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President Barack Obama and House Republican Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) gesture while Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) look on during a meeting of bipartisan leaders of the House and Senate.
No need to bail out Republicans.
There's no deal yet, but it's clear that benefit cuts to Social Security beneficiaries was part of the White House's latest offer to Republicans.

A few points, however:

The White House claims that chained CPI is something the GOP is pushing. So then why is it part of a White House offer that John Boehner rejected? If this is a final offer, with specific stimulus and an extension of unemployment benefits and all manner of other details, then it might be palatable. And I mean might. But at this stage? It's a capitulation, and the way Boehner has orchestrated it, he makes Obama propose the cut, and the then he gets to reject it!

So every time Republicans talk about Democrats wanting to cut Social Security, this time they won't be lying.

What's bizarre about all this craziness is that Obama has all the cards. He won the election, and did so handily. ABC polling shows that only 26 approve of the way Republicans are handling the fiscal cliff negotiations, while 65 percent disapprove. Meanwhile, respondents approve of Obama's handling 45-43.

Obama has the GOP on the ropes, on the losing side of public opinion from taxes, to Social Security, to Medicare, to pretty much everything being discussed.

And rather than go in for the kill, get the deal that his election mandate and popular opinion demands, while dealing the GOP a lethal body blow, he's seemingly going out of his way to bail them out of their self-imposed predicament. Unfathomable!

Of course, there's no deal yet. This may all be a master head fake. But Obama's negotiating history doesn't inspire confidence. Last time around, he might've felt constrained by the 2010 election losses. This time, he seemed to have a bit of a swagger about him. But no more, these concessions don't speak to a self-confident president, rather than one who is still more obsessed with making a deal, whatever the costs, than with what is in that deal.

The White House has said it—Social Security isn't a factor in the deficit. So why make it part of any deal on the deficit?

Tell President Obama to take Social Security cuts off the table, in current and in future negotiations.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm of a mind that this is a trap.... (36+ / 0-)

    Obama gave in a little...and it STILL wasn't good enough for Boehner and his Teapublicans.

    I may be naive...but I think Obama is playing Boehner.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey

    by SaraBeth on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:32:34 PM PST

  •  Because ... (40+ / 0-)
    Why is Obama trying to bail out the GOP?
    they are his soul mates on economic issues.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:32:50 PM PST

  •  Well, I think this is the issue (16+ / 0-)
    If this is a final offer, with specific stimulus and an extension of unemployment benefits and all manner of other details, then it might be palatable

    Dont forget a debt ceiling hike. I think Obama has enough leverage to get a win on tax rates. But beyond that, he is still dealing with a GOP House for the next two years.

    Not that criticism isnt fair, but I dont know how he gets though 4 major items through a GOP House without offering anything.

    And fwiw, Pelosi seems to support the deal.

  •  good question (11+ / 0-)

    hmmmmm.... because he can?

    Get out there and get peace, think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you'll get it as soon as you like.” ~ John Lennon

    by Lady Libertine on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:33:58 PM PST

  •  He really doesn't want to go 'over the cliff'. (14+ / 0-)

    Despite the fact that the CBO has said that doing so would actually be better for the country in as little as 5 years than not doing so.

    Everybody wants to focus on the 'now', and not the long term - as if 5 years is actually even that 'long term'...

    •  If his capitulation is because he's really not (26+ / 0-)

      willing to go over the cliff. then the repubs have called his bluff again and we're back to Obama I.  This would demonstrate clearly that Obama is a paper tiger, which is worse than just being weak. And people hate weak.

      If the consensus becomes that Obama chickened out, then look for 2014 elections to replicate the 2010 elections.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:39:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (4+ / 0-)

        and I am very quickly becoming discontended with the Democratic Party as a whole.

        95% of all life forms that once existed on earth are now extinct. It is only a matter of time until the Republicans follow suit.

        by PRRedlin on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:50:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am so close to leaving that it is scaring me. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Illinibeatle

          I have been a Democratic voter for nearly 40 years. But why would I support a party that kicks me when I am down?

          •  This past election (0+ / 0-)

            I voted D straight ticket, except for President.

            For that vote I cast for Johnson/Libertarian.

            Yeah they are just as cooky as the R's when it comes to fiscal matters, but when it comes to social, they are FAR to the left of Obama.

            Johnson was for same sex marriage long before Obama (one could say he only supported it to stop the vote bleed).  Johnson is for full legalization of Marijuana.  And Johnson, while being pro life himself, was very much for personal liberty and freedom of choice under the law.  He was for a pro-immigration policy, and amnesty under the law.  He is both for less regulation of private industry, but not when it comes to harming the environment, and felt that if the company damaged the environment, THEY should be the ones to pay 100% of the costs, not the tax payers.

            Hell, even on some fiscal matters, he sort of made sense.  He was for elimination of income tax, but supported a flat tax.  Many on the left hate this idea as it disproportionately targets the poor, however, his flat tax included stock trading and investments.  It was enough that it would actually target the rich more than the poor, and give you a choice of how much taxes you wanted to pay (by buying stuff or not), etc.

            95% of all life forms that once existed on earth are now extinct. It is only a matter of time until the Republicans follow suit.

            by PRRedlin on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:49:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The market is up (10+ / 0-)

        Second day in a row.  I think the fix is in and Obama delivered it.

        "It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." ~ George Carlin

        by vigilant meerkat on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:52:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  He's got that wonderful smile, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        accumbens, Wolf10, Illinibeatle, xynz

        a beautiful family with rare grace and style. We all want him to be so much more when at his best he's only mediocre.  And as Howard Zinn said, in these times mediocre is dangerous.

        Don't ask me nothin' about nothin'. I just might tell ya the truth -- B. Dylan

        by ponderer on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:56:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i sent that sentiment about mediocrity to the WH (6+ / 0-)

          in an email...i got a reply back within hours!
          kinda formulaic response, but it pricked the ears of some staffer when i mentioned listening to the folks on the campaign trail, being their voice, and about the 2014 house being lost--then i went for the zinger of a mediocre legacy.
          we'll see, but i did a reply quickly!

          "A dollah makes me hollah"-- Stephen Colbert, pretending to be S. Palin

          by stagemom on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:05:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  2014 can't be a replication of 2010 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        evangeline135

        The Republicans have basically gerrymandered the House in such a way that they have a severe structural advantage.  However, their ability to make more gains is severely limited.  I doubt they pick up more than a few seats in the House in 2014 at best.  

        However, they could take the Senate.  And I fully agree with you that Obama's actions are making that look more likely again.  The botched handling of HCR is basically responsible for the losses in 2010.  

  •  Why are you so confused? (25+ / 0-)

    It's not like it was hard to see this coming.

    “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

    by Sagebrush Bob on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:34:26 PM PST

  •  He's the Community-Organizer-in-Chief. (18+ / 0-)

    Put him in a room with ten people and a conference table full of water pitchers and you're going to see him compromise.

    I hate saying that, but it's the truth. I still think he's taking us over the curb, but in the mean time, he's seriously shitting on our brand.

  •  Too much of a price to avoid a fight. (39+ / 0-)

    Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit. So really, just leave Social Security out of the discussion.

    Even in the best case scenario this makes no political sense.

    Finally, at some point one has to cut off negotiations and just hold firm.

  •  Continuing trend of wealth redistribution (20+ / 0-)
    The income inequality gap has vastly expanded over the past 20 years thanks largely in part to federal policies, which have decreased large chunks of revenue through unprecedented tax cuts for the wealthy and redistributed what's left of that revenue away from public services and federally managed infrastructure programs to private contracts with multibillion dollar corporations—particularly defense contractors, weapons manufacturers, and security technology firms.
    Corporate-Occupied Government: A 'Redistribution Machine' for the Wealthy

    'Redistributing Up': New Reuters series explores expanding US inequality

    It wasn't until OWS that income inequality was on the table.

    But was it ever really on the table of the politicians?

  •  Fuck the Repubs (5+ / 0-)

    1. Set the limit at $100K and not $250K or $1M
    2. Eliminate the mortgage deduction over 10 years.

  •  Those of us who have been paying attention (27+ / 0-)

    could have predicted this betrayal in 2006.  Anybody who has read Digby or Americablog the past several years knew this was comng as Obama wants a "Grand Bargain" as his legacy.

    Time to call your Senators, folks.

    "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

    by Illinibeatle on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:36:27 PM PST

    •  I saw it coming (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      teacherjon, Mr Green Jeans

      Lost my focus in early November; regained it too late.  Four more years, and worse to come after that.  What's the point?  We no longer have a democracy.  Still, we continue clinging to the empty shell of that dead thing, hoping for all we are worth.  

      "It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." ~ George Carlin

      by vigilant meerkat on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:58:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I figured it out when I read (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nancy on Lake Michigan

      the Audacity of Hope.  

      Unfortunately that was after he was elected.

    •  I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

      IMHO, most of us who have been paying attention don't see this as a "betrayal" at all, but rather what one would expect from the President.

