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Social Security card dangling off of fish hook
President Obama's top economic adviser, Gene Sperling, says Republicans should accept more revenue-raising in the next debt and deficit deal.
"The president is not suggesting that in this next round of deficit reduction it all be on revenues," Sperling said in an interview taped on Tuesday with Reuters TV's "Impact Players."

"He's just suggesting that we continue to do it in a balanced way so that our overall agreement really is about two dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in revenue." [...]

Sperling sketched out the broad outline of a possible deficit-reduction deal that would involve higher taxes along with spending cuts on social welfare programs, including the federal health insurance program for the elderly and the Social Security pension plan. In Washington these programs are called "entitlements."

That's in response to Sen. Mitch McConnell insisting that the issue of tax hikes is over and done after the fiscal cliff deal, and that "it's time to pivot and turn to the real issue, which is our spending addiction." Spending cuts, of course, are offered up yet again by Sperling, and, of course, its earned benefits again—Social Security and Medicare. As if dangling it out there time and time again has actually worked to bring Republicans to the negotiating table with any good faith offers.

Here's a suggestion for Sperling and other White House negotiators: Get your revenue and shore up Social Security without making benefits cuts, as Barney Frank has outlined.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:47 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Republicans want all of (47+ / 0-)

    America to look like Mississippi, with poverty rampant and a small white upper class.  No thanks.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:50:08 AM PST

  •  Let's wait until it's too late to do anything... (56+ / 0-)

    ...about this. Must. Not. Criticize. Administration. "Let's see what happens. Enough of these conspiracy theories and heads on fire from 'the professional left!'"

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

    by bobswern on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:55:53 AM PST

    •  Well, the critics of the deal faceplanted last tim (6+ / 0-)

      So why not wait to see what happens this time?

        •   Because there were no cuts (40+ / 0-)

          to earned benefits/entitlements in the bogus fiscal cliff deal. That made it a win win win!  Nevermind that it was only a part of the whole deal.  Nevermind that we held all the cards and then gave them to the Republicans.  Nevermind that we blew a giant hole in the budget on the revenue side and set things up for it to be filled with cuts to our already too weak social programs, one of which has absolutely nothing to do with the deficit and is simply a decades long goal of the Republicans and right-wing Democrats to destroy it.  And nevermind that after the Bush tax cuts expired, we went and made 75 or 80% of them permanent.

          It was still a win win win and the critics were so damn wrong.  


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:27:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh so because the public outcry against (16+ / 0-)

            cuts to Social Security proved to be effective this past round, that's a face palm?  I see.  Very interesting.

            j - Why are people so screwy?

            •  Polls show the public gives the President high (3+ / 0-)

              marks on the fiscal cliff deal, which includeds a huge number of Democrats.

              Most Democrats approved of the legislation, and the vast majority of the party -- 81 percent -- supported Obama's performance in the negotiations. Republicans' discontent with their party leadership, in contrast, was profound.
              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

              81 percent of Democrats shows that this President still has the confidence of his party. We will have a jaded view of this President and Democrats if we go by his usually small but vociferous critics here within this community....

                •  It means, that the public and Democrats in general (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TheLizardKing, wishingwell

                  did not protest against this President or had an "outcry", as you termed it, over the way the President conducted  these negotiations as some here.

                  •  Given the polling data on Social Security and (22+ / 0-)

                    Medicare, it is a certainty that that impression of the deal would be far less positive had either been included in the deal.

                    Both of those items would have been tipping points in the opposite direction and I think that some of the Members of Congress realized that before the WH did.

                    •  Well, the interesting point is most Democrats who (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      glynis

                      voted for this President didn't believe he was out to destroy Social Security or Medicare. This belief has become an article of faith for many individuals here.

                      You said that if Medicare and Social Security was part of the deal, the outcome would have been different, and that "some of the members of Congress realized that before the WH did."

                      Now, I hardly think it is likely that some in Congress have more of a realization of the importance of Medicare and Social Security being on the table and Barack Obama, who has campaigned and won the presidency twice, has not....

                      It seems to me that many of the President's critics are ready to leap at the President, even based on stories that he has, or a member of his team, has mentioned Medicare or Social Security; this, without even knowing the context.

                      It should be said that, since the President entered office, he has actually improved Medicare as opposed to destroying it. An awkward fact for most of his critics....

                      •  You won't be able to spin this (7+ / 0-)

                        if the WH proposes SS & Medicare cuts.

                        Does this mean Obama doesn't care about Dems winning in 2014 and 2016?

                        Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

                        by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:06:05 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  The interview was pretty clear about (5+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        3goldens, quill, joanneleon, mcmom, shigeru

                        context and Obama has said these things before about cuts including his offer of CPI for SSI recipients.

                        All you are doing is calling more attention to the mounting evidence that the Obama Administration is not opposed to and even perhaps more than willing to cut Social Security and other programs that help the poor, children and the elderly.

                        Sperling sketched out the broad outline of a possible deficit-reduction deal that would involve higher taxes along with spending cuts on social welfare programs, including the federal health insurance program for the elderly and the Social Security pension plan.
                        •  Obama cutting programs to help the poor??? Are you (0+ / 0-)

                          absolutely kidding me? You folk are forcing me to whip out the Obama list of accomplishments. I know many of you Obama critics are literally afraid of that list.

                          But can you honestly tell me which President has been better for the poor in, perhaps,  the past 60 years of  this nation than Barack Obama?

                          We're talking about a President, who has provided 20 billion dollars to fund nutritional programs to assist the poor. And billions of dollars more on other programs for the poor.

                          We're talking about a President who has oversaw expansion of the Pell Grants program, to expand opportunity for low income students to go to college.

                          We are talking about a President who has cracked down on companies:

                          that pass off employees as independent contractors avoid paying Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes for those workers. Companies do not withhold income taxes from contractors’ paychecks, and several studies have indicated that, on average, misclassified independent workers do not report 30 percent of their income.
                          Federal and state officials, many facing record budget deficits, are starting to aggressively pursue companies that try to pass off regular employees as independent contractors.
                          http://www.nytimes.com/...

                          We're talking about a President who passed the Affordable Care Act, to allow 30 million people access to healthcare while some on the left wanted the bill killed.

                          There is a record of this President delivering policies that will assist the poor, and there is a record of some individuals who are not in line with most Democrats attacking the President at every step of the way.....

                          •  ah, I remember a war on poverty by a president, (3+ / 0-)

                            does that count? It was quite effective, perhaps you remember it too?

                            But can you honestly tell me which President has been better for the poor in, perhaps,  the past 60 years of  this nation than Barack Obama?

                            "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

                            by allenjo on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:05:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're actually going to bring up war on poverty? (0+ / 0-)

                            As if all that I have mentioned is simply nothing.... I mean, you look at all the things I just cited and your big comeback is.... He hasn't cured cancer? I thought any of you could come up with something better than that.... You could even try coming up with a President who has done more for the poor in the last 60 years than Barack Obama...but you can't because you have none.... So let's jeer the President for not eradicating hunger pains.... Typical stuff....

                          •  How old are you? Can you count? (3+ / 0-)

                            You asked:

                            But can you honestly tell me which President has been better for the poor in, perhaps,  the past 60 years of  this nation than Barack Obama?
                            LBJ and The War on Poverty - you remember nothing about that?

                            If you are too young to remember, you might read up on it, before you even attempt to try to tell people that Obama, in your opinion, has done more for the poor in the last 60 years than any other president, because it is just not true.

                            Just a little research will tell you that.

                            "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

                            by allenjo on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:08:08 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I thought you were referring to the President's (0+ / 0-)

                            war on poverty..... LBJ was a great President and did a lot also in terms of Medicare and Medicaid for the poor. His war on poverty was a continuation of FDR's New Deal....

                            Still, when you consider the sheer volume of allocated funding for the poor, tens of billions of dollars under Obama, plus the Affordable Care Act, plus Pell Grant expansion; billions of dollars on programs for the poor who are veterans, also consider the increase of the US population today over the 1960s I don't believe LBJ has done more for the poor, In terms of dollars and cents, than President Obama....

                            I am open to the possibility of you showing me where I am wrong....

                          •  Not per capita. (0+ / 0-)

                            But it is ridiculous to even pretend that a dollar to dollar comparison of Presidents who serve decades apart is a meaningful comparison on any topic.

                          •  It is also ridiculous to suggest this President (0+ / 0-)

                            doesn't care about the poor in this country, for when it comes to caring for the poor, very few Presidents can eclipse this President. And yes, even LBJ.....

                      •  not only medicare (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        NedSparks

                        he has expanded medicaid as well.

