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Do the citizens have any power or have we had a corporate coup d'etat to use the phrase of Chris Hedges?

Obama is working for the plutocrats. They are hell bent on curtailing the New Deal. They have been pissed off since Roosevelt began Social Security and later Lyndon Johnson gave us Medicare.

We well remember W Bush at the start of his slight margin saying that he had a mandate to "reform" social security.

Well, Obama has put in place the legal system to maintain W Bush's attack on our civil liberties, something that it would have been hard for a Republican to pull off. We should all recall how upset we were with Bush's actions, but now that they are Democratic proposals too many of us just go along with them.

It has been clear to me for years that Obama is a compromiser, and serves the plutocracy.

Remember the president that even Obama called great? Ronald Reagan. During his administration there was a Savings and Loan collapse which led to 1,000 bankers going to jail. This time the only people who went to jail were on the street with OWS, not the bankers who took the global economy to the brink of collapse. And they continue to plea bargain out of fraud and could bring the global economy down again. The legal system works for the powerful.

Going Over a Cliff Better Than Deal President Has Offered

Economic inequality was not on the table until OWS. Now we have:

The latest proposals by both President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner would widen economic inequality in the United States. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the major offers on the table.
This is from the article which is the title of this diary:

Going Over a Cliff Better Than Deal President Has Offered
Latest proposal by Obama would deepen inequality

The article lists areas that the rich would benefit and ends with:

While corporate profits are at a 50-year high, corporate tax collections as a share of the economy are at 50-year lows. If corporate lobbyists get their way, corporate taxes will be going lower still.

Giving rich individuals and prosperous corporations more tax cuts, while asking seniors to give up Social Security benefits is a bad deal. The early reaction by many progressive organizations is that it would be better to go over the cliff than accept the emerging bargain the President has offered.

Here is the link.

http://www.commondreams.org/...

*
Also this morning on commondreams.org we find the article:

Social Security and the Obama Cave-In
The deal between the White House and congressional Republicans includes changes to the cost-of-living formula that amount to needless cuts for seniors.

This budget agreement is very dubious politics for Obama and the Democrats on several grounds. For starters, Social Security cuts, disguised or otherwise, should not be in this package at all. Politically, such a deal erases the bright line that is the Democrats’ single strongest distinction from Republicans: We defend Social Security; they are willing to sacrifice it. Further, the politics of allowing the struggling, not-quite-poor elderly to be played off against the very poor are just appalling.
What do the Democrats have left if they cave in on Social Security and Medicare? The Republicans have been running against the sole of this country for the last 30 years and Democrats are helping them get over another finish line.

Here is the link to the article.

http://www.commondreams.org/...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Fitch just announced that we will be downgraded (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo

    if we go over the fiscal cliff.

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/...

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:10:31 AM PST

  •  Republicans have talked up the fiscal bluff (12+ / 0-)

    because the last thing they want is for us to step off it. They know Democrats will hold more cards in January than they do today. This is a desperate last gasp of the 112th Congress.

    No deal is better than any deal cutting S/S or Medicare.

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:19:07 AM PST

  •  I understand the chained CPI criticism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zubalove, FG

    And share it to a large degree.  But it's not a "cave-in" on social security.  It doesn't touch the structure of the program or its financial viability.  And it can be changed, or accounted for, in the future.

    Let all the Bush tax cuts expire

    by Paleo on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:32:20 AM PST

    •  Transform politics requires government statistics (6+ / 0-)

      Something really big, even more than escapists TV, has been behind the deception of politics and economics in America. This may seem arcane, but it is an important issue that frames our reality.

      To understand our politics and economics, one has to understand the fraud in government statistics.

      It took years of pains taking work to produce a book, mentioned below, that enables a general reader to understand the economic system; it is a book on political economics. Its strength and uniqueness is through the use of government statistics to provide the data for the policy argument. It is the first time that I have understood the economy. The slightly technical material is covered in the insightful Appendix. The book agent said that it is the best book she has read in 35 years.