      This may seem like a minor point, but the whole idea of a big betrayal has taken on a brobdingnagian life of it's own, and it's all based on the (false) premise that President Obama is some kind of liberal traitor. He was never a liberal, never gave the left any real reason to believe he'd champion them, and thus there is no "betrayal".

      We got what we voted for: a fairly standard, business-friendly centrist Democrat who, like a lot of today's centrists, would have fit neatly into the GOP 30 years ago. This is not to knock them, but to point to the place on the political map where they reside.

      I just have a hard time taking seriously the idea that the President - a pro-business centrist - betrayed anyone by acting like a pro-business centrist.

      The problem with going with your gut as opposed to your head is that the former is so often full of shit. - Randy Chestnut

      by lotusmaglite on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:44:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  OTOH---what is he expected to give the GOP? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry056, chrississippi, stagemom

    There is no way Obama can simply ask for revenue/tax hikes; and not offer SOME concessions----it doesn't work. Won't work.

    Do we go over the cliff, and see what happens??

    •  He's taking us over the curb, IMHO ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smiley7, vigilant meerkat

      With pissing off of the base and confusing our brand as the cost.

      You're right, though. He had to be negotiating with Boehner or the Village would have had him for lunch. It was bound to be ugly if it was to be believable. Now, of course, this shit ends up on the table next month in real negotiations.

    •  Yes. Politically speaking, that is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, smiley7, quixotic

      the smartest move. It is probably also the best economic move as well.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:40:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. A thousand times, yes. And, um, yes. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, smiley7, quixotic

      To avoid starting dumb wars, punish the dumb people who vote for them.

      by joesig on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:41:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh please (11+ / 0-)

      He gets the tax hikes automatically.  Supposedly he's asking for middle-class tax cuts.  That's what he said.  He doesn't have to give up anything.

    •  20 percent cuts in the MIC? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti

      I know I know, too much to hope for even 1%.

      American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

      by glitterscale on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:46:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. (10+ / 0-)

      Yes, that's exactly what we do.   We go over the cliff.   And then Obama uses the power of tghe presidence to put forward a bill which:

      (a)  lowers the tax rate on 98% of Americans;
      (b) takes the debt ceiling off the table.

      And then forces the Republicans to either VOTE YES or VOTE NO.   If they VOTE NO, then Obama comes back and says:

      (a)   As President, I now get to decide which spending gets paid other than that mandated by the Constitution;

      (b)  I'm going to pay the salaries of Judges (Article III) and the debt (14th Amendment) first;

      (c)   I'm going then to pay the salaries of government workers, Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare;

      (d)  I'm then going to pay for the salaries of our soldiers and enough cash to pay for their supply and upkeep;

      (e)  But I'm going to cut all highway funds district by district on the districts which voted against raising the debt ceiling

      (f)  and I'm going to cut all military spending for equipment such as new jets, etc;

      (g)  and I'm going to cut all spending for agricultuaral subsidies, etc, etc. on the district that voted against me.

      And then he re-issues the same bill as before -- but now varipous industry groups start freaking out, and the same people who voted "No" before now have skin in the game, and you keep repeating this process until the battle is won.

      Obama has this leverage.   He just won't use it.  

    •  The President does (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      condorcet, zizi, Larsstephens, Rachel2012

      not want to go off the cliff. The resulting recession will kill any chance for a real recovery before 2014,which will lead the Dems to slaughter,which will probably make 2016 out of the question for any Dem running for President.

      It seems like a lot of folks on here do not care about going off the cliff,and the resulting recession. That recession is what the GOP wants,as the wealthy always pick up more wealth in recessions,and it will kill the Dems at the ballot box for the next few cycles.

      But hey, who cares about the poor and middle class when we can claim some GOP scalps?

      •  Because they would be the first (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, maryabein

        scalps we'd have seen Obama take, and because only by doing so can we convince non-Presidential voters to come out in 2014, when we will desperately need them to keep the Senate. Besides, what makes you think the previous tax levels were worse for the poor and middle class? The extra monies the government gets in taxes help them out at least somewhat at the other end. Or do you think the Bush tax cuts were a good thing?

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:51:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  bush tax cuts are good for the middle class. (0+ / 0-)

          extension of the bottom 98% of the bush tax cuts gives more money to consumers, which is a stimulus.  higher taxes on the poor and middle class are a regressive.

          expiration of the bush tax cuts is not at all stimulative, not only b/c consumers will have less money to spend, but also b/c house will not pass any more stimulus, and the money will just be used to reduce the deficit.  interest rates are basically negative, so debt and deficit are not important.

          non-presidential voters probably do not care much at all about the details of political warfare.  the best way to gain their votes is with a good economy and some legislative accomplishments (which are unlikely b/c R's will block almost everything.)

          •  That is the kind of (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            itsbenj, maryabein

            sort term thinking that got us screwed in the first place. The Bush tax cuts saved the middle class some hundreds of dollars in exchange for ruining (or at the very least, helping to ruin) the economy, which probably cost the middle class thousands of dollars. The elimination of the cuts is progressive, given the shape of the code before the cuts.
            Now, if the middle class got to keep those cuts while the rest of the Bush cuts went away, then yay for us. That is a political impossibility, most likely, so we'll have to settle for letting them all expire.

            "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

            by bryduck on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:31:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yup (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bryduck

              short-term thinking is the basic philosophy of the conserva-Dems. which is no philosophy at all, it's just holding up a sign that says "hey everyone, I'm a sap!"

              Shout golden shouts!

              by itsbenj on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:05:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  imo, crash probably would have happened regardless (0+ / 0-)

              of whether the bush tax cuts were enacted.  there still would have been the huge housing bubble, gigantic private sector debt, and a huge lack of proper regulation and oversight of wall street.

              ::

              it is very likely that the bush tax cuts will expire for the top, but eventually be extended for the bottom 98%.  R's could not sustain opposition to lower taxes for 98% of the population.  they would cave in and extend them without even demanding anything in return.

              going over the cliff is great for the tax code, but also means UE benefits, payroll tax cut and some good domestic spending will be lost.

              defense spending will also take a big cut, which is nice.

              ::

              the big question, which almost everyone here is ignoring,  is stimulus spending.  loss of UE benefits, payroll tax cut and domestic spending are anti-stimulative.

              R's are unlikely to bring stimulus spending up for a vote in the house (they have even blocked disaster aid), so there must be a trade.

              •  Where is that chart we used to see (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                condorcet

                all the time around here? The Bush tax cuts were the largest cause of the deficit we are now "forced" to address. Without those, we are having a very different conversation now.
                The crash would have happened, yes, but it would have been more of an isolated incident that we perhaps could have handled more effectively.
                By going over the curb, we are losing stimulus spending, but we are gaining revenue, which can hopefully be spent productively. Arguing otherwise is to agree that lower taxes is a good thing across the board, and that government spending doesn't help the economy, because, after all, we are simply returning to an earlier plateau of taxation.

                "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

                by bryduck on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:31:57 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  but the new revenue will not be spent. (0+ / 0-)

                  R's will not approve new spending, so the money will just mean a smaller deficit.

                  i would agree that if the new revenue would be spent on good things, it would be a great idea, but R's will not allow it.

                  and the bush tax cuts are not big enough to change the conversation on debt/deficit b/c 1) media is obsessed with debt/deficit, and 2) debt/deficit are gigantic and cannot be closed without real economic recovery.

                  ::

                  imo, probably the best path is to go over the cliff, which will gain leverage of higher taxes and defense cuts, and then trade various things for stimulus spending.

                  •  Well, we certainly agree, then, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    condorcet

                    that going over the curb is the best path, in any case.

                    "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

                    by bryduck on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 03:51:25 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Go try (0+ / 0-)

          to convince the average middle class voter that paying 2300 more dollars in taxes next year will ''help'' them out at the other end.

          This economy is still fragile. Take 2300 bucks out of the pockets of the average middle class voters who live paycheck to paycheck,and then tell them to keep spending to keep the economy rolling,and then tell them they must come out and vote for the Dems in 2014 in a crappy economy?

          Right.

          The problem with the Bush cuts is that they did not expire when the small recession in 2001 and 2002 passed. Raise taxes on the middle class when the economy is strong,not when it is still weak.

          •  I'm not the one who (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shaharazade

            extended them in the first place; I absolutely agree with you that this sucks. But letting them all expire sucks less than anything we will ever get from Republicans.

            "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

            by bryduck on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:09:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Didn't we know that before we elected him? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade

      If so, why wasn't it part of the discussion?

      "It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." ~ George Carlin

      by vigilant meerkat on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:00:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We did, and it was. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vigilant meerkat

        We hoped he had "seen the light", or at least learned from the past. Based on his campaign speeches, he had. Turns out we (perhaps) got snookered yet again.

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:06:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it goes way beyond (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maryabein

          getting  "snookered."  Stabbed in the back is more like it.  And I'm way too old to get snookered, and yet . . . .

