Triangulation Man: Entitlement Reform
Teagan Goddard reports President Barack Obama will announce plans of entitlement reform of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The policy of the health care mandate, the lame duck session tax cut extentions and recent cuts of Pell Grants and heating for the poor sucked. I have little confidence that the so-called reforms Obama will announce this week will be progressive. From a political standpoint, it is stupid. The entitlement programs are extremely popular with voters in both political parties. Is Obama running president in 2012 or most popular guy in the Beltway.
The Social Security wage base is currently $106,800. I seriously doubt Obama will raise the cap out of fear he will be labeled a tax and spend Democrat. The fact that Obama aleady is accused of that by Republicans is secondary. Obama's political agenda is to move to the right of his party. Seniors do not want Socail Security changed and they will come out to vote.
Medicare and Medicaid are in need of reform. The policy details will matter. I wonder why Obama thinks talking about government health care is a political winner for him. Again, seniors do not want drastic change to Medicare and Medicaid.
Obama is placing himself in the position of getting hammered by progressives and the tea party. What makes matters worse is Obama can not give a policy speech to save his life. (Quick: name your favorite Obama speech on health care and Afghanistan.) I would have more faith if this White House did policy well.
I wonder if the White House feels to has to counter Paul Ryan's budget proposal. The CBO scored that Rayan's budget would increase the deficit. Ryan is also getting hit hard for turning Medicare into a voucher program. The Ryan budget will not become law. Obama doesn't need to counter it.