece is in the position it is in (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Letsgetitdone, psyched

                  Not because it is printing too much money, but rather because it can't print any. It is dependent on the largesse of the ECB. An ECB, which is controlled by the German and French bankers.

                  The Euro was an ill designed project from the get go. The European countries become like the US states, critically dependent on Federal Government fiscal policy, except that there is no provision for fiscal policy in the Euro compact.

                  Imagine what would happen to the US states if there was no Federal spending - in particular a large majority of the "red" states. See How the “Takers” Voted by Stephanie Kelton

                  President Obama won 26 states plus the District of Columbia. Mitt Romney won 24 states.  Of the 27 regions that were won by President Obama, seven (or 26%) are net recipients of fiscal transfers.  Of the 24 states won by Mitt Romney, twenty (or 83%) are fiscal takers.

                  [Map]

                  It’s sort of funny when you hear people on the political right talk about seceding from the union.  How long could they survive without their makers?

                  In a healthy economy, the strong support the weak - and this is why the Euro Zone is not a healthy economy, for there, the strong seek to emaciate the weak. The same is true for a healthy society and a healthy family - "The Strong Support the Weak."
                •  What I'm not comfortable with (0+ / 0-)

                  is any association with the term capitalist, which is basically a form of economic slavery.

                  Are you?

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 01:26:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  If the balanced deficit reduction (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dharmafarmer, Burned, 3goldens, TracieLynn

    includes spending cuts, the economy craters.  If it also includes cuts to SS and Medicare, OFA will follow Obama into a failed presidency and oblivion.

  •  Another really great blog. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, psyched, splashoil

    Maybe some day the folks on this site will start to think about the real economics of deficit reduction and stop taking drugs at all costs for Obama--no matter how bad they are?

  •  I find it fascinating that "President" equals (7+ / 0-)

    "enemy" for so many Progressives.  Anyone who is President is automatically suspect?  Why do we field candidates, or vote?

    If you're paying attention you've heard that the debt is going down on Obama's watch, with zero cuts to our earned benefits programs.  You might have noticed that he extended unemployment benefits several times.  

    Why is the debt down?  Genuine streamlining of agencies that overlapped or were redundant.  Changes in the way military contractors are paid.  Taking profit from Medicare middlemen.  Fraud prosecutions.  More exports, more manufacturing.  

    If Obama supports changes in Medicare will you scream if the change is negotiating drug prices?  Is that overreach, a threat to the program?  If he eliminates profit-based Supplemental coverage is that somehow a scam?  If he blocks states from funneling Medicaid funds into Catholic programs that encourage forced birth will you kick?  

    If he dumps entitlements like subsidies to oil and gas producers, or aid to factory farmers is that a threat to the safety net?  

    Making government more flexible, less wasteful, more responsive is his primary goal.  The fact that he uses Republican memes against Repulicans so effectively should thrill us.  Instead we go off the Paranoia Cliff with mind-numbing regularity.

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:47:58 AM PST

  •  OMG!!! OMG!!! OMG!!! (19+ / 0-)

    THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION NEEDS TO STOP USING THE GRASSROOTS NETWORK THAT IT SINGLE-HANDEDLY CREATED, FUNDED, AND PUT INTO ACTION TO HELP IT ACCOMPLISH THE THINGS IT PROMISED TO DO DURING THE ELECTION!!! THEY'RE GOING TO SELL OUT THE MIDDLE CLASS!!!

    Oh, the humanity audacity...

    [dramatic eyeroll]

    Seriously, how does something like this make the Rec List...?

    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."
    -- Dr. Peter Venkman


    Join me, Anne C. Savage & LOLGOP at Eclectablog.com.

    by Eclectablog on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 09:09:16 AM PST

  •  popular vote difference will end up being about (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, auron renouille, sviscusi

    6 million.

    So, lets' stop lying.


    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous..........got me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:00:46 AM PST

    •  and lets stop (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NotGeorgeWill

      the h/ring the tip jar BS.

    •  How? (0+ / 0-)

      Right now it's about 4 million with a significant percentage of the vote counted.

      Maybe there's another couple million votes at this point, but even if the splits are favorable to Obama -- say 2 to 1 -- it would only increase his vote margin 640K.

      There's an outside chance he could hit 5 million, but I would be very surprised if he ended up with a 6 million vote lead.

      Do you know how many votes are still outstanding?  Back of the envelope: He would need the equivalent of a combined, and as of yet, uncounted, New York and New Jersey -- with similar vote splits -- almost 10 million votes total producing a 2 million vote margin, in order to hit the 6 million.

  •  Obama campaigned on a more centrist platform (0+ / 0-)

    In the first place. It would be hypocritical for him to turn back on it now.

    Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

    by MrAnon on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:19:00 AM PST

  •  One wonders (5+ / 0-)

    what possessed the diarist to volunteer for OFA (if indeed s/he did), if s/he thinks so meanly of The President and his efforts.

    Kathleen Sebelius 2016

    by pvlb on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 10:22:17 AM PST

    •  I know for a fact... (5+ / 0-)

      that the diarist voted for Obama. I voted for Obama.

      I think Obama is one of the most intelligent presidents in history as well as being an extraordinarily empathetic and caring person on behalf of needy and exploited people.

      He is a peacemaker. History may see him (and Hillary) as very important preservers of world peace--in the long run more critical than even our presently potential economic and political disasters.

      But with Obama safely elected to his last term, we can and must be harder on him. No person is perfect, and with all his talents Obama does not fully understand economics--but then few people do. Our politico-economic system is so murky and muddled up that it is relatively easy for the financial elite and the one-percenters to screw over everyone else.

