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President Barack Obama meets with bipartisan House and Senate Leadership in the Cabinet Room of the White House to discuss his upcoming fiscal policy speech, April 13, 2011. Seated with the President from left are: Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Sen. Mitch McC
President Barack Obama urged Congress Tuesday to replace the automatic spending cuts of the budget sequester with a balanced set of deficit reductions that included cuts and revenue. He also indicated that, as far as he's concerned, a "grand bargain" is still possible.
The proposals that I put forward during the fiscal cliff negotiations in discussions with Speaker Boehner and others are still very much on the table.  I just want to repeat:  The deals that I put forward, the balanced approach of spending cuts and entitlement reform and tax reform that I put forward are still on the table.
He is still willing to trade entitlements for revenues, a deal that—so far—America's seniors have been saved from by Republican intransigence on taxes. What was previously offered up by Obama was raising the Medicare eligibility age and the chained CPI, a revision of the cost of living adjustment for Social Security that would mean increasing benefit cuts to seniors as they get older.

Not willing to count on the crazies in the House GOP caucus, Sens. Bernie Sanders, Sheldon Whitehouse and Jeff Merkley have been raising hell to prevent the cut being included in any plan. They're also circulating this letter among Senate colleagues asking for them to join in opposition to the proposal.

There's a further bulwark against entitlement cuts in the House, too, where the Congressional Progressive Caucus has actually come up with a plan that wouldn't just protect the nation's most vulnerable from further cuts, but would create jobs, too. If the White House wants to be serious about both deficit reduction and keeping the economy growing, those are the proposals that should be on the table.

The silver lining is that, because Republicans are so obstinate over taxes, any kind of plan that passes in the House will have to pass with Democratic support, and House Democrats can stop entitlement cuts. They're reminding their leadership and President Obama of that with a letter they're circulating among their colleagues, shoring up opposition to the cuts. We can help.

You can be a citizen co-signer of this letter to President Obama and House leadership, expressing your opposition to any benefit cuts to vital programs.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:50 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow - this sucks. Who could have predicted? nt (20+ / 0-)

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

    by 420 forever on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:01:08 AM PST

    •  Me. (7+ / 0-)

      But only because I am cynical.

      In the 21st Century, a cynical clock is right about 10 times a day.

      Just coincidence, though

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:05:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      420 forever, WisePiper

      once again to the painful detriment of those that pretend I have somehow been "discredited." But they also blame my diaries causing the latest contraction as you know.

      I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

      by priceman on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:34:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Congrats (0+ / 0-)

        you once again predicted...wait what has happened?

        I see what you did there.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:37:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          420 forever, Williston Barrett

          Chained CPI+ Medicare eligibility is on the table like I said it was. I accept your apology.

          I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

          by priceman on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:43:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nuclear war is on the table too. (0+ / 0-)

            I'll pat myself on the back and write 10 diaries about it next week.

            I see what you did there.

            by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:44:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're going there? That's hilarious+desperate (5+ / 0-)

              plus the analogy only holds if someone denied nuclear war was a deterrent and containment policy during the cold war spanned out many decades to now until there are no nukes. being hit by an asteroid is also on the table so weave Obama awone! Not a lot of logic behind that desperate analogy.

              No, first you denied Chained CPI with SS was on the table. Then the WH made you look stupid by stating that it is. Then you said the breaking of the Hastert rule meant none of it is on the table and you embarrassed yourself again. This is similar when you and many like you said the Bush tax cut deal was a big win in 2010 when I warned  this would happen and it came to fruition as e are still having backroom deals putting the New Deal up for bargain for what was once routine. It's a massive failure I predicted and have the evidence to back me up which I can offer anyone who asks..

              You see, Gogo those that have read my work for the past two years know this is true. Only a complete disregards for Peter Peterson and the campaign Wall St billionaires like him have going after SS lining the Democrats and Republican's pockets with cash to say SS and Medicare as well as the national debt are in crisis and we must sacrifice them.

              This is all documented. Everyone who denied SS was still on the table as well as Medicare has to eat a lot of crow. besides if 11th dimensional chess was real a budget would be passed, a debt ceiling would have been secure in 2010 with the Bush tax cuts expiring as leverage and real solutions like PCS talked about.

              So I'm afraid you're just out of options. You gotta eat that crow, Gogo.

              I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

              by priceman on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:57:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  All you're saying is (0+ / 0-)

                'I hear something again'. But the wolf still hasn't showed up yet. And for the LIFE of me, not ONE who thinks as you do has been able to come up with a good reason why cuts weren't in the last deal, since we know the GOP wants them!

                I see what you did there.

                by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:31:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I go by history (3+ / 0-)

                  Selling out on raising taxes on everyone above $250,000 to 400,00o to 450,000 was enough while kicking the can down the road a few months never getting that deal that took the debt ceiling off the table and now the Obama created sequester he is trying to avoid. The President knows what's on the table while you paint a fantasy of him protecting SS just because this ongoing conclusion to the debacle limping from crisis to crisis hasn't happened yet.