          "It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." ~ George Carlin

          by vigilant meerkat on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:11:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  speak for yourself (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xynz

          Most people voted for him because of the evil scary Republicans, the ones he's making grand bargains with. He's not a Democrat he's a Third Way anti-democratic neoliberal ideologue and a neocon to boot. This is even lousy unbelievable political kabuki. Why do this now before the end of the year. The fiscal cliff is bogus and letting the tax cuts be once again held hostage in some bs grand bargain with teh evil we voted against makes no sense. Negotiations or compromise my ass this is just what it looks like a set up wherein we the people get screwed again and again and again. Where's my habeas Corpus Mr. President?        

    •  Let the tax cuts expire (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Farkletoo, ybruti, maryabein, xynz

      Revenue problem solved.

  •  Hear hear! (18+ / 0-)
    But Obama's negotiating history doesn't inspire confidence
    Especially with all the cards he's holding this time - many more than last time
  •  I'm sorry (31+ / 0-)

    I'm having a little trouble reading while at the same time trying pull this knife out of my back.

    Karen in Bischofswiesen,

     

    If it weren't difficult, it wouldn't be an achievement.

    by Wife of Bath on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:37:01 PM PST

  •  Not so fast (8+ / 0-)

    By floating this offer which Obama probably knew Boehner would reject, he now has a measure of cover to threaten the cliff. He can say, "I even offered cuts to Social Security and they still refused, our only remaining choice is to go over the cliff".

    It will solidify public opinion on his side should we have to go over the cliff, and at the same time provide additional leverage to get Boehner to cut a deal before it's too late.

    "crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government" -Thomas Jefferson

    by Phil In Denver on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:37:29 PM PST

  •  I was so baffled by this that I emailed (14+ / 0-)

    the White House to say wtf?  It's either another case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory or some kind of double-secret inside-poker masterstroke that we won't understand any more than we understood the last time Obama "won" in negotiations with the House.

  •  Obama is weak and misguided (12+ / 0-)

    He wants so hard to appear "bipartisan" that he is willing to a make a deal on the Republicans' terms, instead of standing up for the principles of the Democratic party ( not to mention his campaign promises).

    I feel like my campaign contributions were obtained fraudulently.  But then again, perhaps I should have known better.  Fool me once ...

  •  This is in microcosm what (26+ / 0-)

    Obama did in macrocosm in 2008-2010. The Republican Party was reeling from the 2008 elections, when the shadow of W's "governance" delivered both houses and the Presidency to the Dems with bigger majorities than we are ever likely to see again, barring another disastrous Republican Presidency.
    What did Obama and the rest of the Dem leaders do? Immediately began to negotiate with the Republicans as if they had any say in billmaking, and more importantly, as if they weren't a bunch of sociopathological bullies hellbent on destroying not just Obama and the Democratic Party, but the country as we know it. The result? An immediate lending of credibility to the R Party, who then went on to claim a crushing victory a scant 2 years after their exile in disgrace.
    Pathetic.

    "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

    by bryduck on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:38:01 PM PST

  •  upchuck (7+ / 0-)

    mandate? uuuuugh

    legacy? uuuuuugh

    upchuck some more.

  •  I trust Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, mwm341, Larsstephens

    He's been more good than bad and has shown better tactics over his earlier years. I'll wait and see and fire off a "Please don't'" round of emails. But count me in as someone who won't throw the guy that just helped sell the progressive vision to the country under a bus just yet.

    He earned my vote and he's earned my confidence. Let the congress be vocal in their wants so it's not just the Obama show. That'll be the difference maker and I think he knows it and congressional Dems know it. I'm seeing better responses. Good cop/bad cop stuff.

    •  He didn't sell a progressive vision, he re-sold it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, Jazzenterprises

      because he figured it would work to get him re-e-lec-ted.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:45:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No I paid great attention to the first time around (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr Green Jeans, Larsstephens

        he wasn't nearly as progressive as people credit him for being, largely driven by Fox News's assertions filtering down to us normal folk.

        Obama is an honest guy. He's disappointed at times because he is a conciliator with legislation, but I hardly ever get the idea that he's sitting there giving the spooky fingers wondering when we'll turn our heads so he can do nefarious things. He's a bit too cozy with banks but that's about it.

        The site just likes to act like this whenever it stiffs that anything even MIGHT not go how they want. Sometimes fairly, other times not.

    •  I agree with you. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smiley7, twigg, Larsstephens

      I can disagree on this deal without condemning the president.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:53:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  IMO The landscape has changed. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, ybruti, zizi

        Democrats aren't in a very conciliatory mood and they have more leverage and a scared GOP. Obama seems to be proposing some things just long enough for Nancy and Harry to slap it down publicly.

        A vocal and active congress is a big (f'n) deal. That means it's not just Obama left out there by himself anymore. Now he has his chums to stand up with him in a way that's been missing the last few years.

        •  Nancy accepted chained cpi and (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          smiley7, Larsstephens

          said there arre ways to make it not affect the poorer retires and SSI folks, to mitigate its effects. Durbin does not like chained cpi, at least for this deal.

          We'll see what happens.  

          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

          by TomP on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:18:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  according to The Hill (0+ / 0-)
            Reid declined to say whether he could support the proposal reportedly considered by the White House to use a new formula for calculating Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, noting that he will not be asked to vote on just that provision but instead on a broad package.

            "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

            by smiley7 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:54:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  President Obama ran for re-election promising to, (0+ / 0-)

        not just raise rates, but return to the Clinton rates on income above $250,000. If this offer goes through, then it's a broken promise.

        And among all politicians, I believe that this President will have set a speed record for broken promises.

  •  This is the Democratic way (5+ / 0-)

    It never ceases to amaze me that it is the dems that negotiate at all times from a position of weakness. Although there is talk of raising the rates on capital gains to 20% and on dividends, the Pres. should have come out on Nov 7th with a mandate and instead of proposing  top rates of 39.6% going back to Clinton days, he should have proposed Reagan rates of 50% on the top 2% and invoked their grand saviour. He  could negotiate down from there and still have all the cards on the fiscal cliff and expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

  •  Two simple reasons (6+ / 0-)

    1. We're going over the cliff, or
    2. Obama wants stimulus spending (or other concessions from the Republicans) out of this agreement.

    When we were ahead, people at DailyKos said to fight like we were behind. When we were behind, people at DailyKos said to give up.

    by NoFortunateSon on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:39:35 PM PST

  •  Color me not surprised. Obama won and I wanted (5+ / 0-)

    Him to win because he was far better than Romney. But Obama as shown himself not to be very good at making deals.

    I hoped a second term would put more spine in his backbone, but that does not seem to be case. More B.S coming from this white-house. Lets hope house Dems and Senate will reject this deal. But knowing the history of the democratic party, highly unilkely.

  •  Note to Obama (13+ / 0-)

    When playing poker...if you're holding four aces...DO NOT FOLD.

    "Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?" - General Jack D. Ripper

    by wilder5121 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:39:47 PM PST

  •  Scorpion and Frog (17+ / 0-)

    New Democrats do what New Democrats do...

    President Barack Obama firmly resists ideological labels, but at the end of a private meeting with a group of moderate Democrats on Tuesday afternoon, he offered a statement of solidarity.

    “I am a New Democrat,” he told the New Democrat Coalition, according to two sources at the White House session.

    The group is comprised of centrist Democratic members of the House, who support free trade and a muscular foreign policy but are more moderate than the conservative Blue Dog Coalition.

    We voted for him...best of the options...that doesn't mean we have to support him...

    Are we going to react or ask questions?  I vote for action

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:40:23 PM PST

  •  Why? (5+ / 0-)

    Because that is who Obama is.  

    This may all be a master head fake.
    You'd have to pick me up off the floor it is.  
  •  No deal. Wait for the new Congress (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, FogCityJohn, smiley7

    and some of the good progressives we elected like Senator Elizabeth Warren to vote on this.

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:40:47 PM PST

  •  kos, politicians are a class unto themselves. We (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, Hillbilly Dem

    tell them what we think, they ignore US. ( Not from lack of dedication to public office, because of it.) imho

  •  As the President has been saying repeatedly, (26+ / 0-)

    he thinks "folks" have sent everyone to Washington to "get something done." That's not remotely why I vote for people. I want them to get some things done, and prevent other things from getting done.
    The fact that good Democrats even have to speculate about this shit frankly burns me up.

    ...and dropping a bar bell he points to the sky, saying "The sun's not yellow-it's CHICKEN!"

    by porchdog1961 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:42:40 PM PST

  •  Funny how this has happened with every (15+ / 0-)

    single major negotiation related to domestic policy the President has participated in....

    And rather than go in for the kill, get the deal that his election mandate and popular opinion demands, while dealing the GOP a lethal body blow, he's seemingly going out of his way to bail them out of their self-imposed predicament. Unfathomable!
    at some point, you have to believe what you are seeing...

    unfathomable...meh...par for the course

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:43:10 PM PST

    •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw

      And we are at that point at this very moment.  I believe what I am seeing -- a Trojan Horse filled to the brim with the means to push through repuke policies.

      "It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." ~ George Carlin

      by vigilant meerkat on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:08:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tell President Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Tell President Obama to take Social Security cuts off the table, in current and in future negotiations.
    The time to him was before you gave him your vote so unconditionally.