      And we will all be screwed if our social safety nets are unnecessarily put on the bargaining table. And particularly when Obama has up to now shown himself to be a weak negotiator. As kovie commented above,

      It's almost a disease with him, the need to seem "balanced" and "reasonable" even when the way in which he tries to do that is neither in line with economic reality nor political prudence.
      In an earlier diary I tried to analyze the sources of his negotiating style and his penchant for achieving balance and "bi-partisanship": http://www.dailykos.com/...
       Please note particularly the section on negotiating with the wolf.

      Let us not allow our good feelings about Obama to blind us to the perils of negotiating with wolves when so much is at stake for so many.
      .
      .


      For the first time in human history, we possess both the means for destroying all life on Earth or realizing a paradise on the planet--Michio Kaku.

      by psyched on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 12:55:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

        Just came across this. I don't think Obama's a bad man, just a weak and often foolish one. I also don't think he's stupid enough to believe that there are good deals to be had with Repubs via good faith negotiations. I think he knows this to be impossible. But I think that his near pathologic fear of conflict and desire to make nice to his tormenters so they won't be mean to him severely undermines his negotiating position and ability, and I fear it will lead to some unecessarily bad deals simply to avoid such conflict. I hope to god that his more stalwart and liberal friends and confidantes (Michelle, hello?) are leaning on him to be tough this time, and not take the first offer that comes along. He will go down as one of the most disappointing presidents if he backs down, on the order of a Grant.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 05:26:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Call the White House: "Raise the cap, not the (6+ / 0-)

    retirement age.  No compromise with Republicans."

    This is one of many possible messages.  We need to encourage Obama to stand up to the Republicans for a change.

    Comments: 202-456-1111
    Switchboard: 202-456-1414

  •  Congratulations on a divisive diary (6+ / 0-)

    which has an amazingly bad comment section which just plays out more Rox-Sux wars...

    What else is there to do around here? Next diary!

  •  So, write to the prez and comment at OFA nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  Good luck with Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashoil

    Did you really believe that he was for "change"?  He is a moderate republican (to the right of Nixon).   Except before elections where he plays "liberal" to the democratic base.

  •  House of Representatives controls the budget (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the dogs sockpuppet

    President Obama has to pass something with Republican votes if he wants to replace the 2011 compromise bill.

    That's all there is.

  •  I can't believe we're already in purity land (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, auron renouille

    this soon after the election.  We couldn't even finish out November before the carping started.  Sigh.

    Corporations are driven by the bottom line, not by concerns for health, safety or the environment. This is why we need government regulations.

    by the dogs sockpuppet on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 04:26:59 PM PST

    •  Opposing cuts to Social Security, Medicare and... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      2020adam, clonal antibody, pot

      Medicaid is not purity, they are the foundation of a safety net it took democrats decades to enact.

      Didn't Obama say he and Mitt Romney have essentially the same plan for Social Security?

      Maybe you agree with Mitt Romney's approach to Social Security but I most assuredly do not.
      President Obama's is a delightful guy but he should not be trusted to protect these programs.

      •  Oh please, what I disagree with is this rant (0+ / 0-)

        against OFA. I was not discussing the relative disadvantages or advantages of cuts.  I'm talking about the sux/rox war while it's still November.

        Corporations are driven by the bottom line, not by concerns for health, safety or the environment. This is why we need government regulations.

        by the dogs sockpuppet on Sat Nov 24, 2012 at 08:29:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't care about the rox/sux wars... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          2020adam, clonal antibody

          It bores me. But I do care about Social Security/Medicare and Medicaid and all 3 are open to cuts by President Obama who has pursued them for years(since start of Simpson/Bowles).

          The spectre of President Obama using OFA to pressure hesitant democrats to enact his vision(which he says is identical to Romney's) is a fucking problem.
          For me.

          I don't want Romney's wet-dream for Social Security cuts realized by a democratic president or his team of volunteers.

          In fact, I don't want Romney-style reform period.
          That's why I vote democratic.

        •  And the timing is unfortunate but, perhaps,... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          clonal antibody

          the Dems and Reps shouldn't have timed this all to occur during a lame duck session of Congress.

          Should we wait until they carve up the safety net and then speak out in protest?
          Seems like a bad strategy.

          •  We should speak out and more (0+ / 0-)

            but is targeting the President for the brunt of criticism smart strategy?

            Nothing human is alien to me.

            by WB Reeves on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 01:33:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I try to wake folks up all the time... (0+ / 0-)

              that the whole democratic party is in disrepair.
              And none of them should be trusted on this Grand Bargain---voters are supposed to hold their elected officials accountable.

              President Obama deserves his share of criticism but where's Kirsten Gillibrand*? Ben Cardin? Barbara Boxer?

              *She's always quiet at times like this.

  •  rec'd.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    clonal antibody

    I think using OFA to push through drastic cuts that would impact the poor, children and the elderly is cynical and cruel.

    And, yes, I do think that's on the chopping block.
    I do not trust the democrats---including Obama---to negotiate any Grand Bargain in good faith.

  •  Recc'ed. (0+ / 0-)

    I'll rec anything that serial HR abuser SaintC HRs.

    "You have to understand Neo, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it." Morpheus - The Matrix

    by pot on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:18:27 AM PST

  •  Rec'd to counter Hr abuse (0+ / 0-)

    No tip though.

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Sun Nov 25, 2012 at 02:44:06 AM PST

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