                  In this process what has happened is not raising SS or Medicare benefits because this isn't governing, but I wish you would tell seniors you are fine with that but you won't because normal people are not important to you. Only a politician and your idolized version of him in a world where political framing doesn't matter; a fantasy world.

                  There's absolutely no basis for anything you say. You just believe. You don't think. That's all.

                  I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

                  by priceman on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:52:57 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  The wolf is here, and baying at the sheepfold. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  priceman, gooderservice

                  So please don't stop your ears up and pretend you don't hear it.

                  Once again, a Democratic White House is going where not even George W. Bush could not by putting Social Security on the table in some kind of "Grand Bargain" that involves the rich paying less taxes, the poor getting less benefits and everyone inside the Beltway patting themselves on their back.

                  For Democrats, this is a watershed moment. Anyone who supports President Obama's stance on this issue is betraying the core Democratic principle that the Government is there to provide at least some support to the elderly and the unfortunate.

                  "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

                  by Australian2 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 02:01:12 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  It's like Social Security Cut Groundhog Day (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GoGoGoEverton, BenderRodriguez

            Step 1: Rumor President Obama is going to cut Social Security
            Step 2: Social Security doesn't get cut
            Step 3: Repeat.

            •  Also unaware of what's going on I see (3+ / 0-)

              it's a game of kick the can form 2010 to 2011 to now. you can't even get your analogies right as it's just one long day. I'm sorry you think there were victories that never were or uninformed that SS was cut in 1983 with help from Democrats.

              I'm sorry you don't know anything about Peter Peterson or the campaign to cut SS or how accepting cuts publicly drives support for cuts just to get out of a self induced embarrassing mess you call 11th dimensional chess.

              I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

              by priceman on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:44:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Again, Social Security Cut Groundhog Day (0+ / 0-)

                Step 1: Rumor President Obama is going to cut Social Security
                Step 2: Social Security doesn't get cut
                Step 3: Repeat.

                Listen, Skippy,
                Obama wasn't President in 1983
                It's 2013 now (and Social Security Cuts)
                Nobody gives a shit about Pete Peterson
                Nobody's talking about chess
                And you just keep embarrassing yourself, so, so desperate to believe these rumors.

                Who knows? Maybe you'll actually be right one day.

                •  Who knows? Maybe you will. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  priceman, gooderservice

                  First, tell me: Who very publicly put Chained CPI onto the table (aka "Granny stops eating beef mince and starts eating catfood, so it's all OK") as a way of "solving" Social Security's problems?

                  In fact, I'll give you the answer: it was the Obama White House. It was also the Obama White House that offered to raise retirement ages in 2011 (despite it being well-established that this option hurts the rich the least and the poor the most), as well as suggesting that Social Security should be means-tested (thus providing the Right a convenient cover to kill SocSec as "just another welfare program", with media complicity as always).

                  Face the facts: On his current course, President Obama may well go down in history as the Democratic President who killed Social Security, unless someone - like DKos - can actually strap some steel to Congressional Dems' spines.

                  "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

                  by Australian2 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 02:13:10 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Don't call me skippy (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  musiccitymollie

                  It doesn't matter if Obama wasn't President. Tip O'Neil was more of a liberal Democrats and still SS was cut with his help which is called a historical precedent.

                  Only people unaware of the long campaign to cut SS don't care about Peter Peterson. I know you don't care about history and are unaware of a lot of things. As taught to you below chained cpi was put on the table by this President in this self created debacle.

                  Do you think your ignorance is funny? You're just like those Bush supporters that say Bush protected us for 8 years because technically there was never another attack. It's the same blind faith from someone no better than a Bush supporter.

                  That's the apt analogy, not Groundhog day the movie, because this debacle spans years now, not the same day over and over and you think blind faith and historical ignorance is going to be your cover.

                  Not while people can remember even recent history like the public option being done away with and oh you cried and deneid and "just trusted this President."

                  I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

                  by priceman on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:09:40 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Settle down (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm well aware of the deal Tip O'Neill made with Regan.

                    And I'm well aware that there will always be enemies of "entitlement" programs.

                    That doesn't change the fact that since Obama was sworn in, we have seen the largest increase in social programs since LBJ was in office, 45 years ago.

            •  And the Grand Bargain (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              priceman

              hasn't been struck yet, has it?

              We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

              by denise b on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:06:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, which means that this (3+ / 0-)

                Is Obama's initial offer - bad as it is on a multitude of levels, it doesn't begin to approach the bad that he'll "settle for", just to keep something running with the name "Social Security" on it.

                Of course, that's assuming that he - even vaguely - wants to preserve Social Security at all. And the evidence is not reassuring.

                "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

                by Australian2 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 02:14:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Predicted what? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenderRodriguez

      That something might maybe happen again?

      I see what you did there.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:37:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I predict an asteroid impact (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GoGoGoEverton, BenderRodriguez

        It will happen, again, maybe.

      •  They are (3+ / 0-)

        going to reach some sort of compromise on the budget, or did you think it's been postponed for eternity because it hasn't happened yet?

        And the entitlement cuts - er, excuse me, "reforms" - are still on the table because they told us they are.

        But don't you worry your little head about it.