                      •  I disagree on at least two points (7+ / 0-)
                        Well, the interesting point is most Democrats who voted for this President didn't believe he was out to destroy Social Security or Medicare. This belief has become an article of faith for many individuals here.
                        First I voted and campaigned for Obama. Not because I didn't think he had cutting SS and Medicare on his agenda - but because he wasn't Romney. I was under no illusion about his agenda after I saw him pack the Simpson - Bowles Commission with deficit hawks.
                        Second - to trust Obama as an article of faith is deeply unrealistic. It strikes me as kind of childish.
                        Obama is not a hero or a saint.
                        He's just another guy in the White House. And he has signaled over and over that he wants to cut benefits.
                        We need to keep the pressure on him not to cut benefits. That's how politics works.
                        •  Some here may disagree, Capt Crunch (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          joanneleon, aliasalias

                          as you can tell from their comments.

                          Obama is not a hero or a saint.
                          He's just another guy in the White House.

                          "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

                          by allenjo on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:27:21 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  The article of faith is the belief that Obama will (0+ / 0-)

                          destroy Medicare or SS. I think many here have no proof that the President would do this based on his efforts to improve Medicare and expanded Medicaid.... Points they ignore.

                          And if I believed Obama was going to destroy SS and Medicare I wouldn't have voted for him, despite the fact that he isn't Romney. So, I have to wonder about your decision based on your belief that Obama would have done such unthinkable acts.

                          •  Moving the goal posts (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Capt Crunch, 420 forever, aliasalias

                            and using semantics, just as the president did to lie to the voters during his campaign, saying he would not "slash" Social Security, when in other ways he signalled full intention to cut it.

                            Now Biden, on the other hand, when they were panicking about their poll numbers and the president's poor performance in his first debate, did come right out and emphatically tell the country there would be no cuts to Social Security.  

                            Anyway, cuts to Social Security is undermining the New Deal and it is the first step toward destroying it.  If he cuts Social Security, there will be hell to pay, even though he has been prepping the country for doing it for at least two years now.  Let's talk about his poll numbers after that happens.


                            "Justice is a commodity"

                            by joanneleon on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:49:09 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Can you prove where the President slashed SS? (0+ / 0-)

                            You said he lied.... Where is the lie???? I can prove where the President improved Medicare; can you prove where he has destroyed Medicare????

                            With all the talk of the chained CPI it was not part of the deal. Why wasn't it? That's another question. Was it supposed to be, or was it meant as a smoke screen. Nobody not privy to the discussions knows exactly.

                            If it was, I would still not condemn the President unless I knew the parameters of the entire deal. And how was the President going to shield the poor as was suggested.... We don't know it all, but, until I have reason not to, I trust this President to govern in my best interest that is why I supported his candidacy.  I trust his leadership capacity.

                            But this is, perhaps, the difference between many of you critics of the President (from the first days of his presidency) and most other Democrats or perhaps most other people....

                            If the President should one day decide to cut Medicare or SS, the American people, Congress, and everyone who have a stake in these social legacies will want to know exactly what the President is planning to do, what do these cuts mean? And they will give him a hearing before they decide to vilify him.  

                            You may not belief this, but as odd as it seem, you do not have a corner on the market for caring about Medicare and Social Security.

                            And it is also true that you and other critics of the President do not have more compassion for the poor than those who are supporters of the President or the President himself.

                            You may want to believe you do, but this is not based in reality. This President has a record to stand on. I am always willing to see yours.

                            It is not part of the instinct of most people to condemn someone without first knowing the nature of the crime that said individual has committed. Your condemnation without proof is just fine for you, but you will find it difficult to recruit very many followers to this philosophy except for a handful of individuals within this community.

                            The President still has the approval of 81 percent of Democrats, according to recent polls.

                          •  Two more points (0+ / 0-)

                            I never said that I thought he was out to destroy SS. I said he was out to cut it. BIG difference.
                            If I thought he was out to destroy SS and Medicare I would not have voted for him.
                            The article of faith you referred to was:

                            most Democrats who voted for this President didn't believe he was out to destroy Social Security or Medicare. This belief has become an article of faith for many individuals here.
                            Perhaps though your comment "was not meant to be factual." ala John Kyle. :)
                      •  When we get quasi-official mentions (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        joanneleon, denise b, aliasalias

                        of the fact that the administration floated chained-CPI and other specific reforms to SS in the context of budget negotiations, that is the context. It wasn't a vague rumor of things going on behind the scenes; it was an explicit concession that the administration announced to the press corps.

                        I don't negotiate for a living. But I am hard pressed to imagine any context in which it's a sign of negotiating strength, when your opponent is offering nothing -- no revenue boosts of any kind -- and you turn around and float a concession that cuts to the core of one of the central New Deal programs that your party has historically protected.

                        Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

                        by Dale on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:52:20 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  You are not panicking! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TheLizardKing

                    Fear-mongers are having sad.

                  •  Um (11+ / 0-)

                    The outcry was BEFORE the final deal, over the administration's reported proposal to include chained CPI. Once the House GOP's Tea Party wing once again stupidly refused the administration's offer, the Obama team came back with a smaller deal that didn't include chained CPI but had less in revenue increases as well.

                    We'll have to see, once all the dust settles from the next titanic clash, what they do, or do not, offer. But the hints several times have been that they're willing to offer this.

                    Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

                    by fenway49 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:33:37 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I for one was on the phones (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Helpless, joanneleon, aliasalias

                    with the WH and my reps. Were you?

                    Isn't that a bit of an outcry, as I am hardly the only one?

                    "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

                    by allenjo on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:24:11 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Reps, yes (0+ / 0-)

                      They are our only hope.

                      WH no - it's a waste of breath.

                      We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

                      by denise b on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:09:31 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  start a negotiation on strength..... (0+ / 0-)
                        We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay
                        Now if the Democrats could learn the rules on how to start a negotiation on strength instead of weakness.

                        "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

                        by allenjo on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:26:08 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  In the case of the WH (0+ / 0-)

                          while I think it's true that Obama doesn't have any idea how to negotiate, I also think it's true that he has always been working towards a cut in entitlements. It's not being pried out of his hands - he wants to do it.

                          We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

                          by denise b on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:38:39 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                •  Marketing works wonders (12+ / 0-)

                  and also a compliant media not willing to educate viewers and challenge power.

                  Obama: self-described moderate Republican

                  by The Dead Man on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:24:34 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  It means the 1% press corps were very happy (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  allenjo, joanneleon

                  with the deal resulting in propaganda stories that reflected it.

                  ...and the people clapped.

                  Physics is bulls**t. Don't let them fool you. Fire IS magic.

                  by Pescadero Bill on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:29:33 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  His overall job approval still under 50% (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Capt Crunch, allenjo

                So no, the public doesn't approve of what he's doing here.

                If he and his supporters keep going down this road, we may be forced to start reminding them publicly of his job approval ratings.  Is that what you want?

                Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

                by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:03:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Obama's job approval under 50%? (0+ / 0-)

                  this job approval graph from TPM

                  Overall job approval at 53%.

                  •  I stand corrected, just over 50% (slow clap) (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    joanneleon

                    The last one I checked  at Polling Report had him below 50%.

                    So are you saying this indicates Americans are happy with him cutting Social Security?  I don't think so.

                    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

                    by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:47:07 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm not saying anything more (0+ / 0-)

                      than a correction to your comment about his approval rating.

                      Reading into an overall approval rating something about a specific issue is an exercise in futility.

                      •  POTUS handling of issues has a big impact (0+ / 0-)

                        on job approval rating.

                        That's why they call it a job approval rating, and why its interpreted differently than personal/likeability ratings.

                        Voters may like a POTUS, but if he isn't doing a good job, the ratings will show a discrepancy.

                        Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

                        by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:31:50 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  The one I listened to yesterday was at 50% (0+ / 0-)

                      comparing with Reagan and Clinton - around 56-58% as I recall.

                      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

                      by allenjo on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:28:12 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Reagan and Clinton both much higher at this time (0+ / 0-)

                  of Obama's presidency.

                  "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

                  by allenjo on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:32:36 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  True (0+ / 0-)

                    Clinton presided over a very strong economy, full employment and kept the country out of ridiculous, expensive ground wars.  All of those things make a POTUS popular, much more so than saber rattling and fear mongering.

                    Going in to his second term with such a grossly unpopular idea like cutting SS tends to make me think Obama either isn't interested in being a popular POTUS or is terribly naive about his ability to sell SS cuts to the public.

                    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

                    by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:50:09 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  and certainly none of us should become jaded...... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                3goldens, joanneleon

                with this presidency, or any democrats in general, right?

