Thursday, July 07, 2011

Obama Offers Social Security & Medicare Cuts

President Barack Obama continues to handle negotiations with the terribly. Obama offered Social Security and Medicare cuts. The Republicans have refused to even consider ending tax breaks for corporate jets to help pay off the federal debt. Obama once again forgot which caucus backs him. Obama failed to tell the Democratic caucus that he was putting Medicare and Social Security on the table.

“We would have preferred to hear it from the president instead of from the press,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (Md.), a senior member of the Senate Democratic conference. “We first have to go after tax earmarks.”

Mikulski and Sen. Kent Conrad that they are open to Social Security cuts. Social Security is running on a surplus. Republicans have long hated Social Security and wish to turn it into Chile dictator Augusto Pinochet's pension plan. Social Security isn't the cause of the federal debt.

Obama gave the the pay freeze to Republicans without getting nothing back. Obama dropped the public option to garner Republican votes. The result was House Republicans attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Obama's poor negotiating skills have created friction with the Democratic caucuses and the progressive base. Howie Klein urges progressives not to vote for President Obama in 2012.

Like many people I know, I held my nose in 2008 and voted for Barack Obama, a junior senator with a voting record I kept warning people meant we were electing an untrustworthy conservative. No, not a reactionary and not as untrustworthy or even as conservative as John McCain, but, to be charitable, nothing to write home about. Other than the symbolism of electing an African-American and an intellectual. But, like almost everyone I knew, I was aware we would be getting-- at best-- another spineless, status quo drone like Bill Clinton. As you may have been able to discern from my comments Monday on Frank Rich's New York piece, I have no intention of holding my nose and voting for Obama again. If he can't win in California without my vote, he has no shot whatsoever.

Last year it was strongly suggested Blue America endorse Obama and raise money for him. I laughed-- and then made some changes to the PAC in response. If there was no chance of Blue America asking our contributors for money for Obama in 2008, there's even less of a chance that we'd consider anything like that for 2012 now that he's proven all of our worst fears to be completely founded. In 2007 I explained my reluctance over and over again, like here, discussing environmental reform. Obama, I insisted at the time, was certainly no better than Hillary Clinton.

I understand Klein's frustrating but remember the Bush years too well. I want a progressive president. I also don't want four more years of Bush policies.

I wonder if Obama will have his Nixon moment and admit to himself if he "let the American people down." More likely: Obama will take an advisory position at Goldman Sachs and make millions.

The Republicans lost badly during the three government shutdowns. Making the country default because Republican want to defend corporate tax loopholes is not a defensible position. The Republican "revenue neutral" position would have no impact on the deficit. Eric Cantor made that omission to the Washington Post.

“If the president wants to talk loopholes, we’ll be glad to talk loopholes,” Cantor said at his weekly roundtable with reporters. “We’ve said all along that preferences in the code aren’t something that helps economic growth overall. But listen, we’re not for any proposal that increases taxes, and any type of discussion should be coupled with offsetting tax cuts somewhere else.”

The President is making concessions with Republican that have no interest in reducing debt, in hopes of reducing the debt. Surprisingly, Brit Hume outlined how Republicans would cave to Obama.

Hume says that Republicans would cave on the debt ceiling vote if their special interests are affected. Obama won't wield the power Hume says Republicans fear. The Nation's Jamelle Bouie is spot on about Obama wanting to cut entitlements and then say Republicans gave him no choice. Obama is a more charismatic version of Steny Hoyer.

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