        We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

        by denise b on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:09:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, but the President's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice

          playing eleventy-dimensional chess again!

          That's the universal excuse when a Democrat betrays the fundamental planks of the party - it's a tactical maneuver, designed to secure ULTIMATE VICTORY over the Republicans.

          The Tea Party, as crazy as they are, can at least put some fear of primaries into sitting Republicans. Sitting Democrats can sneer at the party base as much and as often as they want, without consequence.

          "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

          by Australian2 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 02:16:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Entitlement Reform should be banned (28+ / 0-)

    from the English language.

    I mean it is such a weasel phrase designed to lie, trick, and obscure.   It just makes me angry every time I read it.  I  mean it just shuts my brain down to anything else you are trying to communicate.  

    When you say entitlement reform I tune you out and turn you off and add you to my "don't ever vote for that creep" list.

  •  Whoa! Hold on there- (14+ / 0-)

    You wrote:

    What was previously offered up by Obama was raising the Medicare eligibility age and the chained CPI,
    I read a lot about offering up chained CPI which I adamantly oppose as literally taking food out of the mouths of seniors, but I have no recollection of OBAMA offering up an increase in the eligibility age, although of course it's always one of the items mentioned by Austerity Mongers and Very Serious People and the Villagers. But when did Obama himself offer up an increase?

    If he actually did that, I am over Democrats. In light of the un-employment figures for the population over 50, the age should be lowered, not raised.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:06:44 AM PST

  •  Well, sure, we have to offer sacrifice to the (17+ / 0-)

    robber barons in the new gilded age. After all, their tax attorneys may not be able to entirely whittle away the few extra bucks they might now have to contribute for the strength of the national economy. Why not gouge the little guy who has put his share into the social insurance kitty all of his working life? Doesn't that sound grand?

  •  Thank you for posting this letter, Joan. (8+ / 0-)

    Hey folks, let's also burn up those phone lines to the White House and Capitol Hill.

    Remember, MANY CORPORATIST REPUBLICANS ARE  IN FAVOR OF RAISING TAXES THROUGH THE CLOSING OF LOOPHOLES.  

    Especially, those loopholes that mainly affect lower and middle income Americans, such as not being taxed on the health premiums that employers pay on behalf of their employees.

    Repubs have been angling to pass "this reform," FOREVER!
    Please call, email, fax--whatever!  Heck, go visit them if you can. :-)

    Mollie

    "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

    by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:13:47 AM PST

    •  Are insurance premiums tax deductible (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whaddaya, elwior, musiccitymollie

      ...for Americans who pay them out of pocket -- because their employers do not offer health care?

      I could never get that straight.



      Denial is a drug.

      by Pluto on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:21:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  there are medical expense deductions (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, nchristine, musiccitymollie

        one can take; i'm not sure of the ins-and-outs exactly, but it's something about expenses being X% of income or some such.

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:09:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're correct, Cedwyn, but that is a separate (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto, Williston Barrett

          issue.

          However, the ACA, effective January 1, 2013, had a provision to diminish the ability to deduct for medical expenses (by raising the threshold for the deduction), with the noted exception below.

          Here's a blurb on that:


          Health Care Reform & Medical Expense Deduction

          Posted by: Steve Hartstein, CPA, JD
          Thursday, March 25, 2010

          The Patient Protection Act, as amended by the House Reconciliation Act, raises the threshold for the itemized medical expense deduction from 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) to 10 percent of AGI for regular income tax purposes effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2012.

          However, individuals age 65 and older (and their spouses) would be temporarily exempt from the increase. The exemption for seniors would apply to any tax year beginning after December 31, 2012 and ending before January 1, 2017 if the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse attained age 65 for the tax year.

          Mollie

          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

          by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:14:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So does that mean that people who (0+ / 0-)

            ...get premiums paid by employers (55%) are the only people in the united states of america who earn tax-free money to cover premiums?

            Everyone else has to pay their premiums with after-tax money?

            That sounds fair.



            Denial is a drug.

            by Pluto on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:25:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Pluto, I'm trying to check out something on this, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pluto

              and didn't ignore your question, earlier.  I'm still looking.

              But, I am curious.  The figure for folks who purchase their health insurance plans "directly" from insurance companies (IOW, non-group plans) is approximately 9%.  (I've seen 8% to 10% in white papers from various think tanks.)  Just now when I Googled, I got 9% from Wikipedia.  So, that figure must be roughly correct, for the purpose of our discussion.

              But, where did you get the figure of "55% being the only people in the US who earn tax-free money to cover premiums?"

              Is that the figure you've found for "the number of Americans who are enrolled in employer-provided group health plans?"

              Would appreciate the clarification, if you don't mind.

              Mollie

              "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

              by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:46:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Here you go: (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                musiccitymollie, Cedwyn

                It's about 55 percent at this time.



                Denial is a drug.

                by Pluto on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:09:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Okay. That's what I "thought" that you meant, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pluto

                  Pluto.

                  Now, I don't claim to be a "tax expert" (understatement of the year, LOL!), but--here's my understanding of this, based partly on personal experience.

                  Please, real tax experts in the DKos community, chime in!