                We will have a jaded view of this President and Democrats if we go by his usually small but vociferous critics here within this community....

                "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

                by allenjo on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:22:00 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  It was a big victory (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              3goldens, rudy23

              just like the one we're going to score this time.  Again.

              What we need is for Obama to stand up to this corporate donors, the ones who are pushing this crap, and tell them he's not going to cut SS.

              The WH is constantly putting our necks on the chopping block because they're too afraid to tell their donors to STFU on this issue.  Either that, or the WH is unprincipled and ignorant enough to believe the Third Way BS.

              The WH is behaving in a very cowardly manner on this issue.  

              Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

              by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:01:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  And therein lies the root of all corruption -- (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joanneleon

                big corporate donors. All they have to say is they'll either withhold funds for smaller Senate and House Dem races, or threaten to run negative ads in key districts.

                The President has veto power, but the Corporate Overlords have blackmail power.

                It should be like an epic clash of good vs. evil. Like Super Man going up against all of his comic villains at once. But what we'll get with this comic showdown is more a Neville Chamberlain-esque like approach resulting in a pragmatic agreement the 1% can live with.

                The rest of us, well, not so much.

                Physics is bulls**t. Don't let them fool you. Fire IS magic.

                by Pescadero Bill on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:43:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  You haven't got a clue, have you? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aliasalias, joanneleon

              The WH has given off signals from Day One that it intended to cut entitlements. And there have been plenty of hints from people like Pelosi that Democrats will cave in.

              I hope we can still stop it with a public outcry, but that hasn't been what's stopped it so far; it hasn't been stopped, they're just working their way towards it.

              We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

              by denise b on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:03:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So earnest, you are. (0+ / 0-)

                I suggest you reread my comment and the others that I've posted in this thread.  You might find that you are the one who is not following the action with respect to this discussion.

                Here's a hint: I'm on "your" side - or really more accurately on the side of protecting the social safety net regardless of what the White House or Democrats say.

                •  Sorry. Either (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joanneleon

                  I misread your comment or I replied to the wrong one - I'm not sure anymore.

                  We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

                  by denise b on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:41:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Wherein you argue for austerity (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund

            You probably don't realize that austerity involves two components: spending cuts (boo!), and tax increases (yeah?).

            It might help you here if you pay attention.

            By saying Obama should let all the Bush tax cuts expire (something he never campaigned on), you are arguing to impose a massive trillion dollar austerity program on lower and middle class Americans.

            This is why the deal critics came across as so foolish.

            •  You know who else was foolish? (18+ / 0-)

              Lt. Dan Choi for protesting DADT and chaining himself to the White House fence because Obama was totally going to do something about it... eventually. Just like he's taking care of unions who have been waiting for 4 years for him to do something besides letting Republican governors tear them apart in state after state. Just stay quiet, because if we're patient President Obama won't do anything to raise the age you can obtain medicare (like he's already proposed) or cut social security (like he's already proposed). And if he does do those things it's all the Republicans fault because they took the deal Obama offered them.

              •  If you are unhappy with Republican Governors (0+ / 0-)

                Be unhappy with the people who elected them. I'm not exactly sure what Obama can do to override right to work for less laws, but I guess in magical pony land, anything is possible.

                •  It wouldn't take too much for Obama to back unions (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  aliasalias

                  Hell, he could've just shown up at a rally in Wisconsin for Tom Barrett's recall fight against Scott Walker instead of sitting on the sidelines doing the nothing that he did. Or how about walking that picketline with striking workers as he promised to in 2007.

                  This isn't magical ponyland, but simply just holding Obama to his word as a politician when he said he wouldn't cut medicare and social security and slammed his opponents by claiming that they would. Honestly, I don't know why any progressive would back him up when he shows so much disdain for them by immediately backtracking only two months after the election.

            •  You might get your facts straight (12+ / 0-)

              "Austerity" involves, in the world of Washington and European capitals, slashing spending to come in line with revenues, not increasing revenues. It only involved revenues this time because the Bush tax cuts were expiring and there would be a revenue increase anyway, if nothing were done.

              You fail to acknowledge any ground between the deal that was reached, in all its particulars, and, bwahahahaha,

              a massive trillion dollar austerity program on lower and middle class Americans
              This ignores the strong likelihood that some deal would have been reached in the first two weeks of January, even if this deal was not approved Dec. 31-Jan. 1.

              The complaint about revenues is that (a) taxable income from $250K to $450K is largely left untouched (which Obama certainly did not campaign on); (b) that preferential treatment of capital gains and dividends was retained; (c) putting no sunset provision on these preferential rates, making it hard politically to raise revenue even in better economic times.

              Argue your side, but leave the straw men out of it.

              Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

              by fenway49 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:42:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  False (0+ / 0-)

                Greece, Spain were all confronted with tax increases as part of austerity.

                And that is exactly what you are arguing for by letting all the Bush tax cuts expire: massive de-stimulative austerity.

                •  No, it's not (0+ / 0-)
                  And that is exactly what you are arguing for by letting all the Bush tax cuts expire: massive de-stimulative austerity.
                  What part of "some other deal would have been reached" is not getting through? There is NO evidence that maintaining low rates on cap gains, dividends, and taxable earned income between $250K and $450K is stimulative in the least. That money is sat on, invested in financial shell games, or invested to create jobs overseas. The House GOP was just called out this fall for trying to bury a report confirming that.

                  I've been yelling for stimulus for four years. I said the day he passed the 2009 stimulus that Krugman was right and it was too small. That was proven correct. But, hey, when in doubt just reassert strawman.

                  Spain 2013 budget proposal: more than 30 billion Euros in spending cuts, 4 billion in tax increases, with a good part of that falling on lotto winners and second-home buyers.

                  Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

                  by fenway49 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:28:17 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What other deal? (0+ / 0-)

                    What incentive did the GOP have to reach a better deal after the tax cuts expire?

                    I'm glad you finally realize that letting the Bush tax cuts all expire would be austerity, so now you're arguing for imposing austerity until a hypothetical alternative would be reached.

                    remember, in your austerity proposal, you also lose UI insurance and the other stimulative measures.

                    •  Not being blamed for the tax hike (0+ / 0-)

                      Read this, for example.

                      I'm saying one or two weeks' higher withholding, followed by a deal that restored lower Bush rates on income under $250K or something close to it, would not have tanked the economy, a position held by plenty of responsible progressives.  

                      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

                      by fenway49 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:11:40 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Okay, here is how that would play out (0+ / 0-)

                        Obama: Pass these tax cuts.
                        Harry Reid: We have a bill already passed extending the Bush tax cuts for those under $250k.
                        Boehner: We have a bill already passed extending the Bush tax cuts for those under $1M.
                        Obama: Pass these tax cuts.
                        Harry Reid: We have a bill already passed extending the Bush tax cuts for those under $250k.
                        Boehner: We have a bill already passed extending the Bush tax cuts for those under $1M.
                        ...
                        Regardless of who goes first, the bill goes to committee. Then, a compromise would have to be reached resulting in a renewal of the Bush tax cuts for those under, say, $350.

                        And viola! Now you have extended the Bush tax cuts, maybe for a better range, maybe not. But you have no stimulus, and you have no delay in the sequester.

                        And so what you have is more austerity until you reach a deal, and perhaps even after.

            •  You shouldn't be throwing stones from inside (0+ / 0-)

              your glass house dude.

              Physics is bulls**t. Don't let them fool you. Fire IS magic.

              by Pescadero Bill on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:46:38 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  yep, joanne, never mind all that, and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            joanneleon

            don't diss the dems, particularly the dem president.

            "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

            by allenjo on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:00:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You have got to be kidding me. (28+ / 0-)

        The critics of the deal were we're likely correct. The poor ended up with larger tax increases than the rich taking into account the payroll tax increase and the cuts in the estate, capital gains, and dividend taxes.  The deal cut one of the most important parts of Obamacare. And it set us up for entitlement cuts.  It's looking like the critics were absolutely correct.

    •  Let's pontificate about (12+ / 0-)

      trillion dollar coins instead of organizing protests.


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:24:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "We" already did when we elected them. (6+ / 0-)

      If we play by their rules, we get their rules, and their rule.

      "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:46:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama is out to gut SS...it is abundantly clear... (10+ / 0-)

      Are we expected to believe that SS continues to be injected into these discussions by accident?

      I'm sorry...but where there's smoke...

