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Obama May Let GOP Take Blame For SS Cuts

From an approving Washington Post:

In debt talks, Obama offers Social Security cuts

By Lori Montgomery, Published: July 6, 2011

President Obama is pressing congressional leaders to consider a far-reaching debt-reduction plan that would force Democrats to accept major changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for Republican support for fresh tax revenue.

Isn’t that generous of Mr. Obama? He will let the Republicans take the blame for cuts to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for raising taxes. It’s a ‘win-win’ for them.

At a meeting with top House and Senate leaders set for Thursday morning, Obama plans to argue that a rare consensus has emerged about the size and scope of the nation’s budget problems and that policymakers should seize the moment to take dramatic action.

Or, to put it another way, Mr. Obama is pulling out all the stops to try to stampede the Republicans into making a deal before they go home for the August recess and hear from their constituents. The people who feel that they are ‘taxed enough already.’

As part of his pitch, Obama is proposing significant reductions in Medicare spending and for the first time is offering to tackle the rising cost of Social Security, according to people in both parties with knowledge of the proposal. The move marks a major shift for the White House and could present a direct challenge to Democratic lawmakers who have vowed to protect health and retirement benefits from the assault on government spending

There is nothing new about Democrats promising spending cuts that never manage to materialize in exchange for taxes that always go into effect right away.

“Obviously, there will be some Democrats who don’t believe we need to do entitlement reform. But there seems to be some hunger to do something of some significance,” said a Democratic official familiar with the administration’s thinking. “These moments come along at most once a decade. And it would be a real mistake if we let it pass us by.”

We are talking about the economic fate of the nation. Why the high pressure sales talk? (We know why.)

Rather than roughly $2 trillion in savings, the White House is now seeking a plan that would slash more than $4 trillion from annual budget deficits over the next decade, stabilize borrowing, and defuse the biggest budgetary time bombs that are set to explode as the cost of health care rises and the nation’s population ages.

Why don’t they promise $10 trillion dollars in savings? Talk is cheap. Especially when you are talking about cuts ten years from now, when the members of Congress won’t feel any obligations made by a long gone administration.

That would represent a major legislative achievement, but it would also put Obama and GOP leaders at odds with major factions of their own parties. While Democrats would be asked to cut social-safety-net programs, Republicans would be asked to raise taxes, perhaps by letting tax breaks for the nation’s wealthiest households expire on schedule at the end of next year.

When he grudgingly signed the extension of the Bush tax cuts back in December, Mr. Obama said he would never give up trying to do away with them. And, for once, he has been true to his word. He has not let one "crisis" go by without trying to use it as an excuse to jack up the taxes on those rich people making $200,000 a year.

If only he would be so determined about any of his other promises.

The administration argues that lawmakers would also get an important victory to sell to voters in 2012. “The fiscal good has to outweigh the pain,” said a Democratic official familiar with the discussions

This same administration also told lawmakers that voting for Obama-care would be a great help to their re-election. Right before one of the biggest electoral blow-outs in history.

If taxes are raised despite the midterm elections, 2012 will make 2010 look like a tea party.

Privately, some congressional Democrats were alarmed by the president’s proposal, which could include adjusting the measure of inflation used to determine Social Security payouts. But others described it as primarily a bargaining strategy intended to demonstrate Obama’s willingness to compromise and highlight the Republican refusal to raise taxes

In other words, Democrats are telling their constituents not to worry — that it is all grandstanding.

Meanwhile, another senior Republican on Wednesday signaled a new openness to raising taxes— at least for selected special interests. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) told reporters that he is now willing to consider Democratic demands to end tax breaks for corporations, hedge-fund managers and owners of corporate jets, so long as the final deal does not raise tax rates or overall federal tax collections.

“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.” …

Well, if we are going to do away with loopholes and subsidies, then let’s do away with them for the unions and green tech companies, and all those corporations who get benefits because of their contributions to the Democrat Party.

But let’s not pretend they are not tax increases. Since the corporations and oil companies will simply pass on these news costs to the consumer, just like they always do.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, July 7th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Obama May Let GOP Take Blame For SS Cuts”

  1. P. Aaron says:

    Gone is competent management. Crisis-mongering is the admin’s only tool.

    • BigOil says:

      I understand your point, but competent management has never existed in the federal government, and likely never will. Our Founding Fathers understood this and Constitutionally limited their power in order to minimize the damage they could inflict upon the states. With the Constitution at the bottom of a shredder, there is essentially no check on the power of the Executive Branch.

      Even Ronald Reagan – the most principled conservative elected to the White House in our lifetime – had to compromise with the liberals and allow spending increases in order to cut taxes.

  2. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    I’m going to go on record as saying that tax increases will start on day one and the cuts to SS and Medicare with never come to fruition. If anything, the increase in tax revenue, which will last only as long as it takes for people to find new ways around the increases or taxed into lower income brackets, will be an excuse to increase spending on social programs. The Republicans will certainly get hosed just like they did on the last round of spending cuts.

  3. Chinnubie says:

    When are these people going to learn anything?? These Republican legislators need to hang tough because the calvary is on the way in 2012. Just like 1995 they need to tell the current administration to stuff-it because they’ll have to cave to get anything done. I really wish, beyond wish, people would get it through their thick skulls that anytime the government does anything we the people suffer for it. The less they do the better off we are unless of course they want to bring tax rates down but that NEVER seems to be the hard work they’re trying to accomplish. God-Forebid the government does something to actually benefit the American people by allowing them to keep more of what is rightfully thiers.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    “Obama May Let GOP Take Blame For SS Cuts”

    Mighty white of Barry to hang this on the GOP.

  5. tranquil.night says:

    The Ruling Class Republican leadership is doing exactly what they did during the last budget negotiations: letting us rally around a set of demands, then letting the regime demagogue and fearmonger until there’s paralysis. Then the leadership caves to the regime.

    Can we focus on new party leadership yet? They are never going to get ahead of the regime’s premises. No desire to, they probably agree with many.

  6. Georgfelis says:

    This fits the standard Obama script: Take Credit, Pass Blame, Blow Smoke, Play Golf.

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