                  Mr. Mollie as a self-employed insurance and securities broker (with his own business or agency) was eligible to "write-off" any health insurance premiums that he paid directly to an insurance company (IOW, in the private, individual insurance market, as opposed to "group" market).

                  He never did this, however, since he was covered under my group insurance (at a cheaper cost than even he could dredge up, LOL!).

                  But, I've checked with him, and his tax attorney did tell him that it was a deductible expense AT THAT TIME.  (Now, a little more than ten years ago).  

                  So, I checked Wikipedia, and they claim that:

                  "According to the US Census Bureau, about 9% of Americans are covered under health insurance purchased directly."

                  and,

                  "In the individual market, the consumer pays the entire premium without benefit of an employer contribution.  While self-employed individuals receive a tax deduction for their health insurance and can buy health insurance with additional tax benefits, most consumers in the individual market do not receive any tax benefit."

                  So, what does this mean?

                  Sounds to me like there's not a whole lot of consistency in the "individually purchased" health insurance market.

                  Clearly, in the group market, everyone gets the same tax treatment.

                  So, instead of taking this benefit from the masses in the Group market, why not just make the "tax deduction" the same for all of the small percentage (9%) in the "individually purchased" health insurance market.

                  Frankly, Pluto, this is mostly a moot point when so-called "tax reform" is implemented.

                  The entire point of the tax reform as spelled out in the Bowles-Simpson proposal (The Moment Of Truth) is to "broaden the base, and lower the marginal tax rates."  The tax overhaul that's in the making now, is designed to lower the marginal tax rates of the wealthiest Americans and corporations.

                  For the wealthiest Americans, if the Administration goes with the Bowles-Simpson model, their tax rates will go from 39.6% to between 23-28% next January 1 (2014).

                  Whereas, many lower and middle income folks will take a "haircut," since their rates will be lowered in some cases, just a couple percentage points.  Especially if they then get taxed on the several thousands of dollars that their employers pay (on their behalf) for their health insurance.

                  And even if the wealthy lose their ability to take a tax deduction for their health insurance premium, they're still getting a much better deal.  That's because they will see a drop in their marginal tax rates of between 11.6% to 16.6%.

                  That's compared to a drop of 3% to 7% for the lowest income bracket.

                  Here's the proposed Tax Table from Bowles-Simpson's Proposal:

                  Figure 6: Tax Rates Under Various Scenarios
                  Bottom Rate Middle Rate Top Rate

                  Current Rates for 2010 10% 15% 25% 28% 33% 35% 35%

                  Scheduled Rates for 2011 15% 28% 31% 36% 39.6% 35%

                  Eliminate all Tax Expenditures*-- 8% 14% 23% 26%

                  Keep Child Tax Credit + EITC* -- 9% 15% 24% 26%

                  Enact Illustrative Tax Plan (Below)* -- 12% 22% 28% 28%

                  [Remember:  This was written in 2010.]

                  So you see, any way you look at it, the "little guy" gets scr**ed!
                  :-)

                  Hope this isn't too much of a mess.  I'm too pushed this evening to proofread this very closely, so apologize in advance for typos, etc.

                  Here's link to The Moment Of Truth.  Please check out Section II, Tax Reform.  It makes more sense than I do, I'm sure.

                  One last thing, considering that folks making 400% of FPL and less will get federally subsidized health insurance (which I support, BTW) why would we now want to start denying a many-decade-long tax break to millions of Americans, who are paying for their own health insurance.

                  The only thing that should be addressed, IMHO, is that the folks in the "individually purchased" market should ALL RECEIVE a tax break on their premium, not just the wealthier small business owners (or self-employed).

                  But, that's just my opinion.

                  And it won't matter what you or I think, because the PtB are going to cut out this tax credit/expenditure for the common guy, to pay for slashing the marginal tax rates for the wealthy and the corporations.  Just watch.

                  Mollie

                  "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

                  by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:21:23 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You explained it all beautifully (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    musiccitymollie

                    ...and expanded my understanding of the issue in many ways.

                    Let's set aside BowleS -- which are not the droids we're looking for -- and stick with current law as written.

                    I believe it is a done deal that the tax break has been revoked (for employees, at least) and they shall have to include, as ordinary income, their employer's monetary gift to them, which is used to pay some health insurance costs.

                    The share paid by the employee was probably treated as ordinary income, come tax time. Could employees also take a tax deduction on their share? That's important to know.

                    The answer will predict the future outcome of this issue.

                    Thanks again, Mollie.



                    Denial is a drug.

                    by Pluto on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 10:00:35 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If you're asking if "cafeteria plan" type (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Pluto

                      deductions for an employee's health care premium (i.e., the premiums being taken out of pre-taxed dollars) will be permitted next year, or after the Health Exchange is set-up?

                      Guess what?
                       I don't have a clue, LOL!

                      Good question, though.  I'll keep my eyes peeled for something on this issue.  :-)

                      Mollie

                      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

                      by musiccitymollie on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:34:20 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  that is the thing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pluto

              it pisses me off so bad.  some jobs get health bennies and all this untaxed compensation, whereas a waitress is taxed on every penny.  such total bullshit.

              Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

              by Cedwyn on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:53:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry, Cedwyn, but don't follow your logic. Are (0+ / 0-)

                you not aware that many restaurant chains offer health insurance to their employees, including waitresses.

                And those businesses surely have the same rules regarding the employer's portion of the employee's health premium being shielded as income.

                On what grounds do you claim that a waitress is treated differently, in regards to her "group health insurance?"

                Look, I stand corrected if you can point out and document that they have a different "tax treatment" in this matter.  But I can't imagine that this would be the case.

                [Now, some waitresses may not be able to afford to participate in their employer-based group health insurance plan.  But that's a whole different topic.]

                Mollie

                "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

                by musiccitymollie on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:42:27 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  "many"? no. i've waited tables (0+ / 0-)

                  been all up inz that world.  the food service jobs that offer bennies are few and far between.

                  the point, and problem, is that wages are fully taxed while other compensation is not.  that model has * got * to go.

                  the rest of your post is a big, fat strawman addressing a claim i never made.

                  Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                  by Cedwyn on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 09:09:58 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No strawman, here, LOL! I understood you to be (0+ / 0-)

                    saying that a waitress was not treated the same in regard to taxes.  And the topic being discussed by me and another commenter was the "tax treatment" of group health insurance.

                    But, if I misunderstood your comment, I'm sorry.  I thought that it believed that they were treated "differently" in regard to their group health insurance.

                    BTW, maybe you should check out large restaurant chains.  Seriously, many do offer health insurance.  

                    Now, just like many employers, anymore, they are not the really good policies that you could find ten or twenty years ago.

                    That I believe we could agree on.  :-)

                    Mollie

                    "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

                    by musiccitymollie on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 11:15:52 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  I'm checking on this now. N/T (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

        by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:00:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's okay, Mollie (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musiccitymollie

          The other half consists of the uninsured (17% about to enter the individual market), the individual market (12%), Medicare (14% which has both premiums and requires supplemental insurance), Medicaid -- which has co-pays, VA (4%), and it may include state and federal workers (it's unclear because some sources cite 44% for employer-provided insurance).

          All of those who work and pay taxes will not get that tax break.

          I think all Americans should be treated the same and that they should all get the tax break.

          The government seems to think all Americans should be treated equally, and none of them get the tax break.



          Denial is a drug.

          by Pluto on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:02:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Amen (to the last two sentences, especially). If (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pluto

            we were all covered under a "Medicare-For-All" plan, we wouldn't have to be antagonizing over the fairness of "tax treatment!"  :-)

            Mollie

            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

            by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:46:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Chained CPI & Raising Medicare Eligibility Age are (5+ / 0-)

    all Boehner ideas that he recommended.  Obama was willing to hear him out on it.

    Funny Stuff at http://www.funnyordie.com/oresmas

    by poopdogcomedy on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 11:29:23 AM PST

  •  Why? (13+ / 0-)

    Does Obama keep talking about cuts to SS and Medicare?  Hewon an election saying he wouldn't cut either.  The Democratic Party will be destroyed if they allow SS to be cut.  As a matter of fact I will leave the party and know many others who will do so to.

  •  Joe Biden guaranteed it won't happen (7+ / 0-)

    anyway, by saying it's still on the table, the President has undercut the argument heard around here that the offer was a cunning ploy to make the Republicans look bad, one that he knew they'd never take and was part of his 11th dimensional chess strategy.

  •  Create jobs and raise the min wage=more FICA (8+ / 0-)

    As the SS trustees tell us in the low cost scenario, the trust fund is not depleted in the projection period thru 2090.

    Everyone @ DK needs to understand the 2029 and 2033 dates are based on near economic collapse for 20 more years, a tad unrealistic.

    The 2 major order effects on SS are job creation and wage growth.

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 12:16:11 PM PST

  •  I wish I was 67 (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, 714day, commonmass, Just Bob, Churchill

    again ;)

  •  Here's what I want to know: (9+ / 0-)

    I've got my partner in the ICU. He's on permanent disability anyway, so he has full Medicare and also Medicaid. What if they decide that people like GMB02 (my partner) should have their benefits cut? Do they have any idea what that would do to us? Do they care?

    NO. They Do Not Care. Especially disgusting is the fact that anyone who has those benefits has been paying into them their entire working lives.

    So my question for the President is this: what are your baselines for compromising on the backs of the most vulnerable citizens? Are GMB02 and I worthy? What about our fathers?

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:00:22 PM PST

    •  From what I've read (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass

      The cuts that Obama has offered shouldn't affect your partner and won't even kick in for several years. The CCPI cut wouldn't take effect for a few years, and the age increase wouldn't kick in for at least 12 years. So I'm fairly certain that in your cases you needn't worry about THESE proposed cuts. But who knows what other cuts are being discussed and are "on the table" that may make it into some final deal. But even then, there's no assurance that it would pass both houses as a Dem filibuster (of all things) is a possibility. Or, there might be enough house progressives and teabaggers to block passage.