    •  Let's panic! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sweettp2063, Jerry056, Willinois

      Someone said something about the government spending less money! Now we must reinforce the GOP talking point about Democrats loving to spend government spending for no other reason than Democrats love spending government money! We must publicly demand the government not cut one dime of spending for any reason whatsoever! Damn it, we need more battleships and Morse code relay towers! The government spent money on them at one time but Obama caved in and now the government doesn't! Panic! Over-simplify everything! Be afraid! Boo!

      Also: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      •  Where is defense spending cuts on the table? (6+ / 0-)

        Any talk about that offered from the White House?

      •  Not only would cutting 56 million people's (7+ / 0-)

        Social Security checks have an anti-stimulative effect in a particularly fragile economic environment, but it would do NOTHING to solve the debt and deficit problem that the President and all the GOP jokers are so hot to address.

        Let's just say that this kind of bullshit doesn't inspire confidence in either the Republicans' or the Democrats' accounting skills.

        This thinking is like saying that by cutting your next door neighbor's paycheck you will be able to decrease the debt on your mortgage.  It is crazy talk.

        •  exactly! nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          inclusiveheart

          Get out there and get peace, think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you'll get it as soon as you like.” ~ John Lennon

          by Lady Libertine on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:59:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Didn't see anything close to that in this article (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glynis

          The article does not deal with your private imaginations of a worst-case scenario. The article here mentions the rather simple truth that the American government will eliminate the national deficit only through a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases.

          This is not controversial. This is simple math.

          •  Bad accounting. (0+ / 0-)

            How many times does someone have to explain to you that subtracting a sum from one discrete account does not add to another completely different account in this case?

            •  I don't know (0+ / 0-)

              I do not keep track of comments that have nothing to do with my point.

              •  The article says that they are offering (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                420 forever, aliasalias

                Medicare and Social Security as part of their deal to reduce the debt.  

                You say it is simple math.

                Social Security has nothing to do with the debt or deficit.

                The math you say is "simple" is actually wrong.

                •  What I said (0+ / 0-)

                  Spending cuts and additional revenue will both be needed to close the deficit.

                  This article discusses matters in teh most general, braodest terms possible. That is simple math.

                  So excuse me if I utterly reject the mind-readers here who point to this article as proof their imagined worst-case scenarios are on the horizon.

                  I think our leaders get the basic ideas. They are now negotiating their way forward as best they can. Keep writing them to keep them true on that path. But don't try to sell me on panic.

                  •  LOL - you're the one trying to distract by (0+ / 0-)

                    selling this concept of "panic".

                    How many times have you typed that word in this thread of comments today?

                    Sheesh.  We used to have rules around here against that sort of repetitive spamming of a comment thread.

        •  Any cuts to entitlement programs, if any (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenbell

          should only come at the END of any negotiation process, not at the beginning. Obama continues to be the most horrible negotiator in recorded history. And it's not because he's stupid. It's because he's obsessed with establishment approval and terrified of losing it. Some part of him simply can't stop kissing the ass of the Morning Joe crowd. It make you want to tear your hair out.

          This man needs an intervention. Harry? Nancy? Joe? Get to it!

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

          by kovie on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:25:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The "most horrible negotiator in history" (0+ / 0-)

            Passed the ACA against 11 months of fanatical opposition, stared-down the Tea Party to a negotiation rout in the 2011 debt-limit crisis, just got the GOP to vote for an income tax increase, and most importantly, negotiated a 2nd 4-year contract with his employers.

            You're gonna need a 6-foot pry-bar to get your mouth free.

            •  He was awful in managing that whole fiasco (0+ / 0-)

              Nearly a year of nonsense to get half a loaf reform passed. He basically passed that off to Baucus and DeParle and did next to nothing till the end.

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

              by kovie on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:32:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Also, he didn't do so well at these others (0+ / 0-)

              If you think his handling of the 2011 debt ceiling situation was skillful, then we're living in different galaxies. But then you must subscribe to the Neville Chamberlain school of advanced negotiation.

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

              by kovie on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:33:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  He is a horrible negotiator (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aliasalias

            but that's not what's going on here.

            He's been signalling from the beginning that his grand compromise would include entitlement cuts because that is his intention. It's always been his intention.

            We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

            by denise b on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:14:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Never made sense to me (0+ / 0-)

              Not justified on policy grounds, not necessary on political grounds. In fact awful on both. Not merely cutting but offering to cut them at the outset is a case study in how to promote bad policy that will cause immense damage to Dems politically. The sort of "Grand Bargain" he's shooting for makes no sense on either policy or political grounds and will only please people like Brooks and Friedman and the corporate assholes who bankroll them.

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

              by kovie on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:41:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Corporate Welfare should definitely go (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies, niemann, aliasalias

        as corporate persons have no mouths, bellies, heat, cooling, or any other physical need?

        Why take it from real people?

        Why even have "take it from real people" even an allowable subject?


        The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

        by Jim P on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:04:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Every social worker knows how this works: (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P, Tool, NoMoreLies, niemann, denise b

      One parent is the Abuser.
      The other parent is the Enabler
      Both will say how much they love their children.

      Enablers are sometimes co-victims. Sometimes they're well meaning, weak and ineffectual.  Sometimes they're vicarious accomplices.

      From the kid's point of view ... the motives don't matter.

    •  Let's flood the White House Inbox (0+ / 0-)

      Comments there will have much more effect than commenting here.  Just sayin'

      Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

      by Helpless on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:26:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Folks start calling your Senators and Congressmen (10+ / 0-)

    again and continue to remind them that you oppose cuts to the Saftey Net.  Keep up the pressure.  

    Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

    by poopdogcomedy on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:01:21 AM PST

  •  More revenue raising (16+ / 0-)

    ....

    are we supposed to believe that?

    Watch, they'll raise revenue by two dollars and fifty cents and cut entitlements by hundreds of billions.

    Shared sacrifice, ya know!

    A million jelly beans for Wall Street, a million jelly beans for the Dept. of Death, and one jelly bean for the American people to share among themselves.

    Seriously, if revenue hikes were going to be called for, why was it not done during the bullshit fiscal cliff when Obama was holding all the cards?

    Do they think we just fell off a f'ing turnip truck or something?


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:22:34 AM PST

  •  Republicans are giving up! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Capt Crunch

    We'd better give them more concessions so we don't look bad!

  •  Is this going to be another incredible victory (8+ / 0-)

    for the Democratic Party?  Our electeds fighting tooth and nail for the 50 million living in poverty and the additional 200 million living with the continual fear of joining them soon?

    Like our freedoms, strengthening and securing them by curtailing them?

    Social Security is sound and there's no way to know what we will be facing 20 years from now when it might begin to be an existential problem.

    Only a small, very lucky few can survive without Medicare.
    Ways to fix its stresses have been outlined numerous times though not in the traditional corporatist media in any coherent presentation.

    Like jobs and wages, neither of them are quite so good as in the past.

    I'm assuming here that medicaid is safe unless some of the programs it supports are cut.

    More: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it?

    by blueoasis on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:51:00 AM PST

  •  How to blow up conservative brains (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, jm214, Quicklund, GeoffT, stlsophos
    Ultra-con hawk:  Well, we all just have to tighten our belts!  We can't afford these entitlements!

    Me: Wow, I had no idea it was so bad!  You want to cut combat Veteran's benefits?  You want to cut survivor's benefits for the widows and orphans?

    Ulta-con hawk: Lord no!  We earned those benefits with our blood!  They should be exempt from cuts!

    Me:  I don't hear any GOP leaders talking about exempting veteran bennies.

    Ultra-con hawk: Silence.

    Ultra-con hawk: We have to repeal Obamacare!   It is bad socialized medicine!

    Me:  Hmmm, you know the VA hospital system is a single payer system, right?  It is socialized medicine, too.  

    Ultra-con hawk: We deserve those benefits!  We paid for them with our blood!

    Me:  So socialized medicine is actually a good thing?

    Ultra-con hawk:Yes, we deserve the best!  It is just too expensive for everyone to have.

    Me:  Did you know the VA buys phrama in bulk and negotiates a price for all the members?  But other insurance programs are forbidden from doing this kind of negotiating?

    Ultra-con hawk: Silence.

    •  No cuts to the safety net! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glynis, Capt Crunch, GeoffT

      If Medicare and Medicaid were allowed to negotiate prescription prices, that would lower the amount of money the government spends on Medicare and Medicaid. That's a cut and that would mean Obama caved in again!

      •  over simplified (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheMomCat, Quicklund
        If Medicare and Medicaid were allowed to negotiate prescription prices, that would lower the amount of money the government spends on Medicare and Medicaid.
        No, it would mean Medicare and Medicaid have more funds to support the rest of the spectrum of care besides drugs.
        •  That's not how the conversation on DKos goes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glynis

          If the Obama Administration is talking about spending cuts, then according to Standard DKos Fear-Mongering Protocol, that means the cuts will be draconian. There is no possibility of cuts to MC/MA which make the program more efficient. Not in the DKos Fear-Mongering Universe.

