Cross posted at Voices on the Square and The Stars Hollow GazetteYes, it's true. If the White House would like to disavow David Plouffe's words now is the time. Time is running short but it's pretty obvious that he speaks for the White House given that David Plouffe is the President's closest confidante. If you have the stomach to sit through this forum it's right there for you to see, but I'll post the relevant portion that matches up with Loyd Blankfein's mentality that the 99% need to sacrifice Medicare and retire later for the fantasy deficit crisis he, the White House, and Congress are peddling to the American people.
The President's closest adviser is telling his base that additional cuts to pay down the deficit(not the 716 billion to Advantage, fraud, or providers from the 2010 CBO baseline on the effects of the ACA) in Medicare and Medicaid are coming and to be ready for them.
"The only way that gets done is for Republicans again to step back and get mercilessly criticized by Grover Norquist and the Right, and it means that Democrats are going to have to do some tough things on spending and entitlements that means that they'll criticized on by their left," Plouffe said at his alma mater in conversation with former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt.
Plouffe added that while the White House wants to engage in comprehensive tax reform, they know they must also "carefully" address the "chief drivers of our deficit": Medicare and Medicaid.
Lloyd "Sell them shitty deals with the blessing of the US DOJ" Blankfein whole heartedly agrees with Plouffe. He's also visiting the White House today. I have a feeling whatever good feelings labor and progressive groups had yesterday were perhaps misguided given the statement we just heard from David Pouffe. That and of course basically the priority of making capital whole on the backs of labor as 93% of the "recovery" goes into Lloyd Blankfein's pocket since 2010.
BLANKFEIN: You're going to have to undoubtedly do something to lower people's expectations -- the entitlements and what people think that they're going to get, because it's not going to -- they're not going to get it.
PELLEY: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid?
BLANKFEIN: You can look at history of these things, and Social Security wasn't devised to be a system that supported you for a 30-year retirement after a 25-year career. ... So there will be things that, you know, the retirement age has to be changed, maybe some of the benefits have to be affected, maybe some of the inflation adjustments have to be revised. But in general, entitlements have to be slowed down and contained.
It's very clear how clueless David Plouffe is on fiscal issues or maybe he knows and wants working peoples scared into sacrificing their safety net. Regardless, it's unacceptable and needs to be called out. Even accepting the scenario that the debt is a problem, which it isn't going to be ever, Plouffe and apparently also this administration are unaware of what is even the main cause of all our debt. Hint: It's not Medicare or Medicaid like Plouffe said.
It's a good thing economist Dean Baker is here to educate this administration on this folly or shitty attempt to sell all of us shitty deals like Lloyd Blankfein wants to and got away with thanks to Eric Holder.
The attachment to a particular debt number seems more than a bit peculiar for a number of reasons. The first and most obvious is that the financial markets don’t seem the least bit bothered by the current levels of debt and prospective future levels of debt. They presumably understand what most people in the Washington policy debate do not, the high deficits of the last 5 years are the result of an economic collapse, not profligate spending or huge tax cuts. This is why the interest rate on long-term Treasury bonds is at post-war lows.Yep, it's the recession from the housing bubble inflated by people like Lloyd Blankfein whom was let to roam free that is the main cause of our debt. It wasn't the earned benefits in Medicare or Medicaid. Apparently while selling a scare mongering fake deficit crisis to get you to share sacrifice with the 1% while pretending to care about all of you, this WH can't even get the fundamentals of the bond market right.
This raises another point that our Wall Street friends know well, the market value of the debt will fluctuate inversely with interest rates. This means that if we issue long-term debt at today’s low rates, but interest rates increase as the economy recovers, then the market value of this debt will fall. The figure below shows the market value of a 30-year bond issued today at a 2.75 percent interest rate under various assumptions about interest rates in 2015.
Even taking in this scenario at face value Dean Baker explains that the market value of this debt would fall as interest rates rise meaning it could be purchased on the cheap alleviating the burden all of Washington is screaming about. Dean Baker knows this a theatrical production brought to you by Peter Peterson and Fix the Debt that it is a sham. Why don't more people understand or care? Just a little research goes a long way and once you realize that all these premises about dangerous deficits are a bunch of lies, you can then open your eyes.
Unless many people take the time to realize this, the mess created by this administration's sellout in 2010 which led to the debt ceiling debacle in 2011 to now that some of us predicted is not going to go away without a pound of flesh from working people. I mean is it our fault a President couldn't secure a debt ceiling rise like every other President because he trusted Speaker John Boehner with the full faith and credit of the US as a hostage in 2010?
Marc Ambinder.I think not. It was an unprecedented embarrassing flop this administration was warned about that will costs us dearly every time a debt ceiling needs to be raised now, and it's is coming up once again early next year. We hear talk from this administration on securing it in this deal, but John Bohner said it will come at a price. That's right, what was once routine now always has to come with a price because the debt ceiling as a hostage was very worthwhile as Mitch McConnell said and it was basically a gift to the Republican party that keeps on giving.
Q Mr. President, thank you. How do these negotiations affect negotiations or talks with Republicans about raising the debt limit? Because it would seem that they have a significant amount of leverage over the White House now, going in. Was there ever any attempt by the White House to include raising the debt limit as a part of this package?
THE PRESIDENT: When you say it would seem they'll have a significant amount of leverage over the White House, what do you mean?