      Still, it's beyond sucky that such cuts are even being discussed.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:49:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kovie, I think that he's talking about something (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kovie, denise b

        entirely different from the discussion here about the Chained CPI, and or raising the Medicare eligibility age.

        The Fiscal Commission and the think tanks are proposing putting that category of folks into "managed-care" plans.

        Their "treatment" will not be the same that it has been for many years, sadly.  IOW, their medical coverage was quite comprehensive because they were dually covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

        Now, they are testing a "hybrid" plan to cut costs.  This plan will result in less, not more, coverage.  It will not even furnish "hospice care," which is currently covered under Medicare.

        Again, it won't happen overnight, since the a least a couple of these "test or pilot" programs have just recently begun.  [I believe that they are 3-year programs, but don't take that to the bank.]  Then there will be a period of time before the program will be officially switched to a MCO.

        So, for the immediate future, I wouldn't be too concerned.  But if it were me, I would definitely go to Kaiser Health news (at the minimum) and follow the proposed changes to the dual-eligible program.

        Here's a link (with other links) for starters:

        Kaiser Health News--Dual-Eligibles

        I don't won't to worry anyone (commonmass, etc.), but seriously, it's best to know "what is coming down the pike."

        Kaiser has pretty good, basic healthcare news.

        Here's an excerpt:

        People who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid - many of whom are elderly and in nursing homes - need lots of often-expensive care. . . .

        Twenty-five states have applied to be part of the managed care experiment for so-called "dual-eligibles," people who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. . . .

        and here, USA Today:

        America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the insurers' trade group, estimates that if all the duals were put into the best managed-care plans, state and federal governments could save as much as $125 billion during the next decade.

        The fiscal reform commission chaired by former senator Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and Bill Clinton's chief of state, Erskine Bowles, estimated putting duals into managed-care plans would save the federal government about $12 billion over a decade.

        Seniors' advocates, though, are leery about a mandate that could limit the choice of health care providers that dual eligibles could use.

        "A quick so-called fix, such as mandatory enrollment of all duals in managed-care plans, will most likely neither result in savings to taxpayers nor assure the health and supportive care needs of this group will be met," said AARP legislative director David Certner.

        With federal approval, at least half the states already require all or some of their Medicaid recipients to join private managed-care plans.

        But typically, duals are excluded from such mandates. . .

        Ken Thorpe, professor of health policy at Emory University in Atlanta and author of the AHIP white paper on dual eligibles, said the supercommittee needs to act. "The supercommittee needs to go where the savings are," he said. He said the Obama administration is moving in the right direction to give states more flexibility in designing new delivery systems for duals. "But we need to move faster," he said.

        Clearly the trend is to save money by pushing dual-eligibles into managed care.  I would invest a little bit of time into following the news on this, and maybe joining an advocacy group for the disabled, to fight against these so-called "reforms."

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

        by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:25:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  $12B? Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musiccitymollie

          That's nothing in deficit terms. If they throw people under the bus for that, they deserve to be thrown out of office--Obama too.

          I'm sensing that his 2nd inaugural honeymoon's over and it's open season on him now that we don't have to worry about a Repub president. Which is as it should be. Only fools are blindly loyal to their leaders.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:31:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, I agree, kovie. It is a despicable policy (0+ / 0-)

            proposal.

            Dual-eligibles are the sickest, and many times the oldest and most frail members of our society.

            Really, folks--What has it come to here?

            Mollie

            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

            by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:55:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Dual eligibles are slated to be put in "managed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass

      care." I posted a link about this some time ago.  If I can remember where, I'll come back and repost it, here.

      It doesn't look good, at all.  Neither Massachusetts or Ohio are including "hospice care" in their dual eligible managed care programs, even though it is a Medicare benefit.

      You really should be watching as these "test" programs work their way through the process.

      Good luck to you and your partner.  (BTW, these programs will last several years, so there's not, hopefully, an immediate threat to you.)

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

      by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:59:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I thought hospice care (0+ / 0-)

        saved money by keeping people out of the hospital - ?

        We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

        by denise b on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:18:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Austerity still in play (9+ / 0-)

    because the deciders know they don't have to fear any real backlash.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:04:38 PM PST

    •  They may be wrong about that (5+ / 0-)

      Serious austerity will have political consequences.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:50:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And we would 'do well' to let the Administration, (0+ / 0-)

        and all of our Democratic Party leaders understand that there will be significant adverse consequences at the polls in 2014 and 2016, if they continue to pursue this course.

        We have the leverage, if we've got the nerve (and courage) to use it.

        Mollie

        "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

        by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:59:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The sign petition now link at bottom takes you to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill

    an Act Blue donation page when you click "sign here".  That is confusing.  Any way to tell if your signature has been added?

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:08:10 PM PST

  •  I dunno (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill, BenderRodriguez, indie17

    Stuff like that comes off to me like when ALL presidents say things like 'all options are on the table' when a foreign nation is going crazy about something....that really doesn't mean a nuking is imminent. But, what do I know, since SS cuts happened in 2011 happened in 2012 will probably happen in 2013.

