Last week the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Rep. Greg Walden went on the air and spilled the beans about what their strategy for the mid-term elections was going to be if the Democrats were foolish to go along with President Obama's concession to Republicans, where he agreed to give them the chained CPI they've been demanding on Social Security cost of living increases. This Sunday on Meet the Press, the NYT's David Brooks wanted the viewers to believe that was only a one-off.
Never mind that they've done exactly that same thing in the last mid-term election, this time it's not going to happen, because John Boehner told him so.
DAVID GREGORY: I've only got a couple minutes left. I want to throw the budget out here, as well, during its part over Washington's deal with-- David Brooks, the criticism from Republicans of President Obama was that he wasn't taking entitlements seriously. Now he's talking about reducing the benefits of Social Security over time. And here was a key Republican who had called upon him to do that this week, and his response to the President's budget was the following.
Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR): His budget really lays out kind of a shocking attack on seniors if you will.
DAVID GREGORY: (LAUGHTER) Here's the head of the Republican Committee to Reelect Republicans in the House saying, "We asked you to do this, but now you've done it, and why are you going after seniors?"
DAVID BROOKS: Well, that was opportunism on stilts. (CHUCKLE) But I think he was more or less alone. I talked to some House leadership people. And they're still, "We should do reform." And so I think what Obama did is the right thing to do, but it was too small.
Essentially, we've got this widening inequality problem. We've got wave stagnation. 52% of the kids born out of wedlock to moms under 30-- are born out of wedlock. And discretionary spending, all the domestic programs, health, education, welfare, that's going down to Eisenhower levels under this budget.
So I wish you'd be a little more aggressive on entitlements so we can be spending the money on young families instead of affluent seniors. And he does do that. He gets-- he goes-- takes a tiny step in that direction--
Of course Brooks believes we've only got two choices, which is either sticking it to seniors or children, as opposed to one other choice he doesn't mention -- like raising his taxes.
And note to David Brooks. Social Security doesn't add one dime to the deficit. And dismantling our social safety nets is not "reforming" them.