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View Diary: If you think sequester will be bad, wait until they gut Social Security (195 comments)

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  •  Read what Sperling f*cking wrote... (24+ / 0-)

    ...just a few days ago! DSon't tell me what Obama's "saying." Look at what his people are DOING! (Paraphrasing Meteor Blades!)

    Sperling: Obama Wanted Sequester to Force Democrats to Accept Entitlement Cuts
    By: Jon Walker
    FireDogLake
    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.)

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 09:11:19 AM PST

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    •  Obama is willing to negotiate with the Republicans (0+ / 0-)

      that's what the parts you bolded say.  Obama has been saying that entitlements should be part of the conversation for months, so nothing new there.

      Now why is Obama willing to negotiate on entitlements at all?  He should just tell the Republicans to go stuff themselves, clearly.  

      Unless he's concerned that the Republicans will use the power of the purse to intentionally undermine the economy.  If the economy stalls and tax revenues drop the danger to Social Security and the whole safety net will make chained CPI look like peanuts.

      So Obama wants the Republicans to give him something that will guarantee that the economy continues to recover and grow.  So he offers the Republicans something that they want.

      That's how negotiations work.  Both sides give things up what the other side wants.  And lately, these negotiations have usually ended with the Republicans giving up a lot and Obama giving up very little.  Which is why Boehner and Mcconell spent so much time the last couple days saying they will not compromise.

      •  Who told you that the economy is growing? (14+ / 0-)

        Certainly not the year after year increases in the numbers and percentages of people on food stamps, losing homes, losing wages, burning up their savings, out of work for so long they are no longer counted in the unemployment statistics, etc.

        Given the reality which all the Austerity nations have experienced -- that cutting back HURTS the economies further -- why would anyone expect different in our case?


        We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

        by Jim P on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 10:09:41 AM PST

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        •  google "GDP" (0+ / 0-)

          and yes, I am very aware that economic growth has not been shared equally and that many people are still suffering the effects of the Great Recession (and the Bush policies that preceded it).

          But the economy is growing.

          I am also aware that austerity right now is a really terrible idea.  But it strikes me that many (if not all) of Obama's proposals are of the "austerity later" variety.  Almost like he's trying to balance the short-term goal of economic growth with the long-term goal of getting the debt under control.

          •  But the GDP figures are as cooked (4+ / 0-)

            as the unemployment figures. The official "economist" world of abstract notions has long been divorced from the real economy. Hell, the big banks all reported profits last year, every penny of which came from government and Fed aid. Otherwise they would have reported losses.

            Whatever graphic you have with an up-pointed arrow, the reality of people's lives -- in tens of millions of lives -- has been a steady deterioration. Surely you've noticed.

            We're living in a Great Depression.

            The official reality of our politicians is not reality as lived by humans and we shouldn't enable them by adopting their premises.

            Both parties are working for the 1%. The only difference is whether it's the faction of the 1% who are plainly heartless or the faction which regrets having to act in a heartless manner.


            We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

            by Jim P on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:28:39 AM PST

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            •  well that's one way to look at it (0+ / 0-)

              no good news, ever!  If you hear good news, it's a lie.  If you hear bad news, the truth is worse.  The only way you can know something is true is if the news is so bad your ears start to bleed as soon as you hear it.

              •  Horse hockey! (4+ / 0-)

                Using real people's lives, are things improving for them or getting worse? The counting stats are what they are. If feeling good or not feeling bad is your concern... well that's a different thing that what is actually happening, isn't it?

                Food stamps, unemployed, homeless, foreclosed, wage decrease, cashing in 401K and retirement accounts, increase in children living in poverty, decrease in numbers of employed, inflation of life necessities (which affects only 95% of the people) at 9% and growing, continual outflow of good paying jobs off shore, raising of federal and state and local taxes....

                All these are increasing. So there's figures showing rich people and companies are getting richer, but they also don't put the money into the US, and that's like, what? cheery news?

                And about GDP as an indicator here's a thought experiment: say 300,000,000 Americans have to go into the hospital today for an overnight stay. Given a one-day cost of hospitalization at $10,000, the GDP will officially rise by $3,000,000,000,000 ($3 trillion). In fact in the real world, 19% of GDP comes from medical/insurance costs. See why it doesn't really tell you anything about the actual production of an economy?

                Sorry I'm not happy we're in a Great Depression and the politicians are doing what they can to make it worse for people.


                We live in a nation where doctors destroy health; lawyers, justice; universities, knowledge; governments, freedom; the press, information; religion, morals; and our banks destroy the economy. -- Chris Hedges

                by Jim P on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 11:49:31 AM PST

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      •  No he just wants to STEAL from Social Security (5+ / 0-)

        so he can pay off defense contractors.   This is the ultimate payoff to fat cats and lobbyists.  And it won't be the last time.

        All those Republicans who told you Social Security wont' be there when you need it?  

        Well the DEMOCRATIC PARTY is going to make sure the Republicans were right all along.

    •  Stealing from Social Security for Defense (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Panama Pete

      Let no believe that there is anything remotely connected with reform in this proposal.  This is just robbing seniors to pay for the Iraq War and wars to come.  Nothing to do with reform.  This is just screw you, we took your payroll tax, spent it, and the joke is on you suckers, most particularly you suckers who wasted the last 40 years voting for the party that is screwing you now.

    •  Spot on, Jon. N/T (0+ / 0-)

      Mollie

      "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:24:35 PM PST

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