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:09:51 PM PST

    •  He hasn't theoretically kept this on the table (6+ / 0-)

      in an "all options are on the table" way. He's specifically offered these cuts. There are those here who continue to claim that these were all sourceless leaks from unreliable sources, but countless articles have come out claiming that the WH has offered these cuts and to date there have been no denials from the WH, officially or through "high level" sources.

      Sure, it may be a high-stakes bluff. But that it's been offered is simply fact.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:44:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pay attention. This is the same can kicked (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Williston Barrett, 3goldens

      meanwhile no budget, no stimulus, and not even routine debt ceilings rises are passed because trusting John Boehner in 2010 was a clever thing to do for bipartisan deficit stupidity or corruption(or to show the extremists in the Democratic party who believe in the New Deal a thing or two). This kind of denial shows you have had your head in the sand for years.

      The nuclear way analogy fails completely. We were raising debt ceilings, investing in this country while there was a nuclear threat and now we aren't because of a failure of leadership like some of us predicted.

      The fact that you have to have this explained to you and think your denial or ignorance is funny when you keep saying nothing is happening as if nothing out of the norm is going on just shows a general lack of curiosity on your part so why even comment at all?

      I don't negotiate grand bargains with deficit terrorists!

      by priceman on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:08:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of course (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indie17, derridog, Williston Barrett

    I campaigned for the President and really wanted him to win; but I look @ what he says with a grain of salt.  Until I actually see him act on it; I don't trust what he says.  This may hurt some feelings here, but to me he's given away leverage that I thought he had on things and I really like him.  But also, I'm not looking @ all sides that he may be looking @.  But he's also done some really good things.  But I was in the housing/mortgage debacle and I have to say, I feel there's really nothing that's been done there for people like me.

  •  It's a bluff. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GoGoGoEverton, indie17

    The GOP will never call it.

    President Obama knows this.

    Many folks here don't.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:19:18 PM PST

    •  I don't care if it's a bluff, I don't like it (9+ / 0-)

      This isn't fun and games for people approaching retirement.  People want to plan.  People want to know what to expect.  I'm sick of being a chip on the table.  

      I don't like it.  It alienates me.  It makes me doubt him on everything else.  It keeps me from sending money to candidates like Al Franken because I'll be damned if the party is going to get one cent if they cut Social Security or Medicare.

      It takes my effort, my commitment, my money and my vote off the table.  

      •  But it's for the greater good. (0+ / 0-)

        It seems that so much of what President Obama does is aimed at not only putting forth his agenda but also making the GOP appear to be unhinged and out of the mainstream.

        Granted, this usually doesn't take much, but he's a wizard at doing this.

        Don't be discouraged.

        How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

        by BenderRodriguez on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:30:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Greenbell, your comment history shows (0+ / 0-)

        that they were off the table since before the election. You've been called out on these comments more than once.

        I see what you did there.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:39:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They were NOT off the table before the last (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Williston Barrett, denise b

          election.  He has never taken them off the table.  Why do you refuse to read the Woodward link that someone else gave you?  He implied they were still on the table to the Des Moines Register about 10 days before the election as I recall.

          I really hate this Kabuki with people's retirement security.  It's not a game to me.  It's not some way cool chess game that only super insiders can decode.

          If they are off the table let him say it in plain English so that little old ladies from Minnesota can understand it.  

          •  Spot on, greenbell. (0+ / 0-)

            "He implied they were still on the table to the Des Moines Register about 10 days before the election as I recall."

            Actually, he did a bit more than imply, as I recall.

            Seems like a little bit of "selective hearing" is going on--you think?  :-)

            Mollie

            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

            by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:30:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with both of you. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BenderRodriguez

        I don't like it either, but Obama's offer is connected to revenue increases, and the GOP will never agree to that.  From their point of view, they already agreed to the revenue increases as part of the "fiscal cliff" deal late last year.

        Remember, Boehner walked away from a 10 to 1 cuts to revenue deal a couple of years back, and his caucus hasn't exactly gotten more sane in the meantime.

        The most violent element in society is ignorance.

        by Mr MadAsHell on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:44:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Respectfully, "closing the loopholes" is EXACTLY (0+ / 0-)

          the kind of "revenue raising" that the Repubs want.

          ESPECIALLY SINCE MOST OF THE SERIOUSLY DISCUSSED 'LOOPHOLES' WILL COME FROM THE WORKING AND MIDDLE CLASSES.

          Please read Section II, Tax Reform, Bowles-Simpson's The Moment of Truth.

          Here's the link to the proposal.  Starts on Page 28.

          Mollie

          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

          by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:35:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  But they ARE going to come (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musiccitymollie

          to some sort of agreement eventually. They have to. So what do you imagine will be in it?

          We decided to move the center farther to the right by starting the whole debate from a far-right position to begin with. - Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

          by denise b on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:21:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you're addressing this to me (Mollie) (0+ / 0-)

            my guess is that most of the Bowles-Simpson proposal, which I reference above (please follow the link and read the 66 Page proposal--it's written in plain English, not legislative language) will be implemented by the time that the President's second term is over.

            This is my conjecture.  Heck, I don't pretend to have a pipeline into the Oval Office, LOL!  But it is based on real life proposals, that are documented.  Not just something that I've dreamed up, I assure you.

