Please read this Reuters lead story from less than three hours ago. It speaks for itself.
Obama renews budget offer to cut social safety netsFrankly, right now, I'm too disgusted to write anything else.
By Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON | Sun Mar 3, 2013 10:48pm EST
(Reuters) - President Barack Obama raised anew the issue of cutting entitlements such as Medicare and Social Security as a way out of damaging budget cuts, a White House official said on Sunday, as both sides in Washington tried to limit a fiscal crisis that may soon hit millions of Americans.
Signaling he might be ready to explore a compromise to end automatic spending cuts that began late Friday, Obama mentioned reforming these entitlement programs in calls with lawmakers from both parties on Saturday afternoon.
"He's reaching out to Democrats who understand we have to make serious progress on long-term entitlement reform and Republicans who realize that if we had that type of entitlement reform, they'd be willing to have tax reform that raises revenues to lower the deficit," White House senior economic official Gene Sperling said on Sunday on the CNN program "State of the Union."...
...Neither Sperling nor White House spokesmen would provide further details on Obama's conversations on Saturday with members of Congress, and they did not identify the lawmakers to whom the president spoke...
I'm republishing a brief piece, below, that I posted here on Friday, since it provides significant background for the
sellout travesty that's now going down in D.C.
What Sperling Wrote# # #
Friday, March 1st, 2013
I'm growing quite tired of all the sequestration kabuki.
The bottom line is the Great Betrayal is in full implementation mode.
Democrats--I'm talking REAL DEMOCRATS--need to take a good look at what Gene Sperling actually wrote in his email to Bob Woodward.
This is from just the past few days! Don't tell me what Obama's "saying." F*ck the status quo, centrist Democratic focus upon the pie fight over this bullshit!
Look at what his KEY people are DOING and communicating to the press (not what the President "says" in public), when they think they're communicating in private with them. (Reference: Paraphrasing Meteor Blades, etc., etc. "It's not what you say. It's what you do.")Sperling: Obama Wanted Sequester to Force Democrats to Accept Entitlement Cuts(It's time for Democrats everywhere to cut the crap, IMHO! Ignore the pie fights and the theater. Let's focus upon what's REALLY happening.)
By: Jon Walker
Thursday February 28, 2013 8:41 am
“The idea that the sequester was to force both sides to go back to try at a big or grand bargain with a mix of entitlements and revenues (even if there were serious disagreements on composition) was part of the DNA of the thing from the start.”
The way Obama has handled basically every manufactured crisis from the debt ceiling, to the Bush tax cuts expiration, to the sequester has been about trying to force both Democrats and Republicans to embrace his version of a “grand bargain.” While it is clear this has been the driving force behind Obama’s decisions, if you pay close attention to his actions is is rare than an administration official will directly admit this. This is actually what I think it most interesting about the recently leaked email exchange between Bob Woodward and Gene Sperling up on Politico. Sperling wrote:But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim. The idea that the sequester was to force both sides to go back to try at a big or grand bargain with a mix of entitlements and revenues (even if there were serious disagreements on composition) was part of the DNA of the thing from the start. It was an accepted part of the understanding — from the start. Really. It was assumed by the Rs on the Supercommittee that came right after: it was assumed in the November-December 2012 negotiations. There may have been big disagreements over rates and ratios — but that it was supposed to be replaced by entitlements and revenues of some form is not controversial. (Indeed, the discretionary savings amount from the Boehner-Obama negotiations were locked in in BCA: the sequester was just designed to force all back to table on entitlements and revenues.)
ACTION UPDATE #1 3/4/13 2:45AM:
(h/t to Kossacks joe shikspack and joanneleon, and about 100 other voices representing the remnants of the rapidly dwindling levels of sanity that still remain in the blogosphere)
REP. CONYERS INTRODUCES BILL TO REPEAL SEQUESTERAnd, if your Democratic representative on Capitol Hill is one of the 93 members of our Party to NOT sign Keith Ellison’s (et al) letter to President Obama indicating they will not be a party to the
The bill is H.R. 900, (introduced February 28th) and it’s a Big Deal. Now the House has something to vote on, and the House Progressive Caucus has something to support. The bill — just cancel the sequester.
Here's the full bill text:“Section 251A of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 is repealed.”If the president hates the sequester as much as he claims to, this will be easy for him to support, won’t it?
The bill needs co-sponsors and a Senate version of the bill.
# # #
ACTION UPDATE #2 3/4/13 11:00 AM:
A must-read from Kossack poopdogcomedy, in the comments and in their post from Friday and elsewhere…
SUPPORT THE PROTECTING & PRESERVING SOCIAL SECURITY ACT OF 2013!
Click on the link below to read this post, from Friday, for the full (and extremely well done) story!
(Details on the bill and petition/links are in the post.)
Here’s “pdc,” with their diary “update”…
UPDATE: Just received word from Begich's legislative assistant, Diane Disanto. She has told me that Begich has met with both Senators Bernie Sanders (I. VT) and Tom Harkin (D. IA) and it sounds like they are on board and working things out on this bill. They told me they need more co-sponsors, both Democrats and Republicans. Begich has also met with Senator Roy Blunt's (R. MO) office to discuss this bill. I don't know which Republicans will be on board with this bill but I think Senators Mark Kirk (R. IL), Lisa Murkowski (R. AK) and Susan Collins (R. ME) would be our best bets. More updates to come!
Good Friday to you all. So of course I am disappointed and concerned about the sequester cuts that are going to take place. It's awful that we go to this point. But I woke this morning reading Laura Clawson's diary about the fate of Social Security. You should give it a read:
Of course the Chained CPI is still being discussed as part of a gran bargain to help balance the budget but of course all of us here know that cuts to Social Security won't help decrease the deficit because as Senator Mark Begich (D. AK) stated on the Senate floor, Social Security does not contribute to the deficit…