    “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

    by Sagebrush Bob on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:43:12 PM PST

    •  Even if they make this deal, I still would have (6+ / 0-)

      voted for Barack Obama and contributed.  I don't like the proposed deal and think the Rs will kill it, but nothing here changes my calculus in the 2012 election.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:55:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Would have voted and contributed anyways (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell, chuckvw, maryabein, jfern

        and that's why Obama and the Democrats take you for granted.

        “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

        by Sagebrush Bob on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:59:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, it's all my fault. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          madmojo, Larsstephens

          No, it's the two party system.  As one who voted Nader in 2000 and promoted the Green Party then, I am quite aware of the relevant factors.  Nader indirectly brought us Iraq, the Bush tax cuts, and the Great Recession.  

          This is the world.  You can tosss lots of rhetoric on a blog, but the reality is a long and difficult struggle for change.  

          There are times to put pressure on politicians, and I generally support issue activism and electoral action (a Green philosophy), but your should-have-played-hard-to-get conception does not fit the world.  

          You played hard to get.  Did you get anything.  "But if everyone did. ... "  Well they won't, and if they ddi, you'd likely get Romney.

             

          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

          by TomP on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:04:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  As long as your view remains the majority view (0+ / 0-)

            we'll continue to go down this rat hole we've been traveling the past 40 years or so.

            So go ahead and continue putting time and money into supporting voting for the pawl when that same time and money could be put to better uses that may, eventually, turn things around. By voting from fear, you only assure that you receive more of what you fear.

            “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

            by Sagebrush Bob on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:10:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The Supreme Court staged a coup (5+ / 0-)

            in 2000. The fact that we are still in denial about that explains a lot about the pervasive denial from which partisan dems continue to suffer.

            Nader is a handy scapegoat with which to freeze progressive politics solidly in the "center", and to rationalize hopelessness and powerlessness, the results of which we see all around us.

            There was a coup in 2000 and Gore, to whom I contributed and for whom I voted, meekly acceded to it.



            Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

            by chuckvw on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:34:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  right...we should have told him on november 5th (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Stankus

      right before we almost voted for mitt romney....

      how's the view from candyland?

    •  did I miss something? (0+ / 0-)

      was there a way to make my vote conditional?

  •  Some are saying it's because of Sandy Hook (2+ / 0-)

    I heard someone this morning on MSNBC say that POTUS and members of Congress are worried about how the "fiscal cliff" fight looks to the American people who are reeling from Sandy Hook. No one wants the blame for failed negotiations under the current circumstances.  Plus, POTUS wants to put curbing gun violence on the front burner and to get it there he has to take the "fiscal cliff" off the burner first.

    Don't know if any of that's true, but that's what some talking head was saying.

    "Some folks rob you with a six-gun, some rob you with a fountain pen." - Woody Guthrie

    by Involuntary Exile on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:43:27 PM PST

  •  Asdf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, Larsstephens

    You want to know why he is compromising on Social Security? Easy.

    The demographic that SS affects the most iss senior citizens, who vote overwhelmingly Republican.

    I would have thought this was obvious.

    Sadly, everything Communism said about itself was a lie. Even more sadly,, everything Communism said about Capitalism was the truth.

    by GayIthacan on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:43:39 PM PST

    •  B-b-b-but I thought he was the (11+ / 0-)

      President of "all the United States?" Moreover, he's selling out future seniors more than the present ones anyway, and we did vote for him.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:46:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Asdf (0+ / 0-)

        He is a politician.

        He will likely compromise with the least possible damage to his base and core constituents.

        He'll, I voted for him twice and I survive on SS Disability.

        Apparently so embody is going to have to be pushed off the cliff. And isn't the easiest target the group lease capable of fighting back?

        Sadly, everything Communism said about itself was a lie. Even more sadly,, everything Communism said about Capitalism was the truth.

        by GayIthacan on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:51:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The only one who thinks he has (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xynz

          to compromise is him. (Except for the Village idiots, and if he cares what they think he really is weak.)

          "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

          by bryduck on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:53:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hoping Reid, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti

    who is  showing some spine, calls Boehner's play. Unfortunate that Obama is returning to being a compromiser agains and thereby betraying the platform Americans voted for. I guess the spots cannot change easily. Shame.

  •  J. Douglas Brown, Com. Economic Security, 1934 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, blueoasis, greenbell
    In establishing social insurance, our Federal and State governments reversed the presumption that a payment to an eligible individual was a generous act of mercy by a sovereign, to the presumption that such a payment, under social insurance, was the honest fulfillment of a contract between citizen and state. The right of the eligible beneficiary is protected, in general, by the conscience of the electorate and, in particular, by an established appeals machinery.

     It was the people who rebelled in the time of the Great Depression and who felt that individual personal dignity was not being taken care of under the concept of means-test relief; that rights were involved; that a man had a right not to have to be in that situation; and that with the universal franchise, he had a right to do something about it. It was the belated recognition that this was a poor way of taking care of individual dignity, and especially when one had a vote to bring it about.

        Fortunately for all of us, the political leaders at that time, particularly Franklin D. Roosevelt, had sense enough to reflect the will of the people quickly and firmly, and through his leadership, to get this legislation on the books.


    Which elected officials will stand for the will of the people today? Republicans? Democrats? Who will stand with the conscience of the electorate?

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:45:15 PM PST

  •  We must let the President know that SS and (5+ / 0-)

    Medicare are not his to negotiate away.  We do need to fix Medicare and if we can't then we might need to discuss but SS is just fine and if anything, the benefits are too low for many seniors so eliminating the cap in order to enhance benefits is what I propose.

  •  The Prez wants a deal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell

    I think you're right. He wants a deal no matter what. He wants to be able to say he averted the fiscal cliff. I felt it when he said firmly in the debates that going down that cliff is not going to happen. He is willing to offer up a lot. It seems the only question is whether Boehner and gang will be satisfied enough to accept it, whatever the ultimate offer is. Count on it being very generous.

    It stinks but that's what you get with this President, compromise for compromise sakes.

    We don't inherit the world from the past. We borrow it from the future.

    by minorityusa on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:46:47 PM PST

  •  Sad but not surprising (3+ / 0-)

    Homer Simpson summed it up perfectly when he said "the great thing about a Democratic President is that they govern like a Republican."

  •  I don't get it either, Kos (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, evangeline135

    Obama has some political capital in the bank. He can't take it with him.  Why not spend it where it belongs...with the middle class?  I sure hope he's not doing this to save Boehner's rear end.  

    And was this meeting anything other than blowing smoke?
                                                                                              “This afternoon at the White House, the President met with influential progressives to talk about the importance of preventing a tax increase on middle class families, strengthening our economy and adopting a balanced approach to deficit reduction,” spokesman Josh Earnest said.

    Many questions looking for answers.

    "Those dunes are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon is to Arizona and the Yosemite is to California." - Carl Sandburg

    by Critical Dune on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:47:09 PM PST

  •  Picture caption: "Do or Do Not. There Is No Cry." (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans did to Michigan what Apple did to iTunes.

    by here4tehbeer on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:47:59 PM PST

  •  Don't you people ever learn from history? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    We just watched this movie, in July 2011.

    Don't you remember how it ended?

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:48:03 PM PST

  •  Boehner holds a few cards, it's called the House (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry056, gritsngumbo, madmojo, mwm341

    of Representatives. He also has allies in the "Fourth Branch of Government", the corporate-run news media.

    If Chairman B. wants to make Social Security part of the discussion, there's no way to just "leave it out".

    Please remember this: Republicans play politics like football.
    Democrats play politics like baseball.

    The 'Pubs don't simply go back to the dugout when they lose their turn at bat... they field their defensive squad and make life as miserable as possible for the quarterback.

    PBO, on the other hand, is a basketball player. This game ain't over, folks.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:48:09 PM PST

  •  If Obama were serious about keeping (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti

    soc sec , Medicare and raising taxes to 2000 levels he would be using the bully pulpit to line up support. Just as with assault rifle control he is not. While he may be smart and decent and better than repugs, he is not a great negotiator and certainly not a bully pulpit kind of guy.

    What is wrong with defending soc sec and Medicare ardently and weekly? What are the folks nervous about? Legacy? Wall stree? Moody? Or themselves ?

    If... the machine of government... is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. ~Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobediance, 1849

    by shigeru on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:48:21 PM PST

  •  It's all just a game to them (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, irmaly

    and then I wonder, how many people will die who rely on that amount of SS that now will be cut? I honestly think the thrill of the game playing to them trumps the human lives they'll be effecting. This has come down to a common elitest attitude about deciding who lives or dies in America and who can buy whom. It's out of control, undemocratic, evil, and corrupt. As Kos says about why Obama is bailing out Republicans over those who gave him a clear mandate:  It's "unfathomable."  Mr President, Nancy Pelosi, and others: I have NO respect or support for two-faced back-stabbing liars!

  •  Introducing The Faces Of Seniors (4+ / 0-)

    It's time to put a face to who these cuts to Social Security and Medicare would hurt.

