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Jay Carney Press Briefing, Jan 9 2013
White House press secretary Jay Carney
The White House is not having any of these Republican sequester-avoidance proposals like raising the Medicare eligibility age. Press secretary Jay Carney rejected them as "terrible" on Thursday, pointing out that such policy proposals show just how insincere Republicans are with their rebranding efforts. As for the substance of what Republicans are fighting for:
"It’s a series of measures that basically say that seniors, middle-class families, disabled kids and others will solely bear the burden of buying down the sequester while the weathiest get held harmless," Carney said. "I don’t know where Republicans have been of late, but that is not a winning approach. It is not an approach that the American people support, and it is not an approach that this president will accept.

"We need balance. It is not acceptable to say, seniors, the bill is in the mail, bail us out, but you know those who enjoy the benefit of a loophole for their corporate jet or get subsidies for their large and profitable oil or gas company, we're not going to ask anything of you," he said. "...That’s what apparently House Republicans are saying. We've heard that before and the American public said 'no thank you.' So we need, we can make tough choices but we have to do it in a way that is balanced and fair for everybody."

For that matter, it shouldn't be that tough a choice to say that those who can afford it—oil companies, hedge funders—should pay more. It should only really get tough where you're talking about whether people can retire or get the health care they need. But this is tough rhetoric by White House standards, as it needs to be. Once again, Democrats have the stronger position on policy and politics. Now they just need to stick to that position for a change rather than kicking off negotiations 90 percent of the way to what Republicans want.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:41 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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