          You are right to warn of over-simplification. That is exactly what I oppose.

          •  The OBAMA admin. would then (9+ / 0-)

            be wise to allay some of the fear surrounding this by simply saying that there will be no cuts to benefits. But they haven't said that. Not once. Never.
            So,a reasonable person would conclude that benefit cuts are in the offing. A political & reasonable person might conclude that the admin. wants the outcry to protect SS. In either case, DC needs to hear from the electorate.

            "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

            by tardis10 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:53:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Which they have, in point of fact, done (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              glynis

              I have heard those words from the mouths of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, et al.  Well, not heard them from their mouths, literally. But read them quoted or seen videos of them speaking. These words are usually ignored here on DKos.

              One might jump to the amazing conclusion that the national leaders have a broad idea of what their supporters want and expect: A better safety net and and end to Reaganomics, of putting everything on the national credit card. As voters our task is to constantly remind them of these goals. The message seems to be getting through.

              •  How about a single link where Obama (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Capt Crunch, TheMomCat

                has said he will not cut SS benefits? Just one will do. Although it would count most if it is from the last 4 years.

                "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

                by tardis10 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:06:39 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Learn to Google (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  greenbell

                  I am crippled in today's everything-online society. I grew up in the days whenone actually remembered things with one's brain. I do not keep a list of links on hand. I just ask my brain instead.

                  So if you want research, why don't you do the work yourself? I know my time is more important to me to justify doing your grunt work for you.

                •  from WH website (0+ / 0-)

                  Seniors and Social Security

                  He believes that no current beneficiaries should see their basic benefits reduced and he will not accept an approach that slashes benefits for future generations.  The President also stands firmly opposed to privatization and rejects the notion that the future of hard-working Americans should be left to the fluctuations of financial markets.
                  •  To help decode the weasel spin (4+ / 0-)

                    "basic" benefits mean that he is willing to cut the COLA which of course keeps the "basic" benefit just erodes it over time.

                    He won't "slash" benefits just severely cut them but not with a machete, just a butcher knife.

                    And the privatization is just a distraction from what they intend to do the current benefit structure.  

                    •  And these carefully chosen weasel words (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      420 forever

                      can be seen echoed by various other Democrats.  Klobuchar has used the same language.   You write a letter asking about her commitment to current benefits and you get a response saying she does not favor privatization.  Not the question you asked.  No commitment to the current system.  I mean do I care if they do not privatize the system if I'm going to get $0.10 on the dollar after they do not "slash" just mortally wound the current benefit structure?  

                      How DUMB do they think we are?   I mean if I paid into the system for 40 years and now they're going to stick it to me, I would have been better off it had been private all along.  All they are doing is the Republican's work for them.  Once they don't "slash" but merely eviscerate the current system, there won't be any complaints about making the system private.

                      •  ridiculous (0+ / 0-)
                        I would have been better off it had been private all along.  
                        •  Now maybe - but in the future? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          tardis10

                          If Democrats so undermine the current system that it becomes only a token poverty program in the future most  middle class people would have been better off investing their payroll tax.  The Democrats will have signed, sealed, and delivered the Republican's message for all time.  

                          All this talk about helping out the very poor on the chained CPI and means testing.  If you make the program a bad deal for the middle class, it will die.

                          They already cut benefits to boomers in the Reagan deal.  They're after them again.  Is this program going to be there for me 30 years from now?  Is there COMMITMENT in the Democratic Party?  I can no longer tell.

                  •  That carefully worded comment (6+ / 0-)

                    is written to support the chained cpi. Which some disingenuously insist isn't a cut but it is when you go to the grocery store and don't have any money left.
                    https://docs.google.com/...

                     But at least President Obama is firmly opposed to privatization.

                    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

                    by tardis10 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:08:46 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  The mouth of Barack Obama (0+ / 0-)

                also said he would veto any legislation that kept the Bush cuts for those making over $250K. I hear that the compromise moved that figure to $400K, yet he still signed it into law.
                So, either he's a liar--meaning we shouldn't trust him at all--or he's a pragmatic pol making compromises--meaning we shouldn't trust him to keep his word.
                Which would you prefer we do?

                "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

                by bryduck on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:09:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  In god we trust... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tardis10

                ... all other bring data.

          •  If you don't have enough to take care (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SEAlifeguard, tardis10, aliasalias

            of yourself, and even a little gets cut, guess what? It's Draconian.

            You REALLY fucking don't know anyone on the safety-net? Ask them if they can do with $10 less a month and get back to us. I dare you.


            The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

            by Jim P on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:12:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gosh, Jim, are you about to feel small (0+ / 0-)

              I took care of my mother for five years while she was bed-ridden,. I was her 24 hour prime health care provider. Which means I sound not work. Which means the both of us lived on her SS payments combined with what home-care support we could get from MC/MA. And we came with a few grand of spending our last dollars.

              Now that I spent my prime earning years earning nothing towards my own SS, now that I am getting into teh unattractive hirting age, and now that the nation is still in economic decline, my own retirement chances are looking rather dicey.

              So excuse me if I gently tell you you  file your head in a warm dark place.

              •  Gosh, Quicklund, you are small (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aliasalias

                or else you would have answered the question.

                Which you avoided.

                She'd have gladly take a cut, even a small one, and it wouldn't be noticed?

                Really?
                Really?

                And she would have said "Oh, heck, the Democratic Party is on my side when it comes to the safety-net!"?

                Really?


                The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

                by Jim P on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:52:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Also, my mother, who I took care of, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  aliasalias

                  would have been dead 8 years earlier, if her leukemia, discovered at age 65, had not been treatable under Medicare. Very expensive drugs ($1,400 a dose, 2 doses a week for 2 months) would be unavailable to her under Mr Infallible's floated rise to age 67.

                  She didn't suffer that. How many millions will if he finally gets his way, being all bipartisan and all.

                  But answer the question.


                  The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

                  by Jim P on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:20:33 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No Jim you don't need Medicare till 70 at least! (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Jim P, aliasalias

                    Really.  I heard it from Ed Rendell.  We are living longer because we do not NEED healthcare in our 60's.  The LESS healthcare we get in our 60's the longer we will live.  Really.  The best Democrats are telling us this is true.   There are people out there living to 105 and so no one needs treatment for cancer in their 60's.  I mean do you think those people are living to 105 because they had healthcare when they were younger?  Oh, Jim.  You are just not keeping up with good Democratic talking points.  Get with the program fella!

              •  I've replied. I hear Crickets. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aliasalias

                Because you know goddam well that you tried a little trick there to deny it would have hurt you to have Social Security cut back, or Medicare age requirement extended.

                So you pull some bullshit on a side point I make, and fucking refuse to answer the real question:

                Would the people you know see a cut as meaningful, as something which hurts them, or not?

                Or are you too busy shoving your head up a certain president's warm dark place to notice the question?


                The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

                by Jim P on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:23:54 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Sperling Should Know That Social Security (14+ / 0-)

    is not an entitlement but a social safety network program that Americans pay for.  If President Obama and democrats become the majority to cut these programs the democratic party will be history.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:02:47 AM PST

  •  too bad it wasn't included in the story (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    megisi, slinkerwink, Quicklund
    Sperling sketched out the broad outline of a possible deficit-reduction deal that would involve higher taxes along with spending cuts on social welfare programs, including the federal health insurance program for the elderly and the Social Security pension plan.
  •  This is like Groundhog Day (12+ / 0-)

    in hell.

    The same evil zombie memes infecting both sides of the aisle every damn day.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:10:13 AM PST

  •  Who could have foreseen? nt (3+ / 0-)

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:18:48 AM PST

  •  They could cut the deficit to ... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar, jm214, tardis10, fenway49, Tool

    ... the ankle bones, give those racist assholes everything they want, offset it in precious jewels and, absent a new round of heavy-duty stimulus along the lines of the president's November 2011 jobs bill, the economy will still putter along like a Model A on a rutted road.

    How stupid is this country?

    That stupid ...

  •  Here comes Chained CPI (11+ / 0-)

    Because if you eat cat food because you can't afford fish fingers any more, it's not really inflation.

  •  Just as long as we have sick and elderly (5+ / 0-)

    dying in the streets, I think Wall Street will be OK.

