If this bill passes from the House unamended (ie as it passed the Senate), we will have lost all leverage.
So, what will happen ?
Below the squiggle
Okay, so the second vote Boehner holds passes (maybe it does, maybe it does not).
Suppose it does, then, the argument goes, we will give away the store because we will have lost all leverage.
Hmmm. So, what really happens ? What would President Obama give up ? He would raise the eligibility age from 65 to 67 for Medicare and accept the chained CPI cut. Would he give that away for nothing ? No. He will only agree to that if he got a lot more revenue from the wealthy and more cuts in defense. Would a stand alone bill really pass the Senate that only included raising the eligibility age from 65 to 67 for Medicare and the chained CPI cut ? No.
But the sequestration threat ? The GOP will threaten sequestration will take place.
Response from Democrats: Fine, the cuts are to Medicare PROVIDERS and there are no other cuts to earned benefits. The major cuts are random cuts to defense. The GOP does not really want that. And it does not go against our values (protecting the social safety net, the vulnerable, ...). It will harm the economy. But the GOP will own the sequestration as much as we will. And if they try to run on fiscal responsibility, do you really think that is a winning issue for them at this point ?
Okay, they will threaten us with going over the debt ceiling and defaulting with our debt .
They will own doing so. They will have a choice whether they want to do that and own it or not do it. Either way, they lose.
By the way, I oppose, chained CPI cuts and raising the Medicare eligibility age. Clearly, Social Security does not contribute a penny to the deficit. And people have paid into Social Security and Medicare all their working lives. Raising the age does not actually save much money and does not solve the problem of raising health care costs. We cannot continue to do this. And both of these will hurt our vulnerable citizens. So, I oppose those two measures for those reasons.
If these measures are accepted by Democrats, especially in the Senate, there will be a requirement that tax revenues are raised in a significant way.
By the way, Professor Krugman pointed out that these two moves would only cut $300 Billion in spending over a decade. Our deficit is $1Trillion. Our current annual spending is $16 Trillion. So, these moves would hurt vulnerable people and would not contribute significantly towards debt/deficit reduction.