      My hunch is that if citizens knew what is in this book, they could actually understand enough of the economy and government policies to be enraged that the 1% and the corporations have taken over the government. This requires a citizen uprising strong enough to stand up to the power elite. Since both parties have rigged the numbers, it would be hard for some organizations, say labor unions, to endorse a book like this because they have to keep their place at the table with the Democratic Party.

      I have a dream about the book being used in a wide spread grass roots educational effort. As the author points out, democracy is about power, not freedom.
      In the words of the author:

      "Americans have been kept in the dark about the real state of the economy. The government has rigged its economic statistics to hide declining wages, high unemployment, high inflation, and near zero GDP growth. By making loans cheap during the Clinton and Bush presidencies, Americans were able to borrow to keep their heads above water. The era of easy credit ended with the financial collapse of 2008. Since then, Americans have discovered how bad things have really become.

      How could our leaders let this happen? They did so knowingly, but for what they believed was a greater purpose. Since Truman, presidents have sacrificed our economy first to win the Cold War and then, after the fall of the Soviet Union, to prop up a military empire. Our presidents have slept peacefully as Americans suffered, for they believed they acted for a higher purpose.
      The solution for this mess is not radical. It is a return to policies that worked in the past. By reviving the 1944 tax code, and bringing back the protectionist trade policies that made our workers the highest paid in the world, we can return to prosperity."

      Just by itself, this seems like a pipe dream. But it is related to a return to a tax policy that does not allow the small percent of the world's 1% to hide 23 trillion dollars in offshore accounts.

      The author has a background in the classics which includes a translation of Plato, and was chair of a government department for a couple of decades and wrote about political theory. He wrote the first history of the Hmong tribes and has a contract from University of California press to write a book on John Steward Mill. He draws on the historical tradition coupled with exposing the scientific veiled justifications of the avoidance of authentic politics which is seen in technical fields of economics and politics. It is a book about political economics.

      Worse than You Think: The Real Economy Hidden Beneath Washington’s Rigged Statistics, And Where To Go From Here”, by Keith Quincy. Available amazon.com and Barnes and Nobel for a little over $15. e version 99 cents because the author wants to get the message out.

    •  it isn't a cave in if obama wanted it to happen... (9+ / 0-)

      hat tip to david mizner:

      january 2009

      I asked the president-elect, "At the end of the day, are you really talking about over the course of your presidency some kind of grand bargain? That you have tax reform, healthcare reform, entitlement reform including Social Security and Medicare, where everybody in the country is going to have to sacrifice something, accept change for the greater good?"

      "Yes," Obama said.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:06:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jesus Christmas... (6+ / 0-)

        Everybody shares the sacrifice.  This is what frightened me about Obama in the first place.  Everybody sharing the sacrifice?  Is he really so ignorant that he doesn't know the average joe has been shouldering the sacrifice since the Carter years?  That the nearly entire benefit of the Bush tax cuts were enjoyed by the top two percent of the population?  What kind of machismo is this?  Shared sacrifice...sure.

        The liberty of democracy is not safe if people tolerate growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.---FDR

        by masslib on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:49:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  article on Chained CPI - cut all beneficiaries (8+ / 0-)

    Obama's Deficit Proposal: Cut Social Security Benefits
    Indexing Social Security benefits to chained consumer price index means a cut for all beneficiaries

    "Chained CPI," a major piece of President Obama's latest proposal in the budget deficit talks, really means, as progressives point out today, a real cut in benefits.
    here is the link

    http://www.commondreams.org/...

  •  Stop Focusing on a Dead Deal (0+ / 0-)

    Look, we can sit hear arguing whether the deal Obama put on the table was good or bad.  Some Dems. came out against the Chained CPI and others against the retreat from a $250,000 tax increase to a $400,000 tax increase.  Yet Pelosi said she could live with the deal and she would be the last Dem. I would expect to go for a deal that is bad for Progressives.

    But that deal was quickly rejected by Republicans, and I don't think the WH can further sweeten the deal for Republicans without losing Pelosi and a ton of other Dem. votes.  So Forget It!  It ain't gonna happen!

    Even Boehner knows it.  That's what his "Plan B" is all about.  Its not about getting a deal at all.  Its all about the Republicans' attempt to switch the blame for a "fiscal curb" deal failure from them to us.