    Go To Faces Of Seniors On Tumblr & Share Photos Of Your Loved Ones
  •  How did this help Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    when Boehner rejected Obamas deal and Obama immediately rejected the counter proposal? The only way Boehner could wrest even a little leverage from Obama is if he had enough votes to pass a tax increase (even one only on millionaires) and spending cuts without House Democrats.

     If Boehner thought he had the votes for anything that looked like a compromise he would have called a vote already, passed it, and told everyone "Merry Christmas", as he left Senate Democrats and Obama to debate the GOP House's passed bill.

    •  Because Republicans win (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lostinamerica, irmaly

      any time the Dems look weak or compromising, and because making news like this gives the impression that government is ugly, and that constitutes a R win, too.

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:55:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A cynical person might conclude (4+ / 0-)

    that the President actively wants to negotiate something, anything, that will piss off the left; that making us swallow a "bitter pill" is a fun-filled feature...

    not a regrettable bug.

    Progressives shoot down raising the Medicare eligibility age trial balloon... and right on cue, the WH frees the rightwing zombie Chained CPI from its temporary dungeon.

    A cynical person might notice a trend.

    Why is Obama trying to bail out the GOP?

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:49:46 PM PST

    •  And a cynical person might even speculate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD

      that the horrific Sandy Hook disaster might actually give the President cover to get on with his "Grand Bargain" legacy. Such a terrible thing happened, we need to be kind to each other, we need to be reasonable, blah, blah, blah. You know the drill.

      And then they all get together and fuck over all of us who aren't wealthy.

      A cynical person might think these politicians are more than capable of this.

  •  Reccing this diary but not the other one. (0+ / 0-)

    Why? This one has an action link. Without it, it's just bitching.

  •  Sadly, not surprised at any of this (4+ / 0-)

    from Obama.  Why he has SS on the table is beyond anyone here when the fucking program is on a different platform than medicare and solvent.

  •  I've wondered if the President is trying to save (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest

    Boehner's job. I don't know who's most likely to replace him if he loses his chairmanship but it would probably be someone more conservative.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:50:37 PM PST

  •  How is Obama SO horrible at negotiating? I (5+ / 0-)

    wouldn't let him negotiate my used car purchase, let alone my future in Medicare and Social Security.  

    •  What, you don't walk into the dealership (0+ / 0-)

      and immediately proclaim, "Just so we're clear, my family needs a car.  No matter what, I'm NOT leaving here without buying a car"?

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:36:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And (0+ / 0-)

        prices are determined by how many calendar years ago the model is, and it's December 18th. But for some reason you are unwilling to wait until January.

        "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

        by jfern on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:41:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Has nobody considered that Rs can't lose? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, Jerry056, madmojo

    Obama actually cares that the middle class will be hurt by a tax increase on January 1st.  Boeher does not.  "Their people" get a tax increase either way.

    That is, if taxes go up on January 1st and people blame Obama, that's a 100% Republican win that plays right into their campaign strategies.

    If taxes go up on January 1st and people blame Republicans... then Democrats still failed to protect the middle class from a tax increase and the people who need it from spending cuts.

    •  I totally disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smiley7, DRo

      If Repubs vote against a tax cut for 98% of Americans the public will blame them for it, not Dems, as long as Dems repeat this over and over on television.

      Dems can't protect them from a Repub House majority and enough people know that.  There would be enormous pressure on the House to pass the tax cut for income under $250k.

    •  To bad that Obama and Reid (0+ / 0-)

      allowed themselves to be painted into that corner.



      Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

      by chuckvw on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:02:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Eisenhower on eliminating social security, etc. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, smiley7, ybruti, Upper West

    letter to his conservative brother in 1954

    he talks about people who eliminate social programs being totally done as a political party

    no one is saying that now

    but, over the years with manipulation of government statistics, and the income inequality, the social safety net has been compromised.

    it could well be that Obama will be able to carry off what Republicans have been trying to do since the New Deal which is to reduce the safety net.

    Here is Eisenhower

    Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.
  •  Sometimes.. (0+ / 0-)

    I think it would be better to not see the sausage get made. Can you imagine if all week long we watched in near real time NFL practices, and how these guys prepared? Really we can't trust anything these guys say.  We can only go on what they do, and so far they haven't done anything on this issue.

  •  How do you say "sell out" (0+ / 0-)

    in eleventy-dimension-speak?

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:53:44 PM PST

  •   then it might be palatable. (0+ / 0-)

    No. It is not .

    The Fierce Urgency of Later

    by Faroutman on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:55:51 PM PST

  •  Giving in to bullies is habit-forming./nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leema, itsbenj

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act--Orwell

    by jhannon on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:56:35 PM PST

  •  Who knows what he's really thinking? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winsock, wsbuffalo, mwm341, ybruti

    Maybe he actually does believe in reining in the deficit by cutting spending? Maybe he thinks that he has a choice between a huge cut and a modest cut. He faces a republican majority in the House. He faces across-the-board spending cuts that would be pretty draconian. As a recipient of NIH grants, I fear these cuts as much as anyone does. So, I don't know what calculations the President is making, but I do know that he doesn't have a majority in the House to make his electoral win as effective as you might wish. Add to that the debt ceiling and you have to ask yourself what happens if Washington, including the Administration, shows that it cannot get anything major achieved? It doesn't really help that it's the fault of the House majority. A failure is a failure.

    I might add that, if the great Krugman is uncertain about the relative merits of the deal that seems to be emerging, then how do us ordinary mooks get to pronounce on it? Maybe we need to wait and see. There may be still a lot of shadow-boxing going on.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:56:51 PM PST

  •  Social Security IS a factor in the deficit. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7

    Your talking points won't change that.
    (And yes, I know the whole "lock box" polka)

    Is this the right thing to do?

    Hell no. Social Security payouts are bad enough as it is -- especially for those in the upper half of the payroll tax, who receiver far less return on their Social Security pay in.

    The Republicans are looking to punish the people who have poured a fortune into Social Security for the actions of those who have taken the accumulated surpluses and spent them badly.

    That's just wrong.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:57:20 PM PST

  •  I signed the Kos petition (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7

    and also sent a typed letter to the President today. I expressed profound anger and disappointment in his weak negotiations.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:58:07 PM PST

  •  Obama is now officially to the right of Reagan n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nanorich, irmaly
  •  Obama Stands Tall for Big Corporate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw

    Not at all surprised. Obama is not weak or soft.

    He is tenacious when fighting for Big Corporate entities and the "economy".

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:58:46 PM PST

  •  This is called screwing your base. Both sides (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Faroutman, chuckvw, maryabein

    must screw their bases to some extent according to the wise men. "Both sides must feel some pain".  Boehner's base is millionaires, Obama's is everyone else, supposedly. If this is not a fake maneuver, fuck him and fuck anyone else in the Democratic party that signs up for this shit.

    Kos, you of all people shouldn't be surprised. The man is a mediator, not an advocate. The "Great Compromiser" my ass.

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:59:32 PM PST

  •  Seriously... bad negotiating (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, the fan man, schnecke21

    you throw them a bone at the end once you think you've got just about everything you can. And with the strong hand Obama has you don't throw them a big bone but you give them something they can claim as victory and something you can claim as concession while walking away with most of the deal going your way.

    This is just bad.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 12:59:40 PM PST

  •  In the Village (0+ / 0-)

    Every bout ends in a draw. In the case of a draw, the champion retains his belt. They are the champs. We are the chumps.

    It's in the rules.



    Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

    by chuckvw on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:00:00 PM PST

  •  I don't understand it either, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winsock, nanorich, maryabein, Illinibeatle

    but I am not surprised by it. Even during the campaign, Obama left himself plenty of wiggle room regarding the notion of "shared sacrifice."

    I don't have the exact quote, though I believe he said something very close to this several times: I am not going ask working-class American students and the elderly to pay for reducing the deficit while people earning more than $250,000 were not asked to pay a dime more in taxes.

    The notion that these trade-offs were in some sense equivalent--and that getting the increase in taxes for the wealthy somehow legitimized asking the 99% to chip in more as well--was disturbing then, given the veiled implications.

    Considering the electoral mandate he won, now it is offensive.

    Some DKos series & groups worth your while: Black Kos, Native American Netroots, KosAbility, Monday Night Cancer Club. If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

    by peregrine kate on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:00:21 PM PST

  •  Epigovernment is why ... (0+ / 0-)

    Obama seems to be schizophrenic ...

  •  It's not surprise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winsock, Mr Green Jeans

    Obama lied his butt off to win the election and then kicks the poor the middle class and the elderly to the curb. I should have trusted my gut telling me that Obama is Conning the voters.  It doen't make any diffference who is in office, the republicans and  big business are running the country. So much for equality.

    •  Remember the Obama-Romney debate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, Dumbo

      when Obama said he agreed with Romney on Social Security?  

      "I suspect that on Social Security, we've got a somewhat similar position," Obama said. "Social Security is structurally sound. It's going to have to be tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan and Speaker -- Democratic Speaker Tip O'Neill. But it is -- the basic structure is sound."

      Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

      by winsock on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:10:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama is throwing Seniors off the cliff (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Faroutman, greenbell
        •  More of a slope than a cliff (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xynz

          ...but both lead to the same place.

          Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

          by winsock on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:25:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Throwing part of the Democratic brandname off (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          winsock, Dr Stankus

          the cliff.  We were the party of NO CUTS TO SS.  Remember how we demolished the Republicans back in 2006 over that.  We've done it for decades.  Now we're the party that cuts SS when nobody is watching and then goes "OOPS how did that happen?"  It won't make people trust Republicans more, but it will make seniors know that you can't trust what Democrats say when they demagogue about SS and Medicare.  

          I certainly stopped believing Obama on this a long time ago.  I'm not surprised.  Just angry.

      •  YES I REMEMBER THAT. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        winsock

        And I remember posting, "Oh shit, Houston, we have a problem," and people telling me, shut up, there's nothing wrong here, yay Obama.

        Obama lost that debate.  He still won the election, yay for that, I guess, (and excuse me if I have some mixed feelings about that right now).  He lost that debate because he wouldn't disagree with Mitt on important matters like... drumroll...

        As somebody here (ahem) pointed out at that time, he could have crushed Mitt in that debate and effectively ended the election if he had said, "You'll cut SS and Medicare over MY DEAD BODY."

        It would have been so easy to do.  But I guess he didn't want to paint himself into a corner that would prevent him from doing this.

         

  •  There should be Inauguration Protests! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    enemy of the people, Faroutman

    if this happens.

    the polling at election showed exactly how unpopular this idea is

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:05:46 PM PST

  •  Obama has wanted to do this for a LONG time. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the fan man, greenbell

    He's tied to get the GOP to agree to this before, he signaled as much in the last election.

    For some stupid fucking reason taking a hatchet to Medicare and Social Security seems to make him feel all moderate and bipartisan.

    Fuck that.

    But it damn sure isn't a surprise. You have to watch that motherfucker, because he has said before that he's a Blue Dog Democrat, and he ain't fucking kidding. He's a deficit fetishist and he loves nothing more than to co-opt leftover conservative proposal, and you forget that to your peril.

    I agree that it's not particularly courageous to solve a problem on the backs of people who are poor, or people who are powerless, or don't have lobbyists, or don't have clout.

    by teknofyl on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:06:06 PM PST

  •  Why is Obama trying to bail out the GOP? (0+ / 0-)

    Drunkenness would be a good answer.

  •  Obama is lowering my expectations of him. (0+ / 0-)

    "This morning I had another talk with the Speaker Boehner, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine. Some of you, perhaps, have already heard what it contains but I would just like to read it to you...My good friends, for the second time in our history, an American President has returned from Capitol Hill bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep."

  •  Obama negotiates away things that are already (7+ / 0-)

    guaranteed to him.  The tax increase on $250k+ is a done deal.  How in the hell is he so stupid to allow that to be negotiated UP to $400k, AND make cuts to Social Security??  I mean, you have to really make a concerted effort to be this bad at negotiating.

  •  BWAAAAHHHHH (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mwm341

    CHAIN CPI IS HITLER!

    "I am no longer a candidate. I'm The President" - Barack Obama 2012 DNC Convention

    by AAMOM on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:11:57 PM PST

  •  uhh, because Obama wants to deal with SS now? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mwm341

    I don't understand what is so difficult to get. He wants to change the SS calculation to the chained CPI. Its a political battle he'd just as soon avoid later, so he's trying to get it done now. Its something HE wants. He can sell it as something the GOP is after, but its not.

    And I'm mixed on it. The chained CPI Obama is proposing is more accurate than the current calculating method. It is the "right" method. That said, it will reduce the benefit over time and that can create issues for vulnerable populations, so what's "accurate" may not be what is best for the country. He thinks it is, however, and is adding this to the omnibus deal just so he doesn't have to spend capital on it later.

    •  That makes no sense. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Stankus

      If Obama is making this concession now so he won't have to make it later... wouldn't it make MORE sense to save it for later when they want it so it actually does get some capital back in a future negotiation?  

      We've been down this path before.  When Obama starts just giving shit away that nobody asked for, it really means he's doing what he always wanted to do.

  •  He said he's going to raise revenue and cut spendi (0+ / 0-)

    What did people think he was going to cut?  Honest question.  I kinda expected this.

  •  Predictable nonsense crap from Kos right on schedu (0+ / 0-)

    Just remember who this idiot is, Kos.  He is the guy who said "Kill the Bill" on the cusp of ACA passage.  Because the bill wasn't to his liking.  The greatest advance in healthcare access reform in history in this country, and t his asshole wanted to kill it.

    Chained CPI is a con, being played on the GOP who thinks it is worth something when in fact it is worth nothing, zero.  It's a small hit in the out years if and only if there is a certain level of inflation ... none of which is reliably predicable, but more to the point, it can be reversed b y a single vote in congress that would take about 15 minutes in each house at an y time in the out years and it goes away, forever.  And will, if it is actually implemented.  IT MEANS NOTHING you fucking idiot, Markos, and you need a brain to actually be of any use to progressive politics in this country and you don't fucking have one.

    Check my DKos ID and  you will see that I am not exactly new here, I know who  you are and what an actual enemy you are of progressive politics.  Shut the fuck up and talk about something you  understand.

    No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. US Constitution, Article 6

    by ppgooding on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:17:13 PM PST

    •  you said "idiot" (0+ / 0-)

      The Fierce Urgency of Later

      by Faroutman on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:29:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Trust (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wolf10, schnecke21

      We've been this way before.  They already cut our benefits deeply in the Reagan and Carter administrations and we got nothing back.  At least then, they raised the cap.  This deal gets nothing from the well off.  If you make $400,000 you don't have your income taxes increased or your payroll taxes increased.

      This deal is unfair.  It is not balanced.  It targets lower middle class seniors.   Sure, if you make $400,000 then a little COLA adjustment on your Social Security is chump change.  But if you are slightly above the poverty level but living a bare bones lifestyle - no winter vacations, no new clothes, no fancy electronic gear, just the frugal basics -   this is the person this deal stabs in the back.

  •  We have to stop fooling ourselves by thinking that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Faroutman, Dumbo, maryabein

    SS cuts is something that only Republicans want. The Catfood Commission was a clear signal that Obama has a plan for SS - and it's not a pretty one.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:20:30 PM PST

    •  Most of us knew that, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      420 forever, maryabein

      including most of the people here who denied it so fiercely, I think.  I don't hear any outcries of surprise and outrage from them.  I'm sure once this is all fait accompli they will be here in force to tell us to all shut up about it now because it was THE BEST OBAMA COULD DO UNDER THE TERRIBLE CIRCUMSTANCES SO BE A REALIST.

  •  Why do I have the sneaking suspicion... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Faroutman

    that Obama would just LOVE hyper reaction by us to the idea of the chained CPI.

    I can just hear the buzz from my fly on the wall with his negotiations with Boehner...

    "See, John? I am willing to face stiff opposition from my side to this idea, but I'll keep firm on it to get the deal done. Now, why can't you do the same?"

    What a terrible betrayal by our president!

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:21:24 PM PST

    •  That is certainly a piece of the calculation. (0+ / 0-)

      It would be worse if nobody complained at all.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

      by CTMET on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:28:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a basic character issue/flaw with Obama. (0+ / 0-)

    Obama bio, at Harvard Law he loved dealing with wingnuts.
    Reach across the aisle crap.
    Maybe a petition to Michele Obama would be more effective.
    Maybe the RW is right, maybe he really is Steve Urkle.

  •  Never been more pleased (0+ / 0-)

    to have Rep. Eric "the Weasel" Cantor as my voice in Congress.

  •  If you're going to bring in the chained CPI, (5+ / 0-)

    Use it to adjust upwards the maximum contribution limit, not cut benefits.

    •  Exactly, use it as leverage on Social Security (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      the fan man

      Using it for leverage on unemployment is not only stupid it shows contempt for the seniors that will be hurt by these cuts.  You aren't bargaining with us and for us, you are using us as hostages in a deal that has nothing to do with what is best for us.

  •  Our dearly beloved POTUS (0+ / 0-)

    doesnt play this game very well, does he?

  •  Let's not say that sequestration and debt ceiling (0+ / 0-)

    default are best and only acceptable options. We might be able to win those fights, but they are not without consequences. I'm not saying we need to take a deal if it's a bad deal, but we shouldn't pretend we're in such an unassailable position that we say no deal, no way, no how. And, the moment you offer to give something up in a deal, people are going to beat the sh*t out of you.

    Personally, I think if they exempted low incomes from chained CPI, I don't see that as a big problem for people who make enough that SS in not their main source of income. Also, I think the $400k number for a family is not unreasonable. The previous proposal was $200 for individuals and $250k for families. It would probably lead to a lot of couples filing individually, especially in expensive areas of the country. $400k for a family is not effectively different than $200 for an individual. I think when the details of the offer are known, it'll probably not be as bad as people are saying (although Boehner is already rejecting it).