            The "elites" of both parties agree on these proposals (by and large).

            I am convinced that they will be able to get all three of the major cuts to Social Security passed (sooner or later).

            They are:

            1.  Chained CPI
            2.  Raising the FRA (Full Retirement Age) and possibly the ERA (Early Retirement Age).  The FRA would be raised two years, to Age 69.
            3.  Progressive Price-Indexing.  Changes the replacement rates for the monthly Social Security benefits.  Commonly referred to as "means testing."  It is the deepest of all the cuts.  It is covered in some detail in the proposal that I linked to.

            BTW, the raising of the age will costs seniors approximately 13-14% loss in their benefit, because each year the FRA is raised, according to economists, reducing benefit by 6-12% to 7%.

            Simpson-Bowles calls for all of these to be implemented by 2017 (I believe is the correct year.  Check out the proposal--I could be off a little).

            Remember, billionaire Pete Peterson is throwing tens and tens of millions of dollars into this campaign.

            This is one time that I would rejoice if my worse fears don't come true.  :-)

            P.S.  Please folks--pick up your phones, email, sign petitions, and be relentless in letting your representatives, Senators, and yes, the White House know that you oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

            One they start cutting, the next cuts will be easier.  That's just logical.

            Mollie

            "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

            by musiccitymollie on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:04:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Democrats in Congress (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, musiccitymollie

        should be flooding the airwaves to preserve Social Security, Medicare and every other program that will help millions of Americans whose lives have been devastated by the Great Recession.  Instead we have a Democratic President offering us up as sacrifices to the gods of greed.
        I have pretty much had it with our own party lately; fortunately my own Senator (Whitehouse) is helping to protect seniors and others but at most times these few Senators seem like voices in the wilderness.  For those few I am tremendously grateful.
        My once fairly bright future in retirement is a shambles.  I do not find any kind of game playing to be even remotely amusing, I do not appreciate that Democratic members of Congress don't have the nads to raise holy hell about the ongoing fiscal disaster that the republican party continues to feed with malice and ignorance and contempt for everyone who isn't one of them.

    •  And yet you know it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens

      Care to elaborate?

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:41:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you saw Paul Krugman last night... (0+ / 0-)

        on Lawrence O'Donnell's show, you know he said what I'm saying. He called what Obama was doing "political posturing" because he knows the GOP will never call him on it.

        Feel free to ignore my words, of course. But Krugman's words, I hope, carry some weight with you.

        How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

        by BenderRodriguez on Fri Feb 08, 2013 at 03:37:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  So, at the least, Obama is risking entitlement (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens

      cuts.  That's really comforting.  Really.  

      Imagine - A Democratic President putting entitlements at risk.  If Obama had told us he was going to do that, do you think he would have gotten more votes or less votes?

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

      by accumbens on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:02:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And the Grand Bargain rises from the grave... (8+ / 0-)

    ...just like the zombie that just won't die.

    The Administration had best stop trying to negotiate with Republicans in good faith, and they'd best stop trying to get the cuts that those sociopaths Bowles, Simpson, and Peterson (along with the oligarchs & plutocrats) want. Hurting people to solve an imaginary issue like the deficit is pure stupidity.

    The Grand Bargain, if passed, will be devastating to the 99% and to the Democratic Party.

    The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

    by cybrestrike on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:27:21 PM PST

  •  I guess we'll be hearing about this impending (3+ / 0-)

    development until Obama is out of office. Hopefully that will put an end to it.

  •  What's everyone worried about? (4+ / 0-)

    Reasons not to worry:

    1.  It hasn't happened yet.
    2.  Obama is just using it as a ploy because he knows the Repubs won't agree to trade increased revenues for entitlement cuts.
    3.   Obama is a progressive liberal and would never let it happen.
    4.  Obama

    At least that's what the Obama loyalists keep telling me.  Somehow, I'm not comforted.

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

    by accumbens on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:40:37 PM PST

  •  Entitlement cuts are cruel, stupid and unnecessary (8+ / 0-)

    from both a policy and politics point of view. They make no sense. There is no political advantage to being willing to make them, let alone being the one to offer them, they won't meaningfully reduce the deficit--if anything they will actually increase the deficit--and they will be unnecessarily cruel to seniors.

    So what's the point? I still don't get it and someone needs to explain it to me. Either Obama WANTS these cuts apart of any illusory political advantage he sees in them (and if so WHY?!?), or else he's living in a political bubble in which he continues to believe that offering such cuts are necessary and smart.

    I guess that when you're now and forever part of the 1%, it doesn't really matter if something's necessary, smart or even nice, because you're shielded from all that. You get to make pretty speeches for the seemingly clueless masses, while doing what you really want to do, for reasons only you really know. But karma's kind of a bitch that way. Just ask Bush.

    If Obama agrees to any cuts to entitlements, it will be a core part of his legacy. I would hope that for no other reason, his sense of vanity will make him think twice about that. And like all successful politicians, he is vain.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:40:44 PM PST

    •  Spot on, kovie. N/T (0+ / 0-)

      Mollie

      "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

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

      by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:45:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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