    This is why we need to move on from the failed deal and unite behind President Obama, Reid, Pelosi and other Dems. to expose Plan B for what it is, a Republican gimmick to shift the blame onto Dems. for going over the curb and the resultant tax increase on the 98%, when it is their lack of making the compromise which the November vote and the current polls indicate is favored by a vast majority of Americans.

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:05:15 AM PST

    •  there is broad agreement among the elites... (6+ / 0-)

      inside and outside of government about what they want from a deal and what obama proposed was the tip of the iceberg.  obama wants it badly, that's why he keeps putting our earned benefits on the table for cutting.

      there is also broad fear among the elites about what the 99% will do to them if they get their wish - and that is where we come in.  we must continue to remind them that they will not be allowed to remain comfortable and in charge if they screw us.  so, yes, it is exactly the right time to keep harping on the details of this failed deal, wrap up the newspaper, smack the bastards on the hindparts and firmly say, "BAD DOG!!!"

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:13:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Don't Really Disagree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe shikspack, tardis10

        But, I think we need to criticize the deal from a forward looking perspective.  I think we need to let the WH know that most of us don't like the rejected deal, but please be advised that ALL of us are opposed to ANY sweetening of the deal for Republican votes, so you better not even think of going there.

        "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

        by Doctor Who on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:09:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think (4+ / 0-)

      this is a failure of imagination.
      But that deal was quickly rejected by Republicans, and I don't think the WH can further sweeten the deal for Republicans without losing Pelosi and a ton of other Dem. votes.  So Forget It!  It ain't gonna happen!


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:17:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They do not inspire us to unite behind them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe shikspack, divineorder
      This is why we need to move on from the failed deal and unite behind President Obama, Reid, Pelosi and other Dems.

      "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

      by allenjo on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:58:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Didn't get a COLA for 2 years under a CPI formula (5+ / 0-)

    changed to cut benefits under Ronald Reagan. Now they are talking about a CHAIN CPI formula. Good luck getting a COLA increase, LIKE EVER!!!! Each time, we get f$$%ed. Is their a conspiracy to get rid of SS? Because if this sh%t continues, what we get in social security, want be enough for most to fight for.

  •  Ronald Reagan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, joe shikspack, tardis10

    What I do not, and what I cannot understand is why Obama's counter offer isn't to go back to the tax rates and closing of loopholes we had when Ronald Reagan revamped our taxes.

    Because taxes were higher for everyone than the modest increase Obama proposed for anyone making over $250,000.  With the saint hood the right has bestowed upon Ronnie, most of their supporters would go for it, because they don't know or remember.  Fox news and the right wing media would have to explain why it's a bad idea and that by comparision Obama's original offer was better.

    I'm beginning to think we need a trail lawyer, or a former state prosecutor in there who know's how to negotiate and make counter offers.

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:11:14 AM PST

    •  we need somebody who's on our side... (4+ / 0-)

      and will negotiate with our welfare at heart.

      i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

      by joe shikspack on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:18:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have no doubt he's on our side, but I'm beginnin (0+ / 0-)

        beginning to think his daughters have him wrapped around their finger if he deals with them the way he deals with Republicans

        Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

        by Clytemnestra on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 06:27:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  As I have been asking others: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG

        It's a negotiation NOT a surrender.

        So name ONE thing the LEFT would be willing to give up to get this deal done.

        I'm in favor of going over the cliff because I think it would screw the GOP into an even tighter spot than they are now, but even if we do, they need to get something.

        If you say they should get absolutely nothing, then you are asking them to surrender unconditionally, and they won't do that.

        So what are we willing to give up? Less in defense cuts? Leaving oil & gas subsidies alone? Keystone pipeline?
        Is ANYTHING on our side negotiable?

        Just asking.

        Shalom.

        "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

        by WineRev on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:02:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm willing to allow Medicare to (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe shikspack, allenjo, blueoasis

          negotiate all drug prices.