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:28:23 PM PST

    •  Low incomes are VERY LOW (0+ / 0-)

      This will target the lower middle class.  You think you need $400K to be comfortable?  Well this cut will probably hit someone with $40K in retirement income or less.   Yeah, tell me the COLA change doesn't kick in until you have more than $400K in annual retirement income and I'll sign on to this deal too.  

      •  I don't know where they would draw the line. (0+ / 0-)

        I would say it should be at least 400% of poverty level. However, remember, this does not have to go all way up $400k. If you are retired with an income of $100 and your COLA goes from being an extra $25/mo to $18/mo, you'll be fine. But, if someone is getting $20k from SS and it's the only source of income, that is a big deal. In fact, I really think many things in SS should be means tested. If you are making a couple hundred grand in retirement income, I'm not sure you even need SS.

        Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

        by tekno2600 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:25:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  My YTD income is $2,500 (0+ / 0-)

      My total taxes are over $9,000. No income tax nor payroll tax because we are both unemployed. State taxes in good-old tax-free NH went up 3%. I still have a mortgage, live in an all-electric house in the second highest electrical rate in the country, pay auto taxes, registration, a registration surcharge, inspections, insurance, etc.

      We are not elegible for unemployment benefits, SS, or even food stamps. That doesn't kick in until our entire life savings and assets other than my home have been depleted.

      In 2014, we are mandated to purchase private health insurance.

      That's about $2,000 per month additional expense that we can't possibly afford. There's no discounts or subsidies that qualify for our situation. This is roughly our mortgage payment times four.

      You do the math.

      Obama doesn't get it.

      "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 03:35:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those sound like a lot of different things than (0+ / 0-)

        Social Security cost of living adjustment. That would apply to you at the moment.

        I suspect someone is giving you bad information if your income is that low and they tell you you don't qualify for any assistance of any kind. Regarding the insurance in 2014, in the worst case, you would just pay the penalty for no insurance. But, with an income as low as you say, when you fill out your tax return, I don't see how they would not send you the healthcare subsidy.

        I hope your situation improves. But, in the meantime, make sure to talk to a good financial counselor. Something is very wrong if you don't qualify for any assistance.

        Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

        by tekno2600 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:20:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It doesn't work for everyone (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tekno2600

          Ha! My wife has worked as a professional financial planner. You would think we'd be in better shape than we are today. We're going to get through this downturn, but it's not as simple as most folks want to believe.

          Yes, we only had $2,500 in annual income this year. But we still have assets and cash on hand. We have to be frugal, but we're going to survive. It's being frugal that makes it impossible to piss away $24,000 a year on health insurance. For me, I'll be eligible for Medicare next year. I'm not planning on signing up for SS until age 65 which works better in our financial plan. It's a different story for my younger wife. Fortunately we're both in good health and we're willing to risk assets against insurance costs. The 2014 provisions will reduce our health insurance premiums significantly. And we'll be paying for one younger person and a little more for Medigap coverage in 2014.

          We'll probably qualify for the health insurance subsidy even though we have assets that disqualify us for nearly everything else. The ACA doesn't seen to have a limit on assets for the subsidy. That seems to be a loophole. A lottery winner who shelters all income would qualify for a subsidy after the first year, it seems. But there would be limits for other so-called entitlements.

          BTW, there's no need for anyone to actually pay the penalty after 2014. There simply is no penalty for not paying the penalty. The law prohibits the government from collecting the penalty. It's one of those Republican anti-government provisions that turns out to work well for me. But we'll have insurance anyway, so the point is moot.

          This isn't my exact situation, but it illustrates an all-too-common problem.

          I know far too many people who made really good money and carefully planned for their retirement years. They own nice homes but lost much of the equity they had planned on. It's far worse for those with underwater mortages or huge home equity loans. It's nearly impossible to sell and downsize. Their financial plan vaporized with the economic crash. Interest income tanked. Safe investments turned out to be no so safe. People who planned to have pension income lost every dime of that fund (see, Bain: investment raiders). The disasterous Bush years shifted costs down to state and local governments. Property taxes doubled or tripled in just one decade. Energy and fuel costs skyrocketed.

          And they got laid off at 45-50 years old. Some friends were laid off a couple of weeks before they were vested in their pensions. This is legal in too many states.

          A couple of decades ago, a reasonable retirement plan would have provided a decent and relatively safe and stable retirement lifestyle. Most people planned to retire at about 60 or 65. A few aggressively planned to retire earlier. But then folks between, say, 45 and 55 were being laid off in droves unexpectedly. COBRA extended the group rate for health insurance and a few months of unemployment benefits help out a little. If you can't get a job in a year or two, you're in deep doo-doo if you don't have plenty of savings or liquid assets.

          We've been without income for almost 6 years now.

          We're nuch more fortunate than most in similar situations. I'm focused on those families more so than my own. I will make it through this mess. Too many others won't be so fortunate.

          A lot of people are hurting and the detailed reality of these common situations hasn't gotten through the DC bubble. What else is new?

          "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

          by GrumpyOldGeek on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:08:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Why? Because the banks told him to. (4+ / 0-)

    The financial sector doesn't want to go over the cliff, and they don't think Boehner can control his caucus, so they lean on Obama.
    I really don't know why anyone is surprised by this at all. Both parties are owned by Wall St. Look who makes up most of Obama's cabinet.
    And don't expect Reid or Pelosi to come to the rescue either.
    I voted for Obama knowing full well he'd be marginally better than Romney, and no more, because I've been awake the last 4 years.
    It's about time folks face up to the fact that neither party is on the side of working folks.

  •  COLA Calculations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zizi

    COLA calculations are not a cut in benefits.  They are not necessarily a change in benefits.  This path has been taken before to reduce the cost of SS.  

    There is a strong argument that COLA adjustments to the elderly are excessive because the market basket does not reflect spending habits of the retired.  COLA includes rent, when most retirees pay no rent.  Also seniors spend a lower fraction on clothes and energy.

  •  I think this is a grand scheme to make Boehner (0+ / 0-)

    look good.  They don't officially vote for the new Speaker until January 3rd, right?  Here's the thing: between now and the midterms the Republicans are going to move heaven and hell to impeach the President.  That's a safe bet.  Sooo there is no sense in coddling these guys.

  •  Obama's a fucking chump... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure we're going to get a bad deal out of all this.  Anyone who thought otherwise was just deluding themselves.  

    It's too bad that Obama didn't have the qualities of a master politician to go along with his master campaigning abilities.  

  •  how can you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill, Patango, xynz

    screw something up when literally all you have to do is nothing?

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:50:39 PM PST

  •  Public Option Cave-In, Part II; Circa August 2009 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xynz

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up !

    by Churchill on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:54:23 PM PST

  •  Re-election "insulates" Obama from GOP?? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    evangeline135

    More like he sees it as insulation from his base.

    What's the use of electing more Democrats if they're not better Democrats? Elect BETTER Democrats and the MORE will take care of itself.

    by MacJimi on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:00:17 PM PST

  •  Because we have been lied to (3+ / 0-)

    Again.

    I didn't abandon the fight, I abandoned the Party that abandoned the fight...

    by Jazzenterprises on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:01:10 PM PST

  •  The Obama admin must REALLY REALLY want (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MacJimi, Don midwest

    to cut SS for seniors.  The Republicans are just giving them cover for this, and not even very much cover, because they don't seem to want it, and it makes no economic sense.

    We're just screwed.  Listen, I know, we all tried to put the best face on it during the election, but a lot of us knew we were taking the lesser of two evils and tried to keep our voices down about that.  At least he won't appoint any teabaggers to the Supreme Court.  Take comfort in that.  

    Unfortunately -- and this is bizarre, totally bizarre -- SS and Medicare are MORE AT RISK today with a Democratic president than they were when Bush was president and he wanted to do the same kinds of things.  Why?  Because at least Democrats in Congress could FIGHT BACK against Bush and stalemate him.  Here, they can't.  

    Who are we going to picket?  Obama?  We all just voted for him!  We still have the I VOTED sticker on our clothes!  

    It's a bizarre twist worthy of a chapter in a book on game theory.  How to lose by winning.

  •  I mentioned this possible weapon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arizonablue

    being handed to the republicans in another diary.

    So every time Republicans talk about Democrats wanting to cut Social Security, this time they won't be lying.
    I don't believe that obama is juvenile, he is mature enough to realize this possibility. The dance with the repub continues, it is like being a snake (cobra) charmer. If the dems get this wrong, they will do deep harm to the party, and I don't think obama wants that to be his legacy. Chin up folks.

    The Democrats now own everything from the center right to the far left. the republicans and the filthy robberbarons occupy the extreme right fringe.

    by longtimelurker on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:16:44 PM PST

  •  I haven't felt like this since the healthcare cave (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zaka1, MacJimi

    They PROMISED no cuts to Social Security! Promised! I'm disabled. It's not like I can go get a part time job at wally world. Social Security doesn't add a dime to the deficit.
    What is wrong with Obama? I feel like I was lied to.

  •  Because his job is to patrol the left (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MacJimi, Dr Stankus

    and deliver the best deal for the ruling class.  Easy call here.  Harvest votes when necessary, then return to class rule.

