Bill Moyers had economists Yves Smith and Bruce Bartlett on his PBS program on December 14, and they claimed that President Obama has been an advocate of reducing public entitlements since before he was inaugurated. They warn that he promises to make this a major thrust of his second term.
Thus, these programs are in trouble with him "defending" them as we liberals are assuming he will do in the fiscal cliff negotiations and beyond. If this is true, we need to get the word out!
Below is an excerpt from the show. You can find the video and transcript at http://billmoyers.com/...
I'm not following up on the statements so much as asking whether people are aware of this and have other evidence of Obama's true intent, confirming or debunking this conclusion.
YVES SMITH: Obama wants to cut entitlements. He said this in a famous dinner with George Will. I think it was even before he was inaugurated. He went and had dinner with a group--If people have more evidence on this, please share it; and then let's warn the world. I feel I've been trusting Obama too much to "do what's right." Sounds like the problem is he's indeed doing what's "right"—too right.
BRUCE BARTLETT: That's right, a group of conservatives.
YVES SMITH: He met a group of conservatives. And he made it very clear at this dinner that as soon as the economy was stabilized that he wanted to cut Social Security, well "reform." But that's just code for "cut" Social Security and Medicare. Obama really believes that this will be a signature accomplishment of his. That he will go down in history positively for.
BRUCE BARTLETT: That's right. If you go back to 2011 and look at the deal Obama put on the table, he was willing to make vast, vast cuts in entitlement programs. And the Republicans walked away from it, which only goes to prove that they don't have the courage of their own convictions. But Yves point is exactly correct. Obama really is maybe to the right of Dwight Eisenhower and fiscally. And it's really at the root of so many of our economy's problems, because he didn't ask for a big enough stimulus. Has let the housing sector, basically, fester for four years without doing anything about it. He's really, you know, focused more on cutting the deficit than people imagine.