          "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

          by tardis10 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:31:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  i'm willing to allow negotiation of drug prices... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tardis10, allenjo, blueoasis

          which should save a ton of money on our medicare costs.  i'm willing to give up life support for the health insurance industry and go to medicare for all.  i'm willing to go for massive (and necessary) defense cuts.  i'm willing to immediately withdraw all american troops from afghanistan and iraq.  i'm willing to end corporate welfare entirely.  i am willing to end the vast majority of farm subsidies which go to corporate farms. i am willing to end fannie mae and freddy mac.  if americans need loans for housing the fed can just print some damned money and give people mortgages directly at the same practically zero percent interest they charge their favored clients, the banksters.  i'm willing to break up the department of homeland security and get close a large number of its programs.  i am willing to end the DEA.  I am willing to stop supporting any intelligence activity that is not an information gathering and analysis function - no covert actions or especially assassinations.

          that's just a few off the top of my head.  there's more.  believe me, i could save a sh*tload of money for the american people.

          i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

          by joe shikspack on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:32:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Increase Social Security (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tardis10, joe shikspack, blueoasis

          A good start of the negotiation process would have been by increasing Social Security benefits, not reducing them.

          Once again the president started giving up at the start....

          After listening to jay carney, reid, pelosi yesterday, those on "our side" (as if any of them really are)  the "falling off the cliff' seems to be the best position now.

          "Who are these men who really run this land? And why do they run it with such a thoughtless hand?" David Crosby

          by allenjo on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:59:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  and how about these? (4+ / 0-)

          details are here http://blog.ourfuture.org/...

          1. Close multiple loopholes in the capital gains law: $174.2 billion. (1.42x)
          2. Refuse to compromise on the President’s $250,000 figure for increased taxation: $183 billion (1.5x)
          3. Reduce the budget for US overseas military bases by 20 percent: $200 billion. (1.6x)
          4. Allow the government to negotiate with drug companies: $220 billion. (1.8x)
          5. Enact DoD-friendly cuts to military budget: $519 billion. (4.25x)
          6. Enact Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s ‘Fairness in Taxation Act’ for very high earners: $872.5 billion. (7.15x)
          7. Eliminate corporate tax loopholes: $1.24 trillion (10x)
          8. Create a financial transactions tax for high-volume Wall Street trading: $1.8 trillion (14.75x)

          "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

          by tardis10 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 08:15:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Summary of comments answering your (0+ / 0-)

          question: nothing.

          •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG

            When you want the other side to get NOTHING you are not negotiating, you asking for unconditional surrender. No political party does that.

            Good grief, when Pemberton surrendered Vicksburg to "Unconditional Surrender" Grant, Grant didn't take 31,000 prisoners and have them all shot. Indeed, he didn't even send them to POW camps but let nearly all of them go home on parole.
            Yet Grant's capture of Vicksburg split the Confederacy and made Southern Independence impossible.
            Did he hold ALL the cards? Yes.
            Did he get what he wanted? Yes.
            Was there a surrender? Yes.
            Yet, did 31,000 men from the Southern side get to go home? Yes.

            Mind you, I support nailing the GOP into a box on the fiscal curb, on the debt ceiling, on unemployment benefits, on the Alternative Minimum Tax, etc, etc. But just exactly WHAT is anyone on this site willing to concede in return?

            There is a whiff of absolutism and super purity around here that is giving me a headache.

            Shalom.

            "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

            by WineRev on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 11:13:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  if we were neotiating from the real center (0+ / 0-)

          then yes .. but we are negotiating from the right .. where they moved the center .. so it's all their turf anyway

          Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

          by Clytemnestra on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 11:06:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  JUMP!!! JUMP!! .... I've got my helmet on. (0+ / 0-)

    The Democrats have to just hold fast and let the Republicans self-destruct. Have some patience and let them combust.

    Not only do Democrat's have limited backbone, they are also horribly impatient.

    Sit back, get a nice drink, and enjoy the show for once.

    And if at any point we can do something to trip, poke, or otherwise help the Republicans fall on their faces.... do it. Let your inner devil free for a bit, if they are stumbling by, by all means stick your foot out and trip them. If you are walking along and they are laying on the sidewalk in pain, feel free to kick then in the nutz.... accidentally of course.

    It is OK to revel in their self-destruction, it's just human, it's OK to feel some perverse pleasure in it. It's part of the human genome. Embrace your inner meanie. ;P

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