  •  Why is Obama trying to bail out the GOP? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xynz

    Obama is more conservative than Richard Nixon.

    In a world of the blind, the one eyed man is a pariah. Ask Galileo. Ask Darwin.

    by OKParrothead on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:37:52 PM PST

  •  Bush Tax Cuts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Stankus, evangeline135

    If I understand Obama's position correctly, he is proposing to continue the Buah tax cuts for people making up to $33,000 a month, while cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits.  If that is indeed his position, then we're at risk of a discouraged base and low Democratic turnout at the 2014 mid-term elections.  This could be a disaster in more ways than one....

    How can we have a third party when we don't even have a second party?

    by Eagleye on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:42:41 PM PST

  •  Is it Because...? (0+ / 0-)

    "Why is Obama trying to bail out the GOP?"

    Could it possibly be because deep down he is in sympathy with the GOP?  How else does one explain his whoring after "bipartisanship?"  I am beginning to wonder if Obama is in reality a DINO.  He certainly does not have the Democratic passion of an FDR, a Truman, an LBJ, or even a Bill Clinton.  Those guys knew how to kick Republican butt.  Obama comes across to me as lacking that knowledge.

  •  The cost-of-living formula got overridden (0+ / 0-)

    after the economic collapse resulted in no increase for SS recipients. Remember that? I didn't think so.

    The calculations won't take effect until after 2014 if the provision survives until then. If, and that's a big if, Democrats don't slack off in the midterms as we have done so many times, we can take back the House and start to repeal some of this so-called compromise bullshit. I'll be working toward this goal, but I'm also not holding my breath. If Obama gives in to as much so-called compromise as previously, there's little hope of averting another right wing catastrophe. This is why he MUST NOT cave.

    Included in the negotiations is $30 billion in stimulus. It's not much, but it's something positive. We simply MUST focus on keeping the economic recovery going.

    Increasing the GDP is the leverage that decreases the significance of debt and deficit. The measurement is debt relative to GDP. GDP is increased by stimulus, debt is decreased by massive austerity and pain to 99.9% of the people. Chose one.

    Spending for insecurity (defense, homeland insecurity, MIC, etc.) is worse than inefficient.

    And SS isn't even a budget item. I don't understand why the payroll tax cut is even in the equation. SS is solvent. We can afford the payroll tax cut stimulus for a little longer. $30 billion in stimulus is more immediate and creates a few jobs, so maybe that's the calculation. But it won't last as long. I don't have enough info to compare the options.

    Republicans are ready and willing to destroy the US credit rating and, as a consequence, trigger a worldwide economic catastrophe. And their solution is strictly focused on austerity and crippling the federal government's ability to enforce and administer vital services. They've done it before and they LOVE the power of extortion. Besides, they have plenty of stupid idiots in their party who vote based on threats and money. So their threat is real, imo. Treasonous assholes.

    What's changed after the election is that the Republicans seems to have backed off of their nonsense about the deficit being the most important problem we face. This was and is still nonsense. Lately, the blather from Boner has been about that age-old bullshit about out-of-control-spending. The fact is that spending increases are at an historic low. Total spending has actually gone down. Even the debt has gone down. Clearly, Obama wins this one in the negotiations. Boner's rhetoric is his usual bullshit. He's lying. He thinks he has to lie.

    Obama has actually proposed less spending in this deal.

    His proposed "cuts" to Medicare are actually savings in efficiency and waste that aren't going to affect anyone's benefits or covered procedures. I'm not up to speed on the proposal to negotiate drug prices. This, to me, is a no-brainer. But the baggers lack brains.  

    Boner only wants to save his own ass on Jan 3 when he is seriously at risk of losing the Speakership. This explains just about everything he's been talking about. His position will be different when the next session begins. Probably a better time for negotiations, too.

    My suggestion has always been to force Boner over the cliff, let the wingers in the House kick him out of his speakership, let them select a bozo teabagger as speaker, and go from there. If these idiots refuse to increase the debt limit, there's reasonable cause to charge them with insurrection or treason, perhaps.

    Less drastically, if the US economy is placed in this disastrous position, Obama has the power to take emergency executive action. The president is sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the US. The debts of the government shall not be questioned. Just fucking issue the order and solve the problem. Show some fortitude. Let the bozos throw their inevitable tantrum. That wan't be any different than their current behavior. Let the Supreme Court affirm that the president has the power to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Let the courts decide that the House leadership is deliberately violating the US Constitution.

    But Obama just HAS to make nice and make friends with those who really do want to destroy our government and screw over all the people. He just HAS to do this.

    It's his great strength and his great weakness. Get over it. You own this thing. Listen to the people and just do it. Our future depends on it.

    [Grumble, grumble, grumble]

    /rant

    "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 03:19:10 PM PST

  •  Why are you surprised? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Green Jeans

    Kos,
    It should not come as a surprise that Mr. Obama is negotiating with himself and will end up caving to the republicans.  It is actually to be expected because, well, it is Obama after all.  Now is the time to remind everybody when many of us progressives wanted a primary challenge nominating somebody that has a spine.  

  •  Way Down Here... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xynz

    OK, so nobody will read my comment down on the bottom. But, let me say in answering Markos' question; that this has been Obama's history since he led the Harvard Law Review. He always screws his supporters. Always. Obama is not a liberal, he is not a progressive. He is a moderate to conservative Eisenhower Republican. I don't understand why folks don't see that.

    Yes, I voted for Obama because he was better than the alternative. But I held my nose doing it. Twice.

  •  all this does (0+ / 0-)

    it make Republicans like my dad who were so sure that Obama was going to cut SS CORRECT.

    Now, Romney would have done the same thing, or worse, but Obama doing this means it's going to be an easy sell to the base of the GOP.

  •  I so wish... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misterwade

    that Howard Dean had not done that crazy a** yell.  What were you thinking man?

  •  Obama=GOP-lite. Always has, always will. (0+ / 0-)

    We've always known what he was about based on his actions in the first term.

    I'd LOVE to be proven wrong......

    Corporations before people.... it's the American way!

    by Lucy2009 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:46:24 PM PST

  •  Total bullshit from the WH (0+ / 0-)

    I said as much to the WH comment line (in nicer words of course, my two Senators and Congressional Rep.  We have to nip these crap in the bud.  If the President goes down this road, his own party will vote NO.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:48:05 PM PST

  •  The ONLY thing, if not an attempt at trying to be (0+ / 0-)

    a "great compromiser", this could be is if there is something worked out where Nancy Pelosi, who has said that "Democrats are behind the President" has worked it out that the majority of votes on this will be REPUBLICAN votes--like they tried to do with the Study Group budget and all vote "Present" and the thing would have passed.

    That way, if it passes both houses, a majority of votes would be Republican and then it would be a REPUBLICAN bill.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:57:21 PM PST

  •  Has David Corn weighed in on this yet? (0+ / 0-)

    Has he explained how POTUS is working his magic jujitsu on Boner? Don't get me wrong, I like and respect David Corn. Just wondering if anyone has explained how POTUS going belly up is helping our cause.

    Power to the Peaceful!

    by misterwade on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:38:21 PM PST

  •  Holiday Spirits (0+ / 0-)

    I just took my meds and am feeling optimistic:

    Maybe this is just mating dance for the final deal.  Maybe a straw man plan is going to be sent to the House that the GOP won't get behind.  It will include some sort of finger prints on Social Security.   Deal fails.  It is the GOP's fault.  We go over the speed bump and now the math is very different.  In incumbent Congress-people's home districts the constitutes curl their hair and shrivel their genitals.  Now the new Congress is in session.  The GOP looks asinine.  Real negotiation starts.   Game on?  

  •  Bernie Sanders and Markos are liars (0+ / 0-)

    Not only am I calling Bernie Sanders a liar here, but I am putting my money -- literally -- right where my mouth is.

    Ask Bernie, or any other person who thinks the Senator is right about this issue, what Chained CPI is going to cost me in SS benefits in 15 years. As of now, my monthly benefit is about $1700. What will it be in the year 2027 with Chained CPI, and what will it be without Chained CPI?

    There is only one correct answer, and anyone who gives any other answer doesn't understand this issue and is lying about it if they claim otherwise.

    So go ahead, take the challenge. What's the answer?

    No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. US Constitution, Article 6

    by ppgooding on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:23:56 PM PST

  •  This diary makes me wanna riot.. (0+ / 0-)

    kos, when are we gonna get to the "better" part of "more and better dems?"
    It's time.

  •  lethal body blow? (0+ / 0-)

    he had a mandate in his 1st election too - he followed george fuckin w bush. People were sick of repugs and voted them out in droves. President Obama bent over backwards to accomodate them and continues to today. It's not as if he doesn't know their ideas are harmful and unpopular. He could have landed countless lethal body blows. Once again it looks like he's throwing the game

    when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

    by bunsk on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:47:04 PM PST

  •  Buy catfood stock folks! It's your best hope for (0+ / 0-)

    a secure retirement and hedge against inflation.

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