Q Just in the sense that they'll say essentially we're not going to raise the -- we're not going to agree to it unless the White House is able to or willing to agree to significant spending cuts across the board that probably go deeper and further than what you're willing to do. I mean, what leverage would you have --
THE PRESIDENT: Look, here's my expectation -- and I'll take John Boehner at his word -- that nobody, Democrat or Republican, is willing to see the full faith and credit of the United States government collapse, that that would not be a good thing to happen. And so I think that there will be significant discussions about the debt limit vote. That's something that nobody ever likes to vote on. But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he's going to have responsibilities to govern. You can't just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower.
I don't buy the excuses that this time is different. It will only be different when we challenge the debt ceiling constitutionally like what should have happened in the first place instead of this pathetic sellout deal being pushed to now. So let's look at what could be that price. I'll let Erika Eichelberger of Mother Jones lay out what could be on the altar because of all the failures that led us to here.
Medicaid ($258 billion): Though Obama has largely targeted providers for potential Medicaid cuts, Republicans want beneficiaries to fork over more. In which case, says Kogan, patients might be forced to make copayments, or program costs may be shifted to the states, which could decide to scale back coverage.Personally I think screwing the poor through manufactured crisis to enrich Wall St and the 1% is immoral so I don't speak nicely about it. This is not a nice thing to do so it doesn't deserve pleasantries. It really says more about the people who react more harshly to the person that points these things out than the real harsh facts that have a human skin and bone effect. Maybe some people just aren't capable of the kind of true concern for others that looks beyond politicians to the people they are supposed to work for.
Food Stamps ($78 billion in 2011): The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program serves about 45 million people. It is not part of discretionary spending, but Ellen Nissenbaum, senior vice president for government affairs at CBPP, told The Nation it faces a real prospect of being cut in negotiations.
Supplemental Security Income ($47 billion): Social Security itself is mostly off the table, but Supplemental Security Income for the blind, elderly, and disabled, is likely to take a hit, according to Nissenbaum.
Unemployment benefits extension in 2013 ($40 billion): If long-term unemployment benefits are allowed to expire at the end of the year, some 2 million jobless will be affected. Kogan says "there will be some extension, because that's just brutal. It's just a question of how much."
Women, Infants, and Children ($8.9 million in 2011): The Department of Agriculture's WIC program helps low-income moms and babies get access to supplemental nutrition and health care referrals. WIC has about 9 million participants, most of whom are kids.
I can't say I am ashamed of the way I point things out, because this is urgent. Now is no the time for tact. Now is the time to scream bloody murder and get in the streets. Austerity has failed in the Eurozone and the UK, both concrete examples of the failure of austerity anyway you look at it, but the UK especially who has the same sovereign monetary controls we do, but look at how low they plan to go. Their spending will fall below ours by 2017, and look how little we really have planned to spend or invest in our future according to the World Economic Outlook Database? This is not something to look Forward to.
So no I won't be polite as they plan to steal more wealth from the 99% in the middle of the night. I will do what I can to fight what is not right. Now is not the time for tact. I will act like it's something to be angry about because it is. After all, I don't think people who can't get by on their meager wages are in the mood for tact either.
Now is not the time to listen to blowhard "journalists" on MSNBC looking for that Hardball money telling us this was all part of the plan and that it's going to be OK. It's not OK and hasn't been OK since 1979 to now with the great divergence from any form of income equality. Now IS the time to demand acknowledgement of the actual reality in which our fiscal and monetary system operates.
By not acknowledging it and by making excuses for those that also do not when they have the power to do something like advocating the hiring every man and woman who needs a job to shrink the labor pool and raise wages, one is just as complicit as the 1%. Now is also the time to listen to one of my favorite Neo Chartalist economists James K. Galbraith who lays out the facts to dispel the propaganda you just heard from Goldman Sachs and this administration(assuming they agree with Plouffe).
Stripped to essentials, the fiscal cliff is a device constructed to force a rollback of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as the price of avoiding tax increases and disruptive cuts in federal civilian programs and in the military. It was policy-making by hostage-taking, timed for the lame duck session, a contrived crisis, the plain idea now unfolding was to force a stampede.It's just a shame those that know what they are talking about like James K. Galbraith are not given full throated emotional reverence and defense like the President. After all, acknowledging fiscal and monetary facts would actually begin to qualitatively help the most people out really suffering on a political level. This means the beginnings of qualitative policy going towards real and meaningful full employment. People don't deserve to be pawns for a scared sacrifice deficit terrorist theater performance with all stolen benefits going to the 1%. This propaganda campaign is being perpetuated by everyone in Washington now in order to destroy the New Deal and the Great Society.
First, is there a looming crisis of debt or deficits, such that sacrifices in general are necessary? No, there is not. Not in the short run – as almost everyone agrees. But also: not in the long run. What we have are computer projections, based on arbitrary – and in fact capricious – assumptions. But even the computer projections no longer show much of a crisis. CBO has adjusted its interest rate forecast, and even under its “alternative fiscal scenario” the debt/GDP ratio now stabilizes after a few years.
Second, is there a looming crisis of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, such that these programs must be reformed? No, there is not. Social insurance programs are not businesses. They are not required to make a profit; they need not be funded from any particular stream of tax revenues over any particular time horizon. Reasonable control of health care costs – public and private – is necessary and also sufficient to keep the costs of Medicare and Medicaid within bounds.
But there are those of us who will never accept deficit terrorism wherever it comes from and whatever form. As long as we as a country have the capacity to spend and be the hirer of last resort, and we do, to enrich human productive capacity and happiness through the efficient spreading of resources for the 99%; it's insulting that we do not try to pursue this. It's also insulting to blithely accept and give loyalty to those in power who refuse to even talk about it while people are suffering.