The Joy-Ann Reid Award
The Joy-Ann Reid award goes to a blogger, pundit or politician who knowingly lies. Despite knowing the facts. It is only fitting that Reid should win the very first Joy-Ann Reid award.
Reid wrote a post attempting to debunk that President Barack Obama has placed entitlements on the table, as part of the debt reduction negotiations. I told Reid on Twitter that Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden have publicly said that entitlements are on the table. I also cited these instances.
Obama during the Twitter townhall meeting.
What we need to do is to have a balanced approach where everything is on the table. We need to reduce corporate loopholes. We need to reduce discretionary spending on programs that aren’t working. We need to reduce defense spending. Everything has -- we need to look at entitlements, and we have to say, how do we protect and preserve Medicare and Social Security for not just this generation but also future generations. And that’s going to require some modifications, even as we maintain its basic structure.
Vice-President Joe Biden said entitlements were being discussed during his negotiations with members of Congress.
He added that Republicans want “to talk about long-term Medicare costs — well, Democrats go ‘wait a minute’ … it’s all on the table. It’s all open to discussion.”
Reid knows this but still contends that the Obama administration never offered entitlements. Never mind that Obama's and Biden's positions have always been for entitlement cuts.
When that “unnamed source”-laden Washington Post story came out earlier this week, claiming the White House was putting Social Security and Medicare cuts on the table, I was extremely dubious.
The Washington Post and Politico versions of the story quoted no one, cited no “unnamed administration officials” — only “sources with knowledge of the White House’s thinking” — always a sketchy concept. And the reports claimed that the White House was dangling entitlement cuts in front of cut-happy Republicans in exchange for ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich. But that made no sense, because everyone knows Republicans will never, ever go for it. Besides, Democrats don’t need to deal that hand, since those cuts will expire at the end of 2012, after the election is over, when regardless of the outcome that November, Democrats can let all of the Bush tax cuts die (including the ones Democrats want to keep, like the child tax credits, but there you go…) by simply refusing to bring them up for a vote in the Senate.
New tax rates would have to be set. Republicans will drag both chambers of Congress to a standstill. Republicans would be willing to shut down government again. (There was a zero percent estate tax in 2010 because Congress could not agree on a rate.) Obama has been selling the extension as stimulus. Obama would rather extend the Bush tax cuts than have a long drawn out fight with Republicans. The 2010 lame duck session was proof of that.
Republicans originally asked for $2 trillion in deficit cuts. Obama upped the ante to $4 trillion. Obama is triangulating and trying to out cut the Republicans. House Speaker John Boehner offered to scale the deal back to $2 trillion. How does Reid propose that Obama will get to $4 trillion without touching entitlements?
I don't believe Reid is stupid. She is lying. Reid and many other black Americans feel a strong connection to Obama. There certainly has been many racist attacks against Obama. That kind of bigotry should be condemned. That doesn't mean progressive bloggers should say Obama never supported cutting entitlements. Obama has been on-the-record about entitlements being a part of deficit reduction.
We live in a democracy. We don't have to mindlessly follow our elected leaders. Obama is better than the weak field of Republicans running against him. I am well-aware of the damage a President Michele Bachmann or President Ron Paul could cause. That doesn't mean we back Obama on Medicare cuts that would hurt seniors and affect job growth in the health care industry.