    Obama: self-described moderate Republican

    by The Dead Man on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:27:23 AM PST

  •  undertstand here that the Repugs want (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell

    less government, this is all set up by the ruse of saying they want entitlement cuts, so as long as everybody understands what it is they REALLY are after. I agree with the Barney Frank approach, but I don't see it happening. Its clear, McConnell has drawn a line in the sand. This isn't going to be pretty.

  •  Here's my ratio, if anybody gives a damn... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund

    Revenue increases 33%, defense cuts 33%, non-defense cuts 33%.  Take it to 3.3 trillion for the next 10 years.  That's only 110 billion for each area per year.  If the GOP doesn't want to play, go to sequester for the cuts.

    There is no hell on earth appropriate enough for those who would promote the killing of another person, in the name of a god.

    by HarryParatestis on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:31:18 AM PST

  •  Sperling could be informing, warning, or preparing (5+ / 0-)

    We need to fix our focus on the their stated goals, our demands, the data, analysis and to some extent what we think their unstated goals are.

    The threat is more than "chained CPI" but synching up a raised eligibility age for SS and Medicare to 70. The Democrats Sperling has been associated with in Third Way and DLC have a widely published strategy worse than anything the Republicans have proposed.

    The election is over and those commenters here who need to kick their addiction to silly divisiveness and kneejerk sides need to get clean NOW. This is not about Obama.  

    •  Third Way are a bunch of idiots (8+ / 0-)

      and they're liars, too.

      They've been trying to divide young and old voters on this issue. Reprehensible.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:38:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tool, NoMoreLies, tardis10

        ...they hold a good hand at the moment. Moderate Republicans, Blue Dogs, and Third Way add up to a majority and Obama will sign whatever meets his "bipartisan" litmus test.

        •  I don't think so (5+ / 0-)

          There aren't many Blue Dogs or Third Way idiots left in Congress (Blue Dogs and Third Way are the same thing).

          And they'll never get any Republicans to go along with this fiasco.  Republicans are smart enough to let the Dems hang themselves on this issue.  

          IMO, the WH is playing Chief Clerk again.  They're putting stuff out their that their big donors want.  

          The WH is making us go nuts, calling, organizing, etc. to stop them, simply because the WH doesn't have the guts to just tell their big donors that their demand for SS cuts is idiotic and unreasonable.

          The WH needs to stand on its own hind legs and tell the big donors that SS and cuts to Medicare benefits are off the table.  

          This is a battle within the Dem Party in DC.   Our leaders are the Party's worst enemy in this situation, sad to say.

          Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

          by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:52:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  So if they cut benefits in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, shoeless, greenbell

    "federal health insurance program for the elderly," then we won't notice?

  •  Cut cash aid to the Corporate Welfare Kings (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, shoeless, schnecke21

    instead of cutting Grandma's aid.

  •  Rising unemployment and earned benefits' cuts (5+ / 0-)

    on top of that. How can that work?

    add in climate chaos which will increase homelessness, crop failures, threats to drinking water supplies and more.

    ❧To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:35:32 AM PST

  •  Calling the WH now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, slinkerwink

    I'm on hold, but should get through in about 5 mins.

    202-456-1111

    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

    by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:36:54 AM PST

  •  The only way social security (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, NoMoreLies, Capt Crunch, GeoffT

    has anything to do with the budget deficit is if the federal govt does not want to pay back the money it took from social security as a loan.

    Which would be a national scandal.

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:37:22 AM PST

  •  A $1 (4+ / 0-)

    per stock fee for day traders or people who earn over $X dollars/year on trading would be a huge windfall and painless. So your $9.99 trade now costs $10.99. Big deal. Multiply that $1 by the millions of trades per day and you have a nice income stream.

  •  I know Daily Kos' role is partly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry056, Quicklund, Willinois

    to be the no compromise crowd, but as a thought experiement I do wonder what painful cuts to what programs would people be prepared to accept to get a deal? Education? Medicaid? Housing and Urban development? VA? What about Research and Development?

    There are no good options folks, it's about finding the least painful one that Republicans will agree to. Imagining a world where Republicans unconditionally surrender and accept a deal with more tax increases for the rich along with 100 percent of the cuts coming from Defense is the type of negotiating stance that has the Tea Party on the long road to nowhere.

    •  Simple, cut the military. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bryduck, Shahryar, aliasalias

      That's where the wasted money is.

      When someone tells you they are lying, you should believe them.

      by shoeless on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:10:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  what deal? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      masswaster, Capt Crunch

      Is anyone offering to raise the cap? No.

      I don't see any offer to benefit SS on the table. Only cuts.

    •  The Tea Party gets what it wants (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Capt Crunch, aliasalias

      I mean you're singing their tune aren't you?  

      Cut defense.  Raise taxes to the level they were when LBJ passed Medicare.  That's my deal.  

      And I don't care if we get a deal.  Default on the government bonds.   Let them suffer pain in Dubai.  

      And I will follow the Tea Party's approach at the polls.  You represent what I want or forget about my vote.  I am done compromising.  Been doing that for the last 40 years and what do I have to show for it?  A party that is willing to destroy my retirement security.

      •  The tea party gets what they want???? (0+ / 0-)

        You know we just raised taxes, right? That's not exactly on the tea party platform.

        The tea party is giving the GOP escape velocity in pushing it out of the mainstream, that's all it's doing. It had a short period after 2010 to set the agenda then the country realized they were a bunch of uncompromising nihilists, which unfortunately doesn't sound too far off from where your at right now.

        •  Raised taxes?? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias

          We just made almost all of the "temporary" Bush tax cuts permanent.  We could have just let them all expire.  

          The only thing that counts are policy outcomes.  It doesn't do any good to win elections if your only question after you win is what can you give to the party that lost.  

  •  Cutting costs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, glynis, Jerry056

    in SS and Medicare doesn't necessarily equal cuts in benifits.
    Most democrats favor negotiating prices in Medicare part B. That would be a substantial savings without cutting benefits.

    The proposal for chained cpi, was constructed to not hit low income people, and long term recipients of SS. It basicly would mean a cap on the benefit side for high income recipients.

    I am not saying people shouldn't be vigilant about proposed changes, but don't jump to conclusions either.

    •  Where are the chained cpi specifics you (0+ / 0-)

      reference? Please provide the link.

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:22:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  No,that is a link to a paper (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Capt Crunch

          from a Dem. leaning think tank on how a chained cpi might work if certain conditions (unlikely to be acceptable to the GOP,btw) were crafted into the proposal. I have read a few of these over the years. I was just hoping you'd found a link to the actual admin. recent proposal. Which I don't think has been made available anywhere.

          "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

          by tardis10 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:16:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  As far as I know (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tardis10

            there is no actual proposal made by Obama yet, that is the point. Chained cpi could be a way to cap benefits to higher income people, if the right protections are built in.

            So I don't think rejecting chained cpi up front is the way to go. It is the specifics that decide whether it is a good cut or a bad cut. And we don't have specifics yet.

            •  I am unalterably opposed to (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greenbell, amsterdam, aliasalias

              the chained cpi. It is a bad cut for many,many reasons.

              If the goal is to reduce SS for the top quintile,then our president & congress should do so in a straightforward, transparent manner. This cynical reliance on sleight of hand governance is destroying US. Dean Baker is more eloquent on this:

              The current effort has the spirit of using statistics for political ends, for example by refusing to have BLS produce a full elderly CPI so we would actually know the inflation rate experienced by the elderly. There also has been some discussion of leaving some programs, such as Supplemental Security Income, tied to the current CPI so as not to hurt a seriously disadvantaged population.

              Congress can decide the benefit formula for these programs as it chooses. The honest way to cut benefits is for Congress to explicitly vote to cut benefits, not to try to hide a cut behind a statistical manipulation. This is the sort of behavior that encourages public contempt for politicians and the political process.

              "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

              by tardis10 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:34:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  You are wrong about the chained CPI (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Capt Crunch, aliasalias

      They may exempt the destitute from the full nature of this draconian cut (I mean they are admitting it is a draconian cut by saying they'll adjust it for the poor).  

      It is aimed at the real middle class.   The whole purpose of the chained CPI is to reduce benefits to middle class recipients.   It goes at the heart of the program.  

      •  Do you have (0+ / 0-)

        link?

        I am not saying that may be the result. But as long as we don't have a firm proposal, it is not clear who will be impacted by the cuts.

        •  Here's a link (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenbell, aliasalias

          to back up greenbell.
          http://www.cbpp.org/...
          You'll be familiar with it.
          And note that it's

          from a Dem. leaning think tank on how a chained cpi might work if certain conditions (unlikely to be acceptable to the GOP,btw) were crafted into the proposal.
          The chained CPI is a convoluted gimmick. Anytime you've got a policy that has to backtrack and toss in multiple provisions to make the basic policy work in the first place it's bad policy.
          They always say Chained CPI can work - provided you tack on these multiple provisions to protect folks.
          Here's an idea: protect folks by not going the Chained CPI route.
          •  Exactly if the calculation was fair and just (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Capt Crunch

            They wouldn't have to adjust it.  The calculation is not meant to be fair or just.  It is mean to reduce benefits, sneakily, behind your back, in the fine print, like a shady mortgage.  You can afford it today.  It will only bankrupt you in the future.

    •  if it doesn't amount to "cuts" then WHY must the (0+ / 0-)

      "low income people" be protected from it and means testing is NOT the answer.
      It's just one more path into SS funds and besides that SS doesn't belong in a discussion of deficits, of which I'm sure the Prez is aware but damned if he doesn't try to wedge it into every 'negotiation' with the Repubs.

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:08:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jimmy Carter's highest tax rate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, masswaster

    was 70%; and under his administration, created over 10 million jobs.  Mr. Obama is a fiscal failure.  He should have railed and railed about the tax rates from his first day in office back in 2008.  

  •  My "gold standard" /comparison for power grabs... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund

    Whenever Pres. Obama is seen as doing something that can be construed by some as a power grab, for example minting a coin and adding to our country's debt without the US Congress being part of the equation, I ask myself, "How would I react if George Bush was doing this?"

    In this case, I wouldn't be comfortable with a Republican president being allowed to add to our country's debt without Congress being part of the process.  

  •  But...but.... (0+ / 0-)

    The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

    by magnetics on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:54:12 AM PST

  •  Carbon tax earmarked for debt reduction. (0+ / 0-)

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:55:01 AM PST

  •  NOT what we voted FOR... (7+ / 0-)

    So, again they want to ask some 70 year old living on the vast sum of maybe 1300/a month to "balance" and "share the sacrifice" for military contractors and wall streeters living in luxury probably unheard of even in Caligula's time.

    NO THANK YOU.  No more "sharing".  No more "balance".  

    NO

    (and btw, I pretty much gave up on explaining this but as well all know entitlements mean you DESERVE them.)

    sh

  •  I will accept losses in politics or pocketbook.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, tardis10, greenbell, aliasalias

    ...but only for a greater purpose and not on most matters of justice and virtue. The albatross of Obama admin communications has not created public support for cuts to SS/Medicare/Medicaid so they need to be ready for an informed and relentless fight in which left and right, liberals, moderates, Dems, Indies, and Republicans can coalesce in opposition for cuts to SS.  

    •  Great point!! There is no larger purpose in this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kck, aliasalias

      This deal is just a capitulation to the Club for Growth, drown government in the bathtub, destroy the New Deal crowd.  

      We get NOTHING from a deal like this.  It's just a big fat loser.

      Austerity.  Austerity.  Austerity.  Less.  Less.  Less.

      Whoa now there's a party platform to get you inspired to GOTV.  

  •  Then let's make the first cuts... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, aliasalias

    ...with Congressional salaries and benefits. Let's start with at least a 10% cut there. Next, eliminate this lifetime pay BS for Congress. These pricks need to start living under the same conditions as the rest of America. Lastly, we should infect the tea party fucks with a lethal illness and then cancel their insurance.

    When can we start this?

    Only the weak & defeated are called to account for their crimes.

    by rreabold on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:56:26 AM PST

  •  *sigh* (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund

    Are we STILL doing the hair-on-fire shtick?? This site has once again gotten completely unbearable to read, immediately after an election.

    If we're going to call ourselves "the reality-based community", then we need to freakin act like it. All the time. On every single issue.

  •  Here we go again. (7+ / 0-)

    Entitlement cuts?  

    Once an ideologue, always an ideologue.  

    That would be Obama and not just the GOP.  Seriously, I'm almost starting to believe they're a marriage made in Heaven.  The GOP gives Obama cover to do what his corporatist/moderate-Republican-1980's-style ideology compels him to do.  

    They almost deserve each other.  

  •  just gonna leave this here.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    masswaster
    Obama will not defy the GOP on the debt ceiling. He will "agree" to cut SS , probably through a chained CPI.

    ( I am writing this on Jan 4th 2013. ) Mark my words.

    How anyone doesn't see this is beyond me. I'm glad he beat Rmoney, but the man is ideologically a Rockefeller Republican.  The corptocrats that he raised billions from (and control our gov't) will allow nothing less.

    Again, you do not get to be president of the US without unfailing allegiance to the powerful moneyed interests that control this country.

    You simply don't. This is why Obama has consistently worked to give the bankers/Republicans what they want on SS.  This has been documented AGAIN AND AGAIN.

  •  2 to 1 is balanced? (5+ / 0-)

    that sounds likke Republican math.

    Also, what cuts in the bloated military?

    This stinks.

    When someone tells you they are lying, you should believe them.

    by shoeless on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:02:05 AM PST

  •  How is 2 for 1 balanced? (9+ / 0-)

    It's too frustrating that our only choices in America right now appear to be between conservatives (Democrats) and radical wingnuts (Republicans).

    Both are dead wrong. The Republicans are dangerously, suicidally wrong. But the Dems have embraced neoliberalism too. They're now where much of the GOP was about twenty years ago.

    We shouldn't cut overall spending at all until unemployment is under 5%. We need to raise taxes on the rich and spend that directly on hiring millions. Put people back to work and we will balance the budget.

    And if I hear one more wingnut lying (and whining) about how little money the rich apparently have, I'm going bust a gasket. The top 1% alone brings in between 1.5 and 2 TRILLION dollars a year -- that we know of. Just the 1%. The 1% also holds 42% of all wealth in America, which now totals roughly 65 trillion.

    And corporate America now sits on 4-5 trillion dollars -- money that should be going toward production and hiring. There is obviously more than enough money at the top to both jump start the economy and reduce the deficit.

    •  I agree and I've had it with Dems (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      diomedes77, masswaster, aliasalias

      After all we have learned how austerity has worsened unemployment in Europe, that Social Security is not in crisis, that more deficit obsession will worsen our joblessness, they keep doing the same damn thing!

      At this point, I honestly do not believe Obama gives a rats ass about unemployment.

      I'm an American Liberal. Blogging in between family, work and activism time.

      by AlphaLiberal on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:12:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Both parties are pathetic. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias

        I know this is a Democratic site, but it should be obvious even to Democrats that their leadership has sold them out. It's really incredible that Obama latched onto the cat food commission ideology. Aside from being immoral, it's also just bad economics. Bad politics, too.

        If he had gone all out left-populist with a vengeance, and instituted sane, sensible, rational economic policies, he could have guaranteed Democratic majorities for generations. Instead, he decided to take the easy road and go center-right.

        Rather than Simpson-Bowles, he should have formed a commission on jobs, inequality and climate change, and stocked that commission with liberal, leftist and radical left economists, labor-rights advocates, and environmentalists. He should have included people like David Harvey, Richard Woolf, George Monbiot, John Bellamy Foster, Naomi Klein and Alexis Goldstein, among others. And no matter how loud the right screamed, he should have ignored them and pushed for legislation in keeping with that commission's recommendations.

        We have listened to the nutcases on the right far too long. They simply are too stupid and destructive to listen to anymore. The first mistake was to ever acknowledge their existence. The second was to actively seek their favor. This needs to be countered and reversed.

  •  We did not vote for Austerity!!!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Capt Crunch, masswaster, aliasalias

    What is with these Obama people? Social Security is not causing the deficit!

    And the deficit is NOT a priority issue! Jobs are!

    AND austerity policies have been a massive failure!

    Screw Democrats, before they screw you!  

    I'm an American Liberal. Blogging in between family, work and activism time.

    by AlphaLiberal on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:04:17 AM PST

  •  Jeez, again with the preemptively offering to cut (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, masswaster, allenjo, greenbell

    entitlement programs rather than force the other side to demand it? What's wrong with these people and their incessant obsession with those 17 Brooks and Friedman-worshipping morons in the political center who actually like it when Dems preemptively cave to Repubs for no good reason--and then vote GOP anyway?!? The WH is a political bubble that just doesn't get it.

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

    by kovie on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:10:40 AM PST

  •  Stimulus (4+ / 0-)

    As Krugman never tires of pointing out, what we need is more stimulus for jobs.  Please sign this White House petition calling for more fiscal stimulus:

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/...

  •  It looks like dkos finally went through the (9+ / 0-)

    looking glass. It's hard to believe, but some kossacks are starting to come out of the woodshed to shamelessly defend cuts to SS. The stupidity of some is baffling beyond belief. Putting Obama's political career ahead of their own interests. Once his presidency is over, he is guaranteed to earn a lot of cash with books, speeches, lobbying etc. Meanwhile, the clueless kossacks defending this travesty will be reaping the fruits of their misguided, principle-free political activism.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:14:06 AM PST

  •  Meanwhile, in la-la-land (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar, aliasalias

    Obama Orders Pay Raise For Congress, Federal Workers, Joe Biden

    Good for the federal workers. But did congress deserve a pay raise? Methinks not.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:23:18 AM PST

  •  "Entitlements" (0+ / 0-)

    In the first place, they're not entitlements if you pay for them first; they're what you paid for.

    Second, is there any rational basis at all for capping the amount of income subject to payroll tax or for confining it to "earned" income only?

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little. " --Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jg6544 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:23:36 AM PST

    •  They're entitlements because.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      People are entitled to them because they've paid for them.

      Another example of the Heritage Foundation successfully confusing the good meaning of entitlement with the bad meaning of it, as in, Mitt Romney's sense of entitlement.

  •  Obama will demand entitlement cuts.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    420 forever, aliasalias

    What a lousy descendant of those who enacted the New Deal, Fair Deal and Great Society.

    Now let the apologies for it continue.

  •  Can't we get 'em to stop saying "entitlements"?! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady

    We have to do whatever we can to get the media (and blogs) to stop using the euphemism "cuts to entitlements" instead of calling it what it is:  cutting Medicare/Medicaid and reducing benefits to seniors on Social Security.

    If we're to win politically against those -- even those on our side of the aisle -- that would cut benefits paid out through these paid-in insurance programs, we've got to get them to at least admit that putting increased burdens on the poor and the elderly is exactly what they wish to do.  We can't let them hide behind language designed to obscure their intent.

    "Entitlements" sounds like something an uppity, privileged and pampered spoiled brat thinks he's due.  That, of course, is not what's at stake with these attacks on the living standards (and health) of the most vulnerable among us.  Those that would cut benefits promised to the generations that rely upon these insurance programs must at least fess up to what they're about.

  •  What Constitution are the Wingnuts Reading ? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jhecht

    The President doesn't have the Authority to spend a Dime.

    At least NOT according to the Constitution that I read.

    The Village Idiots didn't have ANY problems with the
    Unpaid War in Iraq OR The Unpaid War in Afghanistan.

    The Morans Had NO problem giving Big Pharma a Gift
    with the Unfunded Medicare Part D Giveaway.

    NOW the Deficit is a Problem and It's the President's Fault ?

    The House Repugnicants Created the Deficit Mess.

    The House Repugnicants MUST clean it Up Themselves.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:31:31 AM PST

    •  In addition (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GeoffT

      If we have a spending addiction, this implies that we're spending money unnecessarily. Yet the Republicans have been unable to name any cuts they would make other than to entitlements (though I don't know why they're called entitlements when The Constitution makes it clear that the government is supposed to provide for the general welfare of it's citizens). That would make them 'obligations' not entitlements. We don't have an addiction to spending, we have a political party that refuses to acknowledge that their position on taxes is a fantasy, and therefore refuses to fund our governments obligations.

      I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

      by jhecht on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:03:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just cut the defense budget and be done with it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    masswaster, allenjo, greenbell

    I'm so mad at dems right now.

  •  The "entitlement" cuts I'd like to see are to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, greenbell

    the military industrial complex which feels entitled to billions for weapons systems the Pentagon has not even wanted.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:40:55 AM PST

  •  No Austerity (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar, greenbell, aliasalias

    They are all wrong Barney Frank is wrong, Sperling is wrong.  The GOP is wrong and the White House is wrong.  They are all proposing inflicting austerity on us, and we are all going to suffer, except the wealthy who won't even notice.

    Austerity will increase deficits.  Nothing anyone is floating in these so called negotiations is anything, but austerity.  Which as Europe has shown will push the economy into recession and increase deficits.

    I guess the wealthy might notice as 20% unemployment allows them to reduce wages even more.  But, I have no idea who they expect to sell anything to.

  •  cut the military entitlements (6+ / 0-)

    Assholes/ why dont they have the guts to cut a few billion off military expenditures instead of always trying to make the poor and old suffer more.

  •  So more of what Obama/Congress did last time. (0+ / 0-)

    But, I don't remember this writer celebrating more revenue without entitlement cuts last time. Somehow it was spun into a bad thing. Now it's a good thing we want more of. Huh.

  •  Social Security Solvency (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allenjo, GeoffT, aliasalias

    Everyone knows that the long term solution to SS solvency is REMOVING THE CAP on SS FICA taxation for the wealthiest earners.

    The CBO states that removing the cap on FICA taxation, currently capped at the first $113,800.00 of annual earned income would keep SS solvent for the next 75 years.

    Furthermore, if capital gains and dividend income is taxed for FICA purposes just like "labor income" SS would remain solvent forever.

    Currently, there is a bill in the US Senate introduced by Bernie Sanders [I], Vermont to remove/raise the cap on FICA taxation.

    That bill sits in a senate committee unable to reach the Senate floor for  a vote.

    Contact YOUR US Senators and demand that Sanders Bill is moved out of committee and onto the Senate floor for a vote.

    In 2007, Candidate Obama said, "The long term solution to SS solvency is removing the cap on FICA taxation."

    Now, in 2013, He is offering to put SS on the chopping block as part of a bargaining ploy to deal with the debt issue.

    SS has nothing to do with the Debt. It should not be part of any of such negotiotions.

    Again, contact your US Senators and demand an up or down vote on the Sanders bill.

    •  Emphasis on long-term (0+ / 0-)

      It's just not an issue for the next 25 years.

      I'd prefer a phase-in over that time period (coupled with a modest reduction in the rate) that leaves the SS Trust Fund with sufficient balance to weather economic downturns.  It doesn't need to hang on to $2.7tn indefinitely - that's the baby boomer oneoff.

      Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

      by GeoffT on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:26:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Emphasis on long-term (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GeoffT, aliasalias

        The whole idea is to accomplish two very important things by removal of the cap.

        First, to insure the long term solvency of SS indefinitely

        Second, to eliminate the artificial cap that insulates the wealthiest wage earners from full  participation in the SS system.

        Morevover, that way we can take the SS issue away from the GOP. They use it as a bargaining chip to justify undermining the fiscal stability of America.

        I think everyone recognizes that the GOP wants to eradicate SS. That is their ultimate goal.

        It is long overdue for capital gains and dividend income to be including as taxable income for FICA purposes

        I have no problem with reducing the overall  percentage of FICA taxation to put more money into the pockets of workers so long as it does  not undermine SS.

        However, currently, there are 18 SS retirees who rely solely upon SS for their retirement income. 12 million of them are women.

        By removing the cap and taxing capital gains and dividend income SS would be able to raise the monthly minimum payment to the level of the Federal poverty level, thus lifting those people out of poverty thus insuring them economic security in their retirement years.

        That is a worthwhile goal. Again, contact your US Senators and demand that the Sanders Bill come to the Senate floore for a vote.

        By forcing an up or down vote, we can get the GOP on record concerning their true agenda concerning SS.

  •  omg :::hair on fire:::!!! (0+ / 0-)
  •  This is all Obama. Anyone on his economic team (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias

    that was not sufficiently pro-business left quickly. Even in fiscal deal, rich got permanent tax benefits, the rest of us got temporary extensions (unemployment 1 year). Sorry, don't believe best could be done.
    Two weeks ago on Univision, Obama said his economic vision was "that of a moderate Republican". He was exponentially better choice than Mitt. His economic policies, not so much. He could go after raising Business taxes. He hasn't and won't because the easiest route to his legacy of deficit reduction is US.

    Obama has been offering chained-cpi to the repubs for the longest. He just needs it in the context of debt deal to justify this but he wants to do it bad. Doesn't care about effect on elderly, vets, etc as long as he gets credit for significantly lowering the deficit anf having rhe courage to do so. This isn't courageous at all, it is cowaedly. I will need give him a pass on this.

  •  Is this in relation to the debt ceiling? (0+ / 0-)

    Because there won't be any negotiation related to the debt ceiling.

    Right?

    When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

    by Wayward Son on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:10:01 PM PST

  •  Tax the pants off them (0+ / 0-)

    This is good news, however they need to raise taxes on anyone earning over $100,000 if you are lucky enough to be in that high income bracket, you need to realize that the majority of the country isn't.  I am not asking for a handout, never have never will, I will die poor, but we as a country need to pay the bills that Bushie rang up, so let start with the super rich, done already and then hit the very rich